Probation Circular

MONITORING OF RISK OF HARM
PURPOSE
To introduce revised arrangements for the monitoring of risk of harm in all cases and additional monitoring of the quality of reviews of risk assessments in high or very high risk of harm cases. REFERENCE NO: 82/2005 ISSUE DATE: 4 November 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: November 2010 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Roger McGarva, Head of Regions & Performance ATTACHED: Annexe A: Sufficiency of Risk Assessments and Timeliness of Reviews, April-September 2005 (part of PC file) Annexe B: Serious Further Offence Screening Document

ACTION
Areas are to note and prepare for the monitoring arrangements outlined in this circular.

SUMMARY
The recent PC 77/05 indicated that the Director of Probation and the Head of Public Protection in NPD were concerned about the quality of sentence plan and risk management plan reviews on high/very high risk of harm cases and that advice would follow. This circular provides further details on how this issue and risk of harm across the piece is to be monitored and reported.

BACKGROUND
There are two agendas to take forward: 1. The need to demonstrate sufficient quality of assessment and management of the risk of harm of all cases, bearing in mind that around 75-80% of Serious Further Offences are committed by offenders who are of medium or low risk of harm; and 2. Improving both the timing and the quality of assessments and reviews of High/Very High risk of harm offenders in accordance with the need to give priority to them.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC 10/2005: Public Protection Framework, Risk of Harm and MAPPA Thresholds PC 48/2005: OASys Quality Management Plan PC 49/2005: Assessment and Management of Risk of Harm Action Plan PC 77/2005: Monitoring of PPO and High/Very High Risk of Harm Cases

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Ed.Stradling@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or telephone: (020) 7217 0758

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

New Arrangements – The Next Steps Quality of Sentence Plans, Risk of Harm Assessments and Risk Management Plans The current version of NSMART (v. 4.1.1) is capable of generating the data to provide assurances of the quality of sentence plans, risk of harm assessments and risk management plans across the caseload and separately for high/very high risk of harm cases. The data will come from the following monitoring questions (numbered 62-64 in the Community Orders questionnaire and 51-53 in the Resettlement one): • • • Is there sufficient assessment and planning in the sentence plan (SP) and risk management plan to address the risk of the offender’s causing serious harm to the victim(s) of the offence? Is there sufficient assessment and planning in the sentence plan (SP) and risk management plan to address the risk of the offender’s causing serious harm to the public? Is there sufficient assessment and planning in the sentence plan (SP) and risk management plan to address the risk of the offender causing serious harm to staff?

Attached at Annexe A is an analysis by area of the data obtained from the equivalent questions as part of NS monitoring between April and September this year. Also presented is the proportion of cases where the risk assessment was reviewed within 16 weeks. It should be noted the data are incomplete because these questions were optional during that period and in many instances the figures are based on very small samples. From the available data, there is evidence of a high degree of variation in area performance. From this month (October 2005) onwards these questions have been made mandatory and the results will be published on a quarterly basis in future. A further question will be added to this section, as follows: • Overall, is there sufficient evidence in the case file that throughout the period of supervision the risks of harm have been identified and assessed to the required standard and all reasonable actions have been taken to keep the offender’s risk of harm to a minimum (i.e. the case would pass a Serious Further Offence management review)?

The above question is designed to lead the assessor to form an overall judgement about the management of the case. NPD intends to issue revised guidance for Serious Further Offence reports by the end of 2005, however in the interim areas are advised to make reference to the core questions included in Stage 2 of the SFO screening document, as an indicator of the quality of offender management (Annexe B). The NPD is concerned that these assessments are done in a robust and rigorous way. This needs to be seen in the context of the critical remarks made by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation and the high number of ESI reports that have been critical of risk of harm assessments. We recognise the need to develop a clear framework for helping managers judge whether or not the assessment and management of the risk of harm of a particular case is ‘sufficient’. NPD will be working with HMI Probation to develop such a definition during the coming months, alongside the development of the training manual. Quality of Reviews in High/Very High Risk of Harm Cases In order to capture the data on the quality of reviews we will introduce an additional form into the monthly monitoring of National Standards from 1st December 2005. (The new form and the accompanying version 4.2 of NSMART will be sent to areas in the week commencing 7 November 2005). The form will resemble a cut-down version of the current forms for community orders and resettlement cases, but will relate only to High/Very High risk of harm cases. From a list of all community order commencements and releases on licence in the month six months previously, areas should select all cases that were assessed as posing a risk of causing serious harm to the public, staff or victims (equivalent to High or Very High risk of harm) at the point of commencement or release on licence and were still assessed as posing such a risk at the point of monitoring (i.e. six months on from commencement or release, or when terminated if supervision ended before six months was reached) and were therefore managed as High/Very High risk of harm under the entirety of the period under review. It will ask the following questions: 1. Does the most recent risk management plan use the headings as per PC 10/2005? (Yes/No) 2. Have the risk of harm assessment, the risk management plan and sentence plan been reviewed within National Standards time-scales (no later than 16 weeks after the date of commencement of either a community sentence or licence, at the conclusion of each planned requirement within the sentence, or more frequently if required to monitor risk or record significant change)? (Yes/No)

PC82/2005 – Monitoring Risk of Harm

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3. What is your assessment of the extent to which (as evidenced in the most recent review) both the risk management plan and the objectives in the sentence plan have been implemented appropriately in the period under review? (Excellent/Good/Unsatisfactory/Poor) 4. What is your assessment of the way in which any changes in risk of harm were identified and managed, taking account of victim issues where relevant in the period under review? (Excellent/Good/Unsatisfactory/Poor/Not Applicable) 5. Did a home visit take place? (as in Q.16 of the Community Orders form, version 6) 6. Including any requirement contacts, record the average weekly number of appointments arranged to take place with the offender manager in the first 16 weeks 7. Including any requirement contacts, record the average weekly number of appointments that took place with the offender manager in the first 16 weeks 8. Enforcement – the questions from the standard NS monitoring forms on action taken on first, second and third (licences only) failure to comply. 9. Outcome of breach – as per questions from the NS monitoring forms for orders and resettlement

This is alongside the work being undertaken at an area, regional and national level as part of the OASys quality management process outlined in PC 48/05.

PC82/2005 – Monitoring Risk of Harm

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Annexe A SUFFICIENCY OF RISK ASSESSMENTS AND TIMELINESS OF REVIEWS
TABLE 1: Community Orders Region Probation Area April - September 2005 % Sufficient Risk Assessments in Relation to: Victims Public Staff 100% 99% 95% 90% 100% 96% 95% 98% 90% 95% 91% 93% 93% 33% 73% 100% -56% 98% 94% 100% 97% 89% 100% 100% 100% 67% 92% 96% 98% 89% 50% -91% 93% 92% 77% 91% 90% 87% 95% 85% 100% 94% 93% 97% 95% 94% -96% 98% 91% 96% 96% 95% 93% 95% 99% 92% 86% 100% 98% 93% 100% 91% 97% 95% 94% 94% 40% 50% 100% -56% 97% 100% 100% 98% 90% 100% -100% -90% 98% 98% 92% 25% -93% 94% 94% 88% 92% 92% 91% 92% 89% 100% 94% 93% 97% 95% 100% -97% 97% 92% 97% 96% 96% 94% 95% 99% 96% 87% 100% 98% 94% 98% 91% 98% 95% 95% 95% 100% -100% -80% 97% 100% -97% 90% 100% -100% -90% 97% 98% 94% 25% -94% 95% 94% 89% 87% 92% 91% 94% 89% 100% 94% 93% 97% 95% 99% -97% 99% 94% 97% 96% 97% 95% Risk assessment reviewed within 16 weeks 43% 27% 27% 17% 19% 54% 30% 67% 46% 62% 31% 28% 46% 38% 24% 13% 20% 24% 83% 53% 68% 65% 53% 37% 46% 58% 44% 47% 57% 54% 36% 33% -43% 33% 50% 49% 61% 43% 43% 51% 65% 32% 57% 52% 34% 32% 49% 33% 38% 48% 52% 36% 48% 43% 43%

East of England Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Essex Hertfordshire Norfolk Suffolk East Total Derbyshire East Midlands Leicestershire & Rutland Lincolnshire Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire East Midlands Total London East London London North London South London West London Total County Durham North East Northumbria Teesside North East Total Cheshire North West Cumbria Greater Manchester Lancashire Merseyside North West Total Hampshire South East Kent Sussex Thames Valley Surrey South East Total Avon & Somerset South West Devon/Cornwall Dorset Gloucestershire Wiltshire South West Total Dyfed/Powys Wales Gwent North Wales South Wales Wales Total West Midlands Staffordshire Warwickshire West Mercia West Midlands West Midlands Total Humberside Yorkshire & North Yorkshire Humberside West Yorkshire South Yorkshire Yorkshire & Humberside Total England and Wales

Source: National Standards monitoring PC82/2005 – Monitoring Risk of Harm 4

TABLE 2: Licences Region Probation Area

April - September 2005 % Sufficient Risk Assessments in Relation to: Victims Public Staff 78% 89% 93% 79% 100% 100% 90% 74% 84% 97% 91% 90% 88% -100% -100% 100% 95% 100% 100% 96% 86% 100% -96% 100% 92% 93% 93% 89% 83% 100% 92% 92% 94% 95% 74% 90% 90% 98% 71% 83% 92% 91% 100% 89% 100% -97% 94% 89% 97% 93% 94% 92% 86% 91% 95% 85% 100% 100% 93% 84% 88% 97% 93% 95% 92% ---100% 100% 100% 100% -100% 86% 100% -100% 100% 92% 94% 92% 94% 83% 100% 93% 92% 90% 95% 100% 92% 94% 94% 72% 86% 94% 91% 100% 91% 100% -97% 95% 91% 96% 93% 95% 94% 100% 91% 93% 84% 100% 100% 93% 83% 93% 97% 93% 98% 95% ---100% 100% 100% 100% -100% 93% 100% -88% 100% 92% 94% 100% 94% 83% 100% 94% 94% 94% 93% 96% 88% 93% 94% 61% 86% 92% 89% 100% 89% 100% -97% 95% 94% 96% 93% 95% 94% Risk assessment reviewed within 16 weeks 33% 33% 48% 40% 40% 90% 51% 33% 75% 88% 29% 54% 53% 30% 60% 44% 50% 43% 100% 83% 78% 82% 56% 67% 65% 50% 75% 66% 71% 69% 57% 44% -60% 67% 75% 53% 60% 65% 64% 77% 60% 100% 69% 73% 79% 20% 61% 42% 50% 43% 50% 47% 50% 48% 58%

East of England Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Essex Hertfordshire Norfolk Suffolk East of England Total Derbyshire East Midlands Leicestershire & Rutland Lincolnshire Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire East Midlands Total London East London London North London South London West London Total County Durham North East Northumbria Teesside North East Total Cheshire North West Cumbria Greater Manchester Lancashire Merseyside North West Total Hampshire South East Kent Sussex Thames Valley Surrey South East Total Avon & Somerset South West Devon/Cornwall Dorset Gloucestershire Wiltshire South West Total Dyfed/Powys Wales Gwent North Wales South Wales Wales Total West Midlands Staffordshire Warwickshire West Mercia West Midlands West Midlands Total Humberside Yorkshire & North Yorkshire Humberside West Yorkshire South Yorkshire Yorkshire & Humberside Total England and Wales

Source: National Standards monitoring PC82/2005 – Monitoring Risk of Harm 5

Annexe B Taken from Stage 2 SFO Screening Document PC 54/2003. Please note that the latter circular will be updated by 1/1/06.

SERIOUS FURTHER OFFENCE:
SCREENING DOCUMENT (Stage two)
Questions 1 to 17 MUST be answered in full. Where your answer requires supporting evidence, place a cross in the “flag” box, write SFO number in the top left corner of the additional evidence document and attach it, using a treasury tag, to the back of this document. If you answer “NO” or “NA” to any question, you MUST give reasons in the spaces provided.

Core Questions
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

Yes

No

NA

Flag

1. Was the risk assessment carried out according to Area policy? 1.1. Date of latest Risk Assessment:

(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

2. Has the OASys documentation been completed to a sufficiently good standard given the facts of the case?

3.

(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

Is the risk of harm assessment congruent with the facts known at the time and was it sufficient? 3.1. Was all of the information necessary for the Risk of Harm assessment taken into account?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

4. Does the supervision plan, & risk management plan if separate, address issues identified in the risk of harm assessment sufficiently?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

5. Is the work with the offender based on the supervision plan and on any additional requirements of the licence?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

6. If new facts germane to the risk of harm assessment have emerged since its completion, has there been a review of OASys (or similar)?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

7. If an incident or deterioration in behaviour occurred during the course of supervision in relation to the risk of harm the offender presented, was the action taken by the supervisor sufficient?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

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Annexe B Taken from Stage 2 SFO Screening Document PC 54/2003. Please note that the latter circular will be updated by 1/1/06.

Yes 8. Have contact requirements been at least in line with National Standards?

No

NA

Flag

(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

9. Has enforcement been in line with National Standards?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

10. Were risk assessment/management requirements communicated between case manager and others involved with the implementation of the plan?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

11. In relevant cases under Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000, did the documentation demonstrate that the rights and the needs of victims had been taken into account?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

12. Where appropriate, was there good communication with the Victim Liaison Staff?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

13. Was appropriate referral made to other agencies?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

14. Is there evidence of consistently good communication with other agencies including, but not exclusively, fulfillment of obligations to inform others of key risk information?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

15. If the risk assessment indicated a referral to level 2 or level 3 management under the MAPPA, was this referral made?
(If NO or NA, please describe here.)

16. If this case has been transferred in, was the transfer timely and appropriately handled in accordance with the most recent and relevant PC?
(If NO please describe here.)

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Annexe B Taken from Stage 2 SFO Screening Document PC 54/2003. Please note that the latter circular will be updated by 1/1/06.

17. If this case was temporarily handled by another Area, did they receive and communicate appropriately with full information?
(If NO please describe here.)

If any answer to the following questions is “YES”, a full review (stage three) must be undertaken. Final Questions
1. The risk assessment current at the time of the offence was clearly unjustifiable or indefensible:
(i.e., the answer to question 3or 3.1 above is “NO”.

Yes

No

2. The case was under the consideration of a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) at the time of the alleged offence: 3. The case had been assessed as presenting a high risk of harm and at least one screening document (stage two) question(s) 1-17 has been answered in the negative: 4. The case had not been assessed as presenting a high risk of harm, but where negatives in the screening document (stage two) question(s) 1-17 outweigh the positives:

This case requires a full review? Please identify any learning/action points that have emerged from this screening document, irrespective of whether this case will move to a full review. (Attach these findings on a separate sheet.)

Signed: Date:

______________________________ ______________________________

(If this form is being emailed, the signature field may be left blank. However, both your retained and sent hard copies MUST be signed.)

END OF SCREENING DOCUMENT (STAGE TWO)
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