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Probation

Circular

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE REFERENCE NO:


OFFENDER MANAGEMENT MODEL 83/2005

FOR SERVICE DELIVERY ISSUE DATE:


STRUCTURES 10th November 2005

IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
PURPOSE
• To clarify the implications for the design of service delivery structure of Immediate
implementing the NOMS Offender Management Model.
• To assist areas in making decisions about changes to their delivery EXPIRY DATE:
structure to support the implementation of the Offender Management November 2008
Model.
TO:
ACTION Chairs of Probation Boards
Chief Officers to draw on this clarification to inform the Offender
Chief Officers of Probation
Management implementation plans for their area.
Secretaries of Probation Boards

SUMMARY CC:
Some areas have reported that they interpret the Offender Management Board Treasurers
Model as requiring them to change their service delivery structures from Regional Managers
“specialist” to “generic” ones. The attached guidance is an edited version of
advice provided by the OM Team in NOMS to OM Implementation Managers AUTHORISED BY:
in ROMs offices. It is now provided direct to probation areas as advice
Sarah Mann, Head of
agreed between the NPD and NOMS. The general rule is that team Interventions Unit, NPD
structures built around enduring offender characteristics are consistent with
Chris Johnson, Head of Offender
end-to-end continuity, those built around tasks or sentence types are less so. Management Team, NOMS

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS


N/A ATTACHED:
Annex A (part of Word file)
CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
General interpretation of OM Model:
Tony Grapes, Offender Management Team, NOMS
Tel: 020 7217 8985 email tony.grapes2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Interpretation of this advice as it affects drugs, alcohol and prolific and other
priority offender work:
Claire Wiggins, Head of Intensive Interventions Team NPD
Tel: 020 7217 8646 email claire.wiggins3@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
BACKGROUND
Feedback has been received from various sources, including from a series of seminars run in
September/October 2005 by NPD Intensive Interventions Unit, about how areas have interpreted what the
Offender Management Model requires of them in terms of the structure of service delivery. Some areas have
reported understanding that they are obliged to change from “specialist” to “generic” structures, even where
they consider that this would have an adverse effect on service delivery.
Offender Management puts a higher premium on continuity of the relationship between an Offender Manager
and the offender than has been the case in some of the designs of probation delivery structures in recent
years. A measure of continuity will be incorporated into the NOMS Performance Management framework in
due course. However, the Model does not provide a standard template for how Offender Managers should be
organised. Forms of specialisation which break up an offender’s pathway through the correctional system are
effectively discouraged, but other forms of specialisation are entirely consistent with a higher level of end-to-
end continuity and accountability. Within these broad parameters, the Model is non-prescriptive.
The attached guidance explores the different meanings of the terms “specialist” and “generic” and their
relationship with the Offender Management Model. It provides a worked example of how a specialist
arrangement which is inconsistent with the Model can be adapted with limited disruption to service delivery, so
that it preserves the key features of the arrangement, but is consistent with offender management.

FURTHER INFORMATION
If areas are in any doubt about the concordance between their intentions as to structure and the Model,
consultation is recommended in advance of the implementation of changes.
Advice and interpretation on the general requirements of the Model can be sought from Tony Grapes in the
NOMS OM Team (0207 217 8985; 07976 440153, tony.grapes2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk) or from OM
Implementation Managers in ROMS offices (mostly former Regional What Works Managers). Advice and
experience from other areas can be sought through Regional Offender Management Implementation Forums
(not all regions). Specific advice about the application of the Model to drugs and alcohol can be sought from:

Fiona Bauemeister, Drug & Alcohol Performance and Interventions Manager, NPD
Tel: 020 7217 0768, email fiona.bauermeister@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Robin Brennan, Drug Testing Development Manager, NPD


Tel: 020 7217 0916 email robin.brennan@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

PC83/2005 – The Implications of the Offender Management Model for Service Delivery Structures 2
Annex A: The Offender Management Model and the Organisation of Offender Management
An Explanatory Note
Aim: This note aims to clarify what the designers of the NOMS Offender Management Model
(NOMM) consider that it does – and does not – imply for the way in which probation areas organise
Offender Managers.

Context
1 The NOMS Offender Management Model (Version 1 – January 2004) makes reference to the need to
ensure that the design of offender management structures can deliver the end-to-end continuity required by
the supporting evidence. It quotes the findings of the Partridge Report on the Organisation of Case
Management in Probation but otherwise says little specifically about what this might mean in practice.
2 The Offender Management Self-Assessment Template, issued to probation areas in January 2004
included a standard:
“Each offender is under the overall direction of the same offender manager throughout each period of
continuous engagement with the service”
3 The evaluation report on Phase 1 of the NW Offender Management PATHFINDER included the
assertion that:
“While the NOMM does not prescribe any one structural solution, it does imply the need for a generic
structure in order to maximise continuity”

Specialist and Generic – A Confusion of Language and Meaning


4 The NOMM places continuity in the relationship between an offender and an Offender Manager higher
up the priority list than it has been in recent years. It does not make it an overriding rule. Continuity ideally
spans the transitions between

• pre-sentence and post sentence work


• different kinds of sentence as the result of breach or re-offending
• community to custody and back again in those sentences which have a custodial
component.
5 This undoubtedly has some implications for the way in which offender managers are organised (team
structures) and cases are allocated. Whether this amounts to “generic” rather depends on what meaning of
the term “generic” is being applied.
6 In the evolution of probation structures the terms “generic” and “specialist” have two different
meanings.
6.1 Traditionally, the term “generic” was associated with locality-based working, in which one
Offender Manager would carry responsibility for all the offenders in a given geographical area. Offender
Managers were “generic” in the sense that they were expected to work with all offenders, subject to any
sentence, and to discharge functions across the whole correctional timeline. They were “specialist” only in
the sense that they developed an in-depth knowledge of local resources, cultures, communities and family
networks.

6.2 Through the 1980’s Offender Managers began to specialise in particular sub-sets of the offender
population. Typically Offender Managers might focus upon young adult

PC83/2005 – The Implications of the Offender Management Model for Service Delivery Structures 3
offenders, sex offenders, drug misusers, drinkers. Structures - especially in denser urban areas - grew up
to support these specialisations. Such Offender Managers were still often “generic”, in the sense that they
were expected to be competent to discharge the whole range of tasks and functions along the correctional
timeline (represented by the ASPIRE acronym in the NOMM), including dealing with the same offender
whether he/she was in the community or in custody or moving between the two. These arrangements
might be more accurately referred to as “offender-focussed specialisation”.
6.3 The 1990’s saw the rapid expansion of what became known as “functional specialisation”
(though the management of Community Service Orders began this trend over a decade earlier). Here, the
correctional timeline was sub-divided into different stages, often concurrent with different forms of sentence
(since offenders tended to move from one sentence to another along the timeline of the “tariff”). So
Offender Managers would “specialise” in preparing court reports, dealing with Rehabilitation Orders, dealing
with custodial sentences. They might still be regarded as “generic” in the sense that any single Offender
Manager would often be expected to be competent in his/her task or function across a wide range of
offenders.
6.4 Most probation arrangements became some combination of these pure forms.

The Implications of the NOMM in relation to structures


7
7.1 It is self-evident that functional specialisation, in which offenders are routinely transferred from
Offender Manager to Offender Manager either

• as they pass along the correctional process from assessment through sentencing to
induction, implementation and consolidation, or
• as they pass along the tariff from sentence to sentence
can neither deliver the degree of continuity supported by the effectiveness evidence, nor the end-to-end
accountability demanded by Carter.
7.2 So, the Offender Management Model leans in favour of a “generic” approach, insofar as
“generic” means that any single Offender Manager should be competent

• in managing an offender subject to any form of sentence, and


• across the tasks and functions (ASPIRE) which arise from the first point of contact (often to
write a report for a court) through to the completion of one more overlapping sentences.
7.3 But the NOMM does not imply or require a return to locality-based working. Neither does it
prohibit it. It is fully supportive of offender-focussed specialisation in which offenders are “streamed”
according to some offender factor. These arrangements enable smaller groups of staff to develop expertise
in working with particular behaviours, or offender types, and they focus inter-agency relationships, and limit
infrastructure costs like training.
7.4 So, for example, areas have asked whether (or assumed that) the NOMM requires them to
abandon DTTO Teams.
7.5 The model is not a template, so it doesn’t prescribe a particular set of arrangements. Its
implications, though, are as follows:
i The model would not support a sentence-focussed DTTO team structure where the
offender was transferred when they ceased to be subject to a DTTO/DRR. This would
not support the principle of end-to-end continuity and accountability; but.

Ii The model would support the shift in focus from a DTTO/DRR Team to a team of
Offender Managers managing drug misusers. This would, of course, include all DTTO
(or DRR) cases but would not require the onward transfer of

PC83/2005 – The Implications of the Offender Management Model for Service Delivery Structures 4
people if they happened to become the subject of a different form of sentence (like
Unpaid Work or custody).
7.6 Though Offender Managers in such teams would be expected to be competent to “manage” the
offender through the whole of the correctional process, specialist skills and knowledge in assessment,
sentence management and resource brokering would still be developed. Such arrangements also
focus inter-agency relationships with the external drugs world on a smaller group of staff, making them
(arguably) more manageable and effective.
7.7. The general rule is that team structures built around enduring offender characteristics are consistent
with end-to-end continuity, those built around tasks or sentence types are less so. As far as the model is
concerned, the evidence about the most effective criteria for “streaming” is inconclusive. What is most
likely is that different arrangements will have a better “fit” and function more effectively in different operating
environments.
7.8 For clarity, the Model explicitly:

• does not advocate or require “streaming” by tier, though this is perfectly permissible,
provided there are remedial arrangements for what happens when/if an offender’s risk
levels change
• does not require a locality-based or patchwork arrangement, though such arrangements
would be “permissible” as they can provide the required end-to-end continuity
• does not map offender types rigidly to tiers (e.g. all sex offenders are tier 4; all drug
misusers are tier 3 - with the exception of locally defined PPOs, who default to tier 4, but in
respect of whom a clinical override still applies)
• does not require that only certain grades may be an Offender Manager for certain tiers,
though areas may determine this to be the case
• does not prohibit specialist teams, posts or functions
• does not prevent or prohibit changes of Offender Manager where there is a sound clinical
reason for this to occur
• does not argue against “streaming” by offence type (e.g. sex offenders; motor vehicle
offenders) or dominant problem (e.g. drug misusers, violent offenders)

8 In summary, the NOMM argues strongly against some of the organisational options, but does not argue
forcibly for any of the remaining ones. The best test of arrangements or proposals is to simulate the way a
complex, repeat offender would experience them, looking especially to minimise the number of changes of
Offender Manager which are the consequence of the structure itself. A measure of continuity will, in due
course, feature in the NOMS Performance Management framework.

PC83/2005 – The Implications of the Offender Management Model for Service Delivery Structures 5