Probation Circular

DEVELOPMENTS IN UNPAID WORK: JANUARY 2006
PURPOSE:
The purpose of this circular is to update areas on a number of developments within Unpaid Work. REFERENCE NO: 94/2005 ISSUE DATE: 29 December 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: January 2011 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Meg Blumsom, Head of Community Reintegration ATTACHED: Annex A (provided electronically only)

ACTION:
Chief Officers are asked to: 1. Note the setting up of a Project Board to consider the future development of Unpaid Work and consider making nominations for membership, by 31st January. 2. Provide data, using the attached template, to NPD every three months. The next collection date will be 31 January 2006 and data should be provided for the period October – December. 3. Note the piloting of Unpaid Work as part of a Conditional Caution.

SUMMARY
1. A template for data collection is attached; this should be completed and returned. 2. A Project Board has been set up to review current delivery arrangements for Unpaid Work, incorporating the most suitable elements of the ECP scheme with Community Payback and Visible Unpaid Work. 3. Conditional cautions schemes are currently running as pilots with police the main participants. The Unpaid Work element of conditional cautions will now be piloted.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC59/2004; PC25/2005

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Janet.Corcoran@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Sebastian.Falk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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

DATA COLLECTION TEMPLATE 1. In August 2005, by means of PC 66/2005, areas were asked to nominate a senior manager to collect information on a monthly basis on the number of offenders who: i) Do not commence orders within the required timescale ii) Are not offered the required six hours work each week iii) Are instructed in advance that they should not report for work iv) Are sent home, having reported for work, because insufficient work/supervisor coverage is available. 2. In September 2005, areas were issued with further detail about the data collection requirements and, in early October, this information was collected by means of telephone contact from NPD. Six months of retrospective information was requested. Whereas in some areas which had already established their own internal monitoring systems, this was readily available, for other areas it represented much more of a challenge. The effort many areas put into collecting as good information as they could is recognised and appreciated, and contributed to providing a broad national picture across England and Wales. Many areas, whilst only able to collect limited retrospective information, have now put systems in place so that this will be available in future. 3. As the visibility campaign gets underway across NPS, the monitoring of this information is critical. The primary purpose of the visibility campaign is to promote public confidence in community sentences, so it is essential that this is not undermined by performance which does not meet the expectations of the public or of sentencers and does not comply with National Standards. This data will therefore continue to be collected but the intention is to align it as closely as possible with other data collection systems and not to create extra work for probation areas. Discussions have begun and are continuing with the NOMIS team, the Regions and Performance Management Unit and the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate to discuss how this can be achieved. The issue has been discussed by the Data Standards Reference Group to ensure that area representatives have been able to comment. It will take time to reach a final decision so there will still need to be a separate process to collect data. 4. In the light of feedback from areas, the template has been modified and is attached as Annex A. THIS IS ONLY PROVIDED ELECTRONICALLY. The category ‘eligible’ does not include offenders who are on a warrant, suspended, awaiting outcome of breach, on certified long term sickness, awaiting revocation, or where National Standards have been legitimately suspended ( i.e. for reasons related to the offender’s circumstances, not operational difficulties in the area). This should be filled and returned quarterly as follows 31st Jan – for October – December 30th April – for January – March 31st July – for April – June 31st October – for July – September 5. Action: The first return using this form should be submitted on 31 January 2006 to Paris Mikkides in the Performance and Regions Unit.

UNPAID WORK PROJECT BOARD 6. When Enhanced Community Punishment was implemented in 2003 it was anticipated that all elements of the scheme would be used with all offenders performing Community Punishment Orders as long as their OASys assessment indicated a need for the intervention. In response to a growth in the number of orders made, PC59/2004 introduced an element of discretion and flexibility into the scheme. Areas were given permission to manage offenders with OGRS scores below 41 without making Guided Skills Learning available to them and using larger workgroups where appropriate. 7. Since then the Criminal Justice Act 2003 has replaced the Community Punishment Order with the Unpaid Work requirement. Requirements for the completion of OASys have changed and completion is no longer prepared on many offenders performing Unpaid Work. The notional separation of Interventions from Offender Management has brought about structural changes with implications for the delivery of unpaid work. The introduction of the Community Payback Scheme has introduced yet more changes. PC94/2005 – Developments in Unpaid Work: January 2006 2

8. A Project Board has been convened and as one of its tasks will review current delivery arrangements for Unpaid Work and consider which elements of the ECP scheme should be retained and which need to be modified to fit into the present environment. The Project Board is aware of the importance of retaining high quality delivery whilst balancing this with ensuring that requirements are carried out efficiently and in accordance with National Standards. Community Payback and Visible Unpaid Work must also be incorporated into delivery arrangements. The Board will meet four times per year, based in London. 9. On the basis of decisions made, the Project Board will oversee the preparation of new Performance Standards, an Unpaid Work Manual and a Training Programme to support this. It is recognised that uncertainties will remain in the short term but it is important that these issues are given careful consideration and sustainable decisions taken. 10. The Project Board has already met and taken the decision to seek two further members to be drawn from senior or middle managers in areas. 11. Action: Chief Officers should circulate details of the Board to members of staff, either senior or middle managers with operational responsibility for Unpaid Work. Applications should be sent to Janet Corcoran, providing a name and experience of or interest in Unpaid Work, no later than 31st January.

CONDITIONAL CAUTIONS 12. Conditional cautioning schemes have been running as pilots in seven police authorities for the past year and have been led by the police and the CPS. The OCJR and the RESPECT team are keen to increase the use of Unpaid Work as an option in a conditional caution. 13. The seven Probation areas where conditional cautions have already been piloted (Lancashire, Thames Valley, South Yorkshire, West Mercia, Northumbria, West Midlands and Merseyside) will be invited to join with police colleagues to provide an Unpaid Work option. The aim is to test out a limited number of models of delivery, including use of the voluntary sector as scheme managers. This will allow longer term funding options to be considered. It is possible that one or two more sites might be needed and Chief Officers are asked to consider whether they would be interested in developing conditional cautioning alongside their police authorities. 14. Funding is available to support the delivery of the pilots. It is anticipated that the numbers receiving conditional cautions would be low. It is not possible to estimate how the scheme would grow. In Lancashire, the only police authority where conditional cautions have been rolled out fully, there were only a total of 127 cautions in the last year, and 107 of those cautioned were required to pay compensation to the victim (sometimes with letters of apologies). There was only one incidence where the offender was asked to do Unpaid Work. Not withstanding this, it is possible that if there were easier access to a formally organised scheme there would be an increase in usage of Unpaid Work 15. The research and evaluation of the work will be the responsibility of the Conditional Cautioning team. 16. A briefing meeting will be arranged at the end of January for those areas where the police are already piloting conditional cautioning. If any other area is interested, then they should contact Sebastian Falk for details. 17. for further information on the proposed pilots please contact Sebastian Falk (Sebastian.falk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk)

PC94/2005 – Developments in Unpaid Work: January 2006

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NPS Enhanced Community Punishment (ECP) and Unpaid Work Throughput Monitoring Return 2005-06
Probation Area: Report Period:

1. Total number of offenders with unpaid work requirements1 in the area at the end of the reporting period
2 2. Total number of offenders (included in answer to Question 1) who were not eligible for work at the end of the reporting period 4 3. Average number of days3 which elapsed between the pre-placement work session and the date for which the first work instruction was given

4. Total number of offender days worked5 5. Number of offender days lost because offenders have been instructed in advance not to report for work 6. Number of offender days lost because offenders have been sent home after reporting for work due to insufficient supervisor coverage, transport or work availability, etc Notes Include offenders on Community Punishment Orders and Community Punishment & Rehabilitation orders in this figure 2 Offenders who are not eligible for work include those who are on warrant, suspended, awaiting outcome of breach, on certified long-term sickness, awaiting revocation, or where National Standards have been legitimately suspended (i.e. for reasons related to the offender’s circumstances, not operational difficulties in the area) 3 This figure should be calculated using a 7 day week, not the 5 day ‘working week.’ 4 This is the date on which the offender is first required to attend a work placement. It includes cases where the offender has been instructed but has not attended. It does not include cases where a work instruction has been given but has been withdrawn by the area either beforehand or on the day itself.
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Attendance by an offender at a work session, irrespective of the actual number of hours actually worked, counts as one offender day. This should exclude the Post Sentence Assessment Interview, the Pre Placement Work Session and any instances where an offender reports for work and is subsequently sent home in circumstances detailed in Question 6. Area Contact Name: Telephone No:

Completed returns should be sent via e-mail to: NPD.DATA@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk to arrive by the last working day of the month following the reporting period, as indicated in PC 94/2005