Report of the Working Group

April 2002

ASSISTANCE FOR EX-PRISONERS WHO ARE RELEASED ON SUCCESSFUL APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION 1. Introduction 1.1 The Home Office first considered the issue of whether, and what, assistance should be given to prisoners who were released after successfully appealing against conviction in 1998. In October of that year Lord Williams of Mostyn QC, then a Home Office Minister, indicated in response to correspondence from Members of Parliament1 that he accepted that the compensation procedure for wrongful conviction (even though an interim payment can be made to an applicant) did not provide an adequate answer to the need for immediate practical help on release. 1.2 He also indicated that he could see some benefit in assisting a voluntary sector body familiar with prisoner resettlement issues to develop, on a national basis, an advice and counselling service specifically geared to the needs of successful appellants. He noted that this approach would enable that voluntary sector body to build up the necessary expertise and knowledge, so that released prisoners could be referred to a centrally managed service rather than having to come to terms with their freedom as best they can with the help of such local resources as they can identify. 1.3 In June 1999 the Rt Hon Paul Boateng, also a former Minister at the Home Office, indicated2 that the Home Office had again considered the difficulties faced by wrongly convicted individuals who are released abruptly from prison following appeal proceedings. He noted that the issue had been considered the previous year and that it had been concluded that it would be helpful to fund a voluntary body to develop a national expert advice and counselling service geared to the needs of this group. It was decided that provision should be made for a grant to be made to a voluntary body to develop and deliver such a service. 2 The Working Group

2.1 Financial provision was made available in principle in April 2000 to enable a voluntary body to develop such a service. The Home Office Probation Unit3 convened a working group that met for the first time in July 2000. Membership of the group was drawn from Home Office Officials (including the Probation Unit, the Justice and Victims Unit and the Prison Service) and members of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) and the Society of Voluntary Associates (SOVA). Both voluntary sector organisations were chosen for their long-standing and broad experience in the criminal justice field, particularly in the resettlement of offenders.

The Rt Hon Peter Brooke CH MP and Hilary Armstrong MP In a reply to Jeremy Corbyn MP 3 The National Probation Directorate from 1st April 2001, following the establishment of the National Probation Service for England and Wales

2.2 The Association of Chief Officers of Probation was also contacted because, although the Probation Service has no statutory duty towards ex-prisoners who successfully appeal against conviction, the Home Office was aware that some services had been involved with giving advice – on a non-statutory basis - to successful appellants where advice had been requested and where local resources permitted. 2.3 The working group’s terms of reference were to oversee and direct consideration of what assistance might be given on release to ex-prisoners who successfully appeal against conviction and how that assistance might best be delivered. The group was to consider the options and report to Ministers with recommendations. No target date was set for delivery of the final report to Ministers. 2.4 Key issues for consideration by the group were: • • • • Whether there should be a scoping study (one possibility was for a joint scoping study by NACRO and SOVA) to determine the nature and extent of the need; What kind of service might be offered to clients and how those in particular need could be identified; The likely cost of the scoping work and the provision of a service; Whether a service might be run jointly by NACRO and SOVA, with NACRO contributing its housing expertise and SOVA using its national network of volunteers to deliver the service; Whether there was a role within the service for two existing resettlement projects funded by the Home Office4; and The likely time scale for completion of the working group’s consideration of the issue, their report to Ministers and the implementation of a service. The Scoping Study

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3.1 At the first meeting of the working group in July 2000, the members decided that further information was required to inform the development of the advice service. An independent consultant was commissioned5 to undertake the scoping work and to report back to the group by the end of December 2000. 3.2 The terms of reference for the scoping study were:

4 EASI (Easily Accessible Service Information) – a database of resettlement information for use by probation areas and RIAS (Resettlement and Information Advice Service) - which provides information and advice for offenders and their families. Both projects are run by NACRO 5 Mr Peter Shore was appointed to undertake the scoping work for the group on the joint recommendation of NACRO and SOVA. He is an independent consultant who works mainly with the voluntary sector. Prior to establishing his consultancy service he worked in Prison Education and with NACRO. He has also served on Home Office consultative groups relating to work with ex-offenders.

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To devise a service based on the needs of those who had successfully appealed against conviction; To investigate the potential numbers of clients and the average length of time served in prison; To consider whether the length of time served should be a criterion of eligibility for the service (ie – those having spent the longest in prison being considered a priority user for the service); To assess the likely costs of providing the service and to suggest costed options for models of delivery; To ensure that the advice service was at least equivalent to the resettlement services afforded to short sentence prisoners; To ensure that the service included advice on practical matters such as housing, employment, benefits, health and community support services and initial advice about compensation claims; and To consider the potential involvement of the statutory and voluntary sectors in the provision of the service. The Scoping Study

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4.1 The first draft of the consultant’s report on the scoping study was presented to the working group in November 2000 for consideration. The final report “Assistance to Prisoners Released on Successful Appeal against Conviction (Report of a scoping study to assess scale and nature of needs and how needs could be met)” was received towards the end of January 2001. A copy is attached for the Minister’s information. 4.2 During the scoping study work Mr Shore drew on factual and statistical information from the Criminal Cases Review Commission Annual Report for 1999/2000 and consulted a range of people with specialist expertise or relevant experience in the area. These included Home Office officials; Probation Service practitioners and senior officers; Prison Service staff; legal representatives whose clients had successfully appealed against conviction; psychiatrists with experience of the mental health issues which may arise after release; a criminologist; representatives of the Citizens Advice Bureau sited within the Royal Courts of Justice in London; the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO); and the Federation of Irish Societies. He also spoke to a number of individuals who had been imprisoned, sometimes for extended periods, before being released on appeal. Representations made during the scoping study phase 4.3 During the course of his work, Mr Shore also received a written submission from the Association of Chief Officers of Probation (ACOP). This submission was attached as an appendix to the Scoping Study Report. The primary concern raised

in the submission was that there were appropriate arrangements in place to manage the concerns and expectations of the victims in cases where the person originally convicted of the offence was subsequently released on appeal. It emphasised the need for victims to receive information about the appeal proceedings and for them to receive limited information about the outcome and support thereafter. ACOP recommended that organisations representing the victims of crime be consulted about what information might be provided, what support might be offered and how it might best be delivered6. 4.4 Mr Shore also received an outline project proposal from the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) for an advice service for those freed on appeal which could be managed and delivered through the Bureau at the Royal Courts of Justice in London (where all appellants in relevant cases are brought and released, if successful). This project proposal was also attached as an appendix to the scoping study report. 4.5 No other representations were received during the course of the work to scope the service, although one further representation7 was sent to the Home Office direct, on the advice of the consultant, in April 2000. This is explained in further detail below (paragraphs 6.7 – 6.11). Summary of Scoping Study Findings 4.6 The scoping study looked at the two primary sources of clients in need of an advice service: referrals by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to the Court of Appeal and out-of-time appeals. The Report notes that 80 per cent of the cases referred by the CCRC in 1999/2000 resulted in success for the appellant. This suggests a likely annual figure of around 15-20 new cases each year. There are also likely to be a small number of additional cases per year arising from successful out-of-time appeals. In total, the annual case load for an advice service is likely to be in the region of 70 cases per year (new referrals prior to release, existing cases - immediately after release - plus cases requiring support beyond the immediate post-release period). 4.7 The scoping study found that there was an opportunity between referral of a case to the Court of Appeal and the date of the appeal hearing – an average period of 12 months – for pre-release work with appellants. This needed to be followed up with immediate support at the Royal Courts of Justice for those freed at the court and with continuing support and help with practical matters thereafter. The scoping study therefore suggested that first contact should be made prior to release and that contact should continue throughout the appeal and be available on a tapered basis after release. With the average period in custody for this group being 10 years, it was recognised that some individuals would have been imprisoned for very lengthy periods and may need support for significant periods after release.

At the time of the ACOP submission there was no statutory duty upon local probation boards to offer a service to victims of crime. Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 placed a duty upon probation boards to offer such a service and guidance on the operation of the duty includes guidance on action to be taken by the statutory agencies in cases where there is an appeal against the conviction. 7 Mr John Kamara submitted a proposal to Home Office Ministers on behalf of “Life after Life” for a service based around residential accommodation and referral from there to specialist services/help with access to mainstream services.

4.8 The scoping study also noted that all appellants in cases referred to the Court of Appeal were brought to the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in the Strand, London, for the hearings and were often discharged there at the end of the hearing. The report found therefore that there was a need for a representative of the service to attend the RCJ for each individual’s discharge and to make ensure that immediate needs were met on the day (ie: payment of entitlement to a prison service discharge grant on release and assistance to reach the intended destination on the day of release). 4.9 The study found that the problems faced by successful appellants on release are many and varied and include obtaining sufficient documentation relating to identity, gaining access to accommodation, social security benefits, local healthcare services and other mainstream provision. They also need help with practical day-to-day matters, such as opening bank accounts. They have to cope with these problems whilst dealing with the effects of a release from long periods of imprisonment into a changed world. The study suggested that preparatory work could take place prior to release to alleviate the worst effects of these problems. Prisoners could be helped to secure any necessary documentation, provided with general information and advice and could be put in touch with appropriate contacts which would enable them to cope more easily with the challenges they face. A service could provide general advice and assistance with these matters on a one-to-one basis to help clients establish the normal entitlements of citizenship and to avoid social exclusion. 4.10 The study also found significant evidence that many individuals suffer serious psychological or psychiatric problems as a result of their wrongful imprisonment and that these problems are often not apparent until after release. The study found that expert facilities do exist for addressing these problems but they need to be accessed immediately on release and some are available only on a private basis. It suggested that the service needed to be aware of the likelihood of these problems and needed to have a mechanism in place for referral of clients to appropriate services at the right time. 4.11 The study also found that, for those who will qualify for compensation, the speed at which an interim compensation payment can be made can significantly affect the experience of the successful appellant in the period immediately after release. Not everyone is aware that they can make a claim or how to do it. It suggested that the service could seek to put individuals in touch with solicitors equipped to ensure payments are applied for as quickly as possible. It could also direct clients to specialist help and advice on money management where required. 4.12 The scoping work revealed a strong consensus that the service should be provided by a voluntary organisation that is not perceived as being for, or concerned with, ex-offenders. Wrongfully convicted people do not wish to be seen in this category. It also suggested that a completely new organisation may not be the most cost effective way of providing a service, at least in the short term. Several organisations were identified as having the potential to provide the service as part of their activities, although the study also suggested that the

service should be overseen by a steering committee of those expert and concerned in the field. 4.13 The study carefully considered the models of operation and the most suitable type of organisation. In summary, it suggested that the service would need to be able to: • • • • Keep in contact with and make visits to prisoners prior to release; Have a presence at the Court of Appeal in order to be able to give immediate assistance at the point of release; Maintain a high level of support in the early post-release period, particularly in the period before any compensation comes through; and Provide access for support on a tapering basis in the longer term.

4.14 Finally, the study made an assessment of the likely cost of providing an advice service for ex-prisoners who had been released after successfully appealing against conviction. It suggested that a service operated initially by one full-time and one part-time worker, plus administrative support and a team of volunteers could be provided at a cost of around £75,000 per year, with the potential for future fund-raising and expansion in the light of experience and evaluation of the service. 5 Potential Delivery Organisations

5.1 During the course of the scoping work, the independent consultant looked at a number of organisations within the voluntary sector as potential service providers. Three organisations emerged during the course of the study as having the potential to deliver the service and each was considered. The three organisations were: the Society of Voluntary Associates (SOVA); the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO); and the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB). Given the strong view that clients would not want to access a service provided by an organisation strongly associated with ex-offenders, the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) were not considered. SOVA 5.2 SOVA does not have such a high public profile in terms of their work with offenders as NACRO. The consultant’s view is that it is less well-known as an organisation with a focus upon offenders amongst the individuals, lawyers and professionals (other than the probation service) spoken to in the course of the scoping study work. It did not start, therefore, from a position of being totally ruled out by association with the criminal justice system or work with offenders. Nevertheless, its stated mission of “Strengthening communities and reducing crime” does indicate its beneficiaries include offenders. Indeed, to fit the proposed advice service within its charitable purposes, the work would have to be seen as coming under the heading of community safety. 5.3 However, SOVA was considered as having advantages as a service delivery organisation. It has considerable knowledge and experience of working within prisons and of working with the probation service and has credibility within these

sectors. It has, of course, considerable experience of operating teams of volunteers and trains and supports these to a high standard. It does a lot of work with people leaving residential care (where there may be some parallels in terms of helping people to adjust after institutionalisation and stigma) and has some experience of working with families. A key drawback was that, although it has a strong regional presence, SOVA does not have national coverage. Nevertheless, it could envisage operating local volunteers in collaboration with local probation services, if necessary, or providing a training/consultancy package on using volunteers to another organisation operating the service. On balance, SOVA were not thought to be the most suitable service provider. The Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO) 5.4 MOJO was set up by Mr Paddy Hill, himself a victim of a miscarriage of justice (Mr Hill was one of “the Birmingham Six”). The scoping study work suggested that MOJO already aims to do all of the work described in the project specification. However evidence from the study suggested that these aims are currently aspirational. The organisation works entirely on a voluntary basis at present, responding on an ad hoc basis to particular miscarriage cases. However, they have been able to offer temporary accommodation to several of those being released from the Court of Appeal in Mr Hill’s own house and they are able to provide continuing support through “befriending”. It was felt that they have the obvious advantage, in terms of credibility, of having been through the experience themselves. They now wish to progress their position by employing someone trained and experienced in housing and benefits advice work. 5.5 The consultant noted that MOJO have applied for charitable status for the organisation, but it was not clear at the time whether this had been granted. It was felt that MOJO had great potential but a member of their own “management committee” felt that the organisation needed more structure and direction before it would be in a position to provide the kind of service envisaged. It could, however, be of great assistance by providing contacts and information, as well as volunteers who had themselves had the same experience. The consultant’s view was that MOJO were not sufficiently well-developed as an organisation to provide the type of service envisaged. NACAB 5.6 The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux provides information and advice to around 6 million people each year in England and Wales. Advice and assistance provided to clients concerns (amongst other things) issues such as social security benefits, debt and money management, poverty, housing, homelessness, employment, help with personal relationships, health services, taxes, consumer issues and the administration of justice. The service is delivered via a network of independent CABx across England and Wales providing almost 2000 outlets in total. The advice is provided free of charge to the client, confidentially, impartially, and independently of any other organisation. 5.7 The consultant noted that NACAB has considerable experience in operating services within the legal system. More than 300 bureaux have secured specialist contracts for the delivery of advice in a range of subjects on behalf of the Legal Services Commission. The CAB Quality Assurance Scheme is convergent with

the requirements of the Community Legal Service Quality Mark, the only organisation to have achieved this to date. In addition, a number of bureaux operate services within the Court system, such as at the Royal Courts of Justice, or the County Court. A number of bureaux run services within the Prison Service and in other secure institutions (e.g. Ashworth Hospital) and there are funded arrangements in most shire counties for referral of clients from the Probation Service. 5.8 The consultant also noted the existence of the Bureau operating from premises within the Royal Courts of Justice and the Principal Registry of the Family Courts Division in London. The Bureau was established in 1978 on the initiative of the Lord Chancellor, who recognised a pressing need for the assistance of litigants in person in the Royal Courts of Justice, many of whom were below Legal Aid financial limits and could not afford a solicitor. The Bureau is funded by the Lord Chancellors Department and is run by a management group drawn from a crosssection of participants and sponsors including the judiciary, London law firms, and the Law Society. The Bureau is a member of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux. 5.9 During discussions which took place as part of the scoping study, NACAB expressed an interest in providing an advice service for the group in question. It submitted a project proposal (referred to above and included by the consultant as an annex to his report). The consultant’s view was that NACAB as an organisation has the necessary skills, expertise and infrastructure to provide a service and also has the advantage of a national network of local bureaux to which local befriending volunteers could be attached. NACAB has extensive knowledge and experience in helping disadvantaged people penetrate the complexities of housing provision, benefits, health care, etc., and of advising on budgeting and money management. 5.10 The consultant’s view was that, of the voluntary sector organisations considered as potential service providers, NACAB were best placed to meet the project requirements and to provide the necessary coverage and levels of support envisaged for those who are released on successful appeal. 6 Evaluation of the Project Proposals

6.1 The proposal put forward by NACAB was submitted to Mr Shore during the course of the scoping study work and formed part of his final report to the working group in January 2001. No other proposals were submitted to the consultant during the scoping work. However, one further proposal was received by Home Office Ministers in April 2001. This was submitted by Mr John Kamara, on behalf of an organisation called “Life After Life”. A brief summary of the evaluation of the NACAB and the Life After Life proposals against the working group’s original project requirements is set out below. The NACAB Project Proposal 6.2 The proposal explains the general context in which the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) Service operates, details the general advice and legal work service which is available, and explains the role of the Bureau based in the Royal Courts of Justice.

A copy of the full, costed, project proposal and suggested implementation plan has been submitted to Ministers for consideration along with this report. 6.3 NACAB is proposing to provide the full range of CAB services to appellants against conviction. This will include carrying out visits and one-to-one interviews with individuals in their prison location; providing support during the appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London; and providing post-release advice and support for a follow-through period whilst the individual reintegrates into society. 6.4 The proposal notes that people in situations such as these will not only feel potentially bitter, angry and confused, but will also have a range of practical needs, e.g. benefit or employment income on which to live, accommodation, reconnection with their family and friends and reintroduction to the National Insurance and tax system. NACAB states that the CAB Service has the proven detailed knowledge and experience to provide effective help with all these issues. 6.5 NACAB is proposing to employ two specialist advisers and one full-time administrator. These staff would be based at the Bureau within the Royal Courts of Justice and would be managed by the Bureau Manager. They would undertake the face-to-face support at the hearing and immediately thereafter and would work with existing staff and volunteers in their network of bureaux nationally, to provide the advice and support service on an on-going basis. 6.6 The estimated cost of the NACAB proposal is around £75,000 in a full year, including start-up, staffing and equipment costs. The Life after Life proposal 6.7 Life After Life is the organisation set up by Mr John Kamara, who was himself wrongfully convicted and spent nearly 20 years in prison before being released on appeal. During the course of the work on the scoping study the consultant spoke with Mr Kamara as an individual affected by a miscarriage of justice (at the time the work was undertaken he was not aware of “Life after Life” as it did not exist at that time as a distinct organisation). Mr Kamara expressed an interest, during his discussion with Mr Shore, in the Home Office proposals for an advice service and subsequently8 submitted his own proposals for a service. A copy of the Life After Life proposal has also been submitted to Ministers for consideration along with this report. 6.8 Although unsolicited9, the Life after Life proposal was nevertheless assessed against the working group’s original project specifications. The proposals are based upon (i) the acquisition, maintenance and staffing of residential accommodation for up to six individuals on a short-stay (6 months) or longer-term (unspecified) basis, and (ii) establishing a fully staffed outreach office within the residential premises which would liaise with a nationwide support network to
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In April 2001. No proposals were formally invited by the Home Office. The initial proposals from both NACAB and Mr Kamara’s organisation were both unsolicited. The NACAB proposals were submitted to the consultant during the period in which he was undertaking the scoping work and the Life After Life proposals were submitted to Home Office Ministers after receipt of the final scoping study report.

provide telephone advice and outreach representation in respect of housing, welfare rights and any other practical and emotional support. 6.9 Life After Life proposes that the specific needs of residents would be provided for by on-site key workers who would contact the outreach office who would then access or provide referrals to specialist services on behalf of the resident. 6.10 The Life After Life proposals envisage a total staffing complement of 13 (1 project manager, 1 deputy manager, 7 project support workers, 1 case worker, a liaison officer, 1 person to provide administrative support and a cleaner for the residential accommodation). The project would be overseen by a steering group, headed by Mr Kamara. 6.11 The estimated cost of the Life After Life proposals are around £250,000 for staffing in a full year (excluding cleaning services), plus the annual cost of the residential accommodation (rental or mortgage repayments), plus one-off start-up costs (computers, a project vehicle and domestic equipment and furnishing costs for the accommodation) plus annual utilities and general office running costs, plus the ongoing costs of buying in specialist services for residents. The Life After Life proposals detailed the anticipated salary costs for the project staff but otherwise did not contain estimates for other costs associated with the project. 7 Consideration of the Findings of the Scoping Study Report

7.1 The working group reviewed Mr Shore’s report in January 2001 and accepted that it provided a deliverable blueprint for the establishment of an advice and information service for released prisoners who had successfully appealed against conviction. However, the group also noted that considerable additional work was required before a clear, final service requirement could be agreed. This was largely in recognition of the fact that the report described a “market” which was very immature. In light of the consultant’s report, the group concluded that the most effective way forward would be to work with an existing potential provider to develop proposals and to test those proposals during a limited pilot exercise. 7.2 On the evidence of the consultant’s report and the working group’s assessment of the proposals submitted by NACAB and by Life After Life, the group concluded that NACAB was best placed to meet the project requirements. The “Life after Life” proposal was assessed against the project specification but, on the basis of the documentation submitted in April 2001 (which advocated a service based around residential accommodation and full-time one-to-one case working with links to an outreach office), the group considered it to be outside the scope of the proposed service in terms of fundamental design and the cost. 7.3 On that basis, representatives of NACAB were invited to attend the February 2001 meeting of the Home Office working group to present their project proposal and to discuss the proposed service. They were subsequently invited to submit a more detailed project proposal for consideration by the group10.

NACAB’s initial outline proposals were first considered in September 2001 and subsequent versions were considered in December 2001 and in January 2002. NACAB received no funding from the Home Office for development of the project proposals.

7.4 No other organisations were invited to present proposals to the working group. This was due to the lack of any alternative suitable service provider being able to provide equivalent levels of support on a national basis within the available resources. 8 Additional arrangements for the advice service

8.1 In addition to the findings in relation to the front-line delivery of the advice service, the scoping study report also suggested that there should be some form of advisory group or steering group to oversee the project during its initial phase (the working group has taken this to be the first twelve months of operation). The NACAB proposal includes provision for a steering group and it has been agreed that Home Officials officials will have a seat on any steering group. 8.2 The working group has additionally considered how best the interests of organisations such as MOJO, Life after Life and The National Federation of Irish Societies might be taken into account. More specifically, the group wanted to ensure that their individual insight into the situation of those wrongfully convicted and collective experience and knowledge could be drawn upon to inform future development of the service. The group agreed that, once Ministerial decisions had been taken about the initial phase of the project, there should be consultation with interested groups about the extent and nature of the input from interested parties. 9 Timing and Implementation

9.1 NACAB have produced and submitted a draft implementation plan for their proposed advice service. This envisages (subject to Ministerial approval for the project) that they would require three months to establish the necessary internal management structures, to undertake recruitment and training of project staff, to set up the infrastructure (including accommodation and equipment), and to publicise the availability of the service. 9.2 This would be followed by a further three-month period in which the first cases would be referred to the service. Although the service would be operational during this period, project staff would continue to undergo further induction and in-depth training and plans would be developed and agreed for a formal project launch. During this period a network of CAB workers would be established and they would also receive training. 9.3 At the end of the first six month period the project will be formally reviewed and any service improvements will be made in the light of experience of the first tranche of cases. 10 Funding the proposed project 10.1 Funding for the project was made available in principle by Home Office Ministers in April 2000. It is envisaged that the service will be run initially as a pilot project for a period of twelve months and that staffing levels will be at the

level suggested in the scoping study report. At this point there will be an evaluation of the first year’s operations. 10.2 The intention is to fund the pilot project through grant or grant in aid, rather than as a contracted service for which the Home Office would undertake a formal procurement. Therefore no formal procurement or contracting process for the proposed pilot service has been undertaken and no formal contract will be awarded. The decision to fund the proposed pilot service in this way does not preclude a formal procurement exercise for future service provision in the light of the results of evaluation of the pilot service. 10.3 The proposed pilot project is expected to cost between £75,000 - £100,000 in the first year of operation. This estimate includes the costs of staff salaries and associated costs, office costs, and capital equipment. Accommodation costs are effectively met by the Court Service, which provides the Bureau at the RCJ with accommodation, lighting and telephone service free of charge. 10.4 We anticipate that the running costs in years two and three will be of a similar amount but, clearly, this may be reviewed in the light of experience. 11 Arrangements for Monitoring & Evaluation 11.1 It is anticipated that the pilot project will be continuously monitored and that limited evaluation will take place on a quarterly basis by NACAB’s own Board of Trustees and by the Project Steering Group. 11.2 The aims of the monitoring and evaluation will be to establish whether the specified levels and quality of service are being delivered, to assess the level of current and likely future demand and the financial viability and control of the service in the future. Decisions can be made about adjustments or enhancements to the service in light of this information. 11.3 It is expected that the Home Office will receive regular progress reports, together with an Annual Report and audited accounts for the project. These reports may also be made available to project partners and other interested parties. 12 Conclusions and Recommendations 12.1 The Home Office working group has considered the information and findings in the independent consultant’s scoping study report. The group has noted, fully considered and accepts the suggestions therein and is grateful to Mr Shore for the thorough work he has undertaken in relation to this issue. 12.2 The group has concluded that the report provides a solid basis upon which to build and deliver an advice/support service for those who have been released on successful appeal against conviction. The group accepts the suggestion that the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) are currently best placed within the voluntary sector to provide the required service.

12.3 After careful consideration of the proposals received, the group has agreed to adopt, at least during the pilot phase of the project, the service delivery model outlined in the NACAB proposal. This delivery model will be reviewed in the light of information from the monitoring and evaluation of the project. 12.4 The group also concluded that there are a number of related issues raised within the scoping study report to which further detailed consideration should be given and will be making recommendations to Ministers separately on these matters. Recommendations The working group recommends that: Ø An advice and support service should be established to assist individuals who are released after successful appeal against conviction; Ø The service should be run as a pilot project, initially for a period of twelve months but with an option to extend for a further period in the light of results from the monitoring and evaluation reports; Ø The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) should be invited to deliver the advice service during the pilot phase in line with the project proposals submitted during the scoping study and that the Home Office should provide project funding for this purpose; and Ø Further consideration should be given to Ø the mechanisms through which individuals and organisations with an interest in this area might provide input to the future development of services in this area and Ø such other matters as appear to the group to contribute to effective service delivery for this group.