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PROLIFIC AND OTHER PRIORITY OFFENDERS

GUIDANCE ON LOCAL AREA AGREEMENTS (LAAs) FOR GOVERNMENT


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Introduction

1. From April 2007, all LAAs must now include the mandatory indicator on
reducing re-offending under the Safer and Stronger Communities Block. The
mandatory indicator is:

‘Reduce the proportion of adult and young offenders, and prolific and other
priority offenders who re-offend’

2. This is a mandatory indicator because tackling re-offending is a key


element of the Government’s strategy to reduce crime. The explicit inclusion of
Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs) recognises the disproportionate harm
caused to local communities by this relatively small group of offenders.
Successfully reducing offending by PPOs will have a disproportionately positive
impact on crime, re-offending and quality of life.

3. The 3 components of the mandatory measure – adult offenders, young


offenders and PPOs - should be viewed separately for the purpose of the LAAs.
In other words, there will need to be separate measures relating to reducing re-
offending amongst each of these defined groups. This guidance relates to the
PPO element of the mandatory indicator only.

The NOMS measure on Adult Offenders

4. We expect there to be an adult re-offending measure developed by NOMS


for the purpose of the adult re-offending element of the indicator. Full details are
available in Luke Edwards’ note dated 25th August 2006.
Young offenders

5. Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) collect data on youth re-offending, which


they return to the Youth Justice Board annually. This data can be used to
measure the young offender’s element of the mandatory indicator (for those re-
offending within either 12 or 24 months). YJB LAA guidance is now available on
the YJB website.

Mandatory PPO Indicator

6. Pending development of the NOMS adult re-offending measure, we have


decided to continue with the current approach to PPO within LAAs. We will
consider how best to ensure consistency between the NOMS and PPOs
measures once the former becomes available.

7. Therefore to ensure that LAA negotiations on PPO do not result in any


increased burdens on local areas, we suggest that the measures used derived
from current systems; i.e. the PPO Performance Management Framework
measures and data collection arrangements, the use of JTrack and the national
PPO evaluation strategy. This approach has been agreed with the PPO leads in
Government Offices.

8. To simplify the process, we recommend that the LAA include a clear


outcome measure. The mandatory indicator is to reduce re-offending amongst
PPOs and the LAA will therefore need to include a measure of the change in
offending behaviour amongst PPOs. There is no perfect measure of
offending/re-offending, and the most robust proxy measure is reductions in
recorded convictions amongst a specified cohort of PPOs during the life of the
LAA cycle (3 years). Using convictions is consistent with the methodology being
used in the national evaluation of the PPO programme. There is no objection to
supplementing convictions data with additional (and possibly more timely) proxy
measures, such as arrests and/or charges. But we do recommend that any such
measures be related to convictions data, as the hardest evidence of change in
offending behaviour over time.

9. We recommend that the outcome measure be included within a basket of


measures, complemented with one or a combination of process measures which
should also lead to positive outcomes, and which are essential to the delivery of a
successful PPO scheme.

10. A full list of possible PPO measures is at Annex A, in a checklist format.

Project Team Contacts

11. The work on PPO LAAs will continually evolve and due to this there are
two people available to answer questions as they arise. Please feel free to
contact them:

Gregg Mead
PPO Programme Team
Offender-base Interventions Unit
Home Office
0207 035 0321
Gregg.Mead@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Subash Sharma
PPO Programme Team
Offender-base Interventions Unit
Home Office
0207 035 0101
Subash.Sharma@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Annex A
MANDATORY INDICATOR: Reduce the proportion of PROLIFIC AND OTHER PRIORITY OFFENDERS who re-offend

Basket of measures:

Measure Baseline data/source Performance/Target-setting

OUTCOME MEASURE
Reduce recorded KEY ISSUES: The interim PPO evaluation
convictions of identified Define the PPO cohort: report showed that, on average,
Prolific and other Priority PPO schemes had realised a
Offenders • where possible all of the PPO cohort should be tracked . However, 10% reduction in PPO
consideration should be given where any PPOs will be in custody for a convictions in the first 8 months
large proportion of the LAA cycle; of the programme. We have,
therefore, used a reduction of
• by time frame: for example: 15% per annum as a guide.
• start date on the scheme between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008 Areas can consider whether this
• it is recognised that the impact of the PPO programme takes time is too high or low, based on the
with PPOs and the cohort should be tracked across the whole LAA evidence drawn from last year’s
period or a minimum of 2 years. PPO PMF data. (The PMF
currently collates previous
Measure reoffending by comparing conviction data; it may also be
sourced from PNC)
a) Convictions recorded in the 12 months prior to starting on the scheme with
b) Convictions recorded in the year following the PPOs start date on the Because of the relatively small
scheme caseload, both PPOs and their
convictions should be recorded
both in numbers and in %age
LAAs could also consider reduced seriousness of offending, evidenced by terms in the calculations for this
comparing the nature of previous convictions and any convictions incurred indicator
while the PPO is engaged in the PPO scheme
Reduced risk of This is not acceptable on its own as a measure of the mandatory indicator, as it
reoffending as indicated does not guarantee or demonstrate reduction in actual offending (as opposed
by OASys scores to risk of offending) amongst PPOs. There is, however, no objection to
including this as a supporting process measure.

ADDITIONAL LAA INDICATORS

Increase the proportion PPO schemes collect this data as part of measure 10 on the PPO PMF Evidence that an increase in
of PPOs judged as PPOs in appropriate
having sustainable and Probation areas have also collected data for a shadow measure now being accommodation has led to a
settled accommodation developed by NOMS, on suitable housing at the end of supervision since April reduced re-offending as a
on release from custody 2006. In the first instance, partnerships should seek the baseline for this positive outcome will be
or at the end of their measure from Probation partners. OASys data is the preferred dataset (but accepted.
contact with probation see below)

Increase the proportion PPO schemes collect this data as part of measure 15 on the PPO PMF
of prolific and other
priority offenders who Baseline data is currently collected by prison and probation, and collated locally
successfully achieve the by PPO scheme coordinators for recording on the PPO PMF; upper tier LAAs
Basic Skills Award will need to aggregate current performance from their constituent schemes, and
set an appropriate target in consultation with the LSC OLASS leads

An increase in the Baseline data on this measure is easily accessible especially to intensive
proportion of those DIPs. NTA also hold relevant data.
PPOs who are
assessed as having a
drug problem that The NTA has issued a definition of ‘Retention in treatment’ i.e. PPOs who
requires an intervention, begin drug treatment in prison and continue on release through the DIP
who are retained in drug programme is accepted to have been retained in treatment
treatment for at least 12
weeks prior to discharge