KENT AND MEDWAY RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME OPERATING PROCEDURES INTRODUCTION 1.

The Kent and Medway Resettlement Programme (K&MRP) consists of two separate projects recently merged into an overall programme to facilitate the effective resettlement of both short-term prisoners and those released on licence. This is a multi-agency programme involving statutory and non-statutory agencies, as well as those from the voluntary sector. The programme aims to address the offending needs of all prisoners released into the Kent and Medway community.

BACKGROUND 2. This model draws together the experience gained from two previous projects of a similar nature; the Short Term Prisoner Project (STPP), and the Medway Prolific Offenders Project (POP). The STPP was piloted between HMP Canterbury, Kent Probation Area (KPA) and Thanet police, the aim being to break the reoffending cycle of short-term prisoners released to the Margate area. The Medway POP was another inter-agency project piloted between HMP Elmley, KPA and Medway police and aimed to tackle re-offending amongst prolific offenders. Both projects were actively supported by the local employment services, benefits agencies, health authorities, and district councils, as well as other statutory and voluntary organizations.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES 3. The objectives of the K&MRP are to: 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Reduce re-offending by known prolific offenders Protect the public. Provide effective community-based prisoners following detention. resettlement of short-term

Break the re-offending cycle of prisoners, and reduce the number of offences committed. Provide community-based interventions and treatment to address offender needs. Provide alternatives to long term unemployment and skills deficits. Reduce crime, the number of victims of crime, and the fear of crime, in line with Kent and Medway’s Community Safety Partnerships. Share and increase knowledge of the criminal activities of prolific offenders, when other interventions fail.

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PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION 4. The programme is particularly innovative in that it provides a structured and coordinated multi-agency response to offenders prior to and following release into the community, based upon a formal risk assessment and individual case conferencing, the intention being to break the criminal re-offending cycle. Its innovation comes from the following fundamental factors: 4.1 It harnesses the capacity and range of the Probation, Prison and Police Services in Kent, along with other agencies, collaborating to reduce reoffending by some of the most persistent offenders who come through the criminal justice system. It further seeks to break the ‘revolving door’ cycle of re-offending by shortterm prisoners who have hitherto been released without the benefit of statutory supervision or support in the community. Other than the prolific offender element of the programme, which is compulsory, it is inclusive and dependent on active engagement with the offender who participates on a voluntary basis.

4.2

4.3

5.

The programme provides for three groups of prisoners : 5.1 Short-term Prisoners (sentenced to less than 12 months), who are identified as having extensive offending-related needs, and who have unacceptably high reconviction rates. The number of offenders in this group is large, with this category of prisoner committing the majority of crime and accounting for the majority of those sent to prison each year. Participation in the programme is voluntary. Persistent Offenders, aged 18 and over and serving less than 4 years (ACR), who are known to be responsible for a significant amount of acquisitive crime, whether highlighted through conviction or intelligence. The aim with this group is to reduce the level of re-offending or, where this fails, to disrupt criminal activity through custody or the court process. It is intended that this should be achieved through intensive supervision using a combination of agencies. Participation is compulsory, as candidates will be subject to additional licence restrictions, ensuring participation in the programme. Other Offenders, aged 18 and over, and sentenced to 12 months or more but under four years (ACR), will be subject to a standard licence on release. If the Probation Caseworker believes the Case Conference multiagency approach might be beneficial to the licence supervision, they may liaise with the Prison to arrange for that offender to be discussed at the next case Conference.

5.2

5.3

PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT Managing Agency 6. Kent Probation Area of the National Probation Service is the Managing Agent for the statutory prisoner element of this programme.

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7.

Kent Police is the Managing Agent for the short term prisoner element of this programme.

Steering Group 8. A Steering Group has been formed of senior members of the Police, Probation and Prison services, and other participating agencies as appropriate. The Steering Group contributes to the review process through the receipt of quarterly reports on programme participants. The composition of the Steering Group is at Annex A. The group assists the Practitioner Group in altering, developing or supplementing the programme where necessary and will ensure that practitioners are kept up to date on development issues. The steering Group is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate monitoring and evaluation progress is undertaken and that the operational guidelines are followed. Every opportunity to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the programme will be taken.

9.

Steering Group - Specific Roles 10. The specific roles of the Steering Group are to: 10.1 Monitor progress, oversee evaluation and undertake review. 10.2 Develop, maintain and monitor communication protocols between agencies. 10.3 Ensure good two way communication with the practitioner group. 10.4 Resolve strategic level inter-agency issues. 10.5 Ensure operational delivery. 10.6 Develop the programme, in particular taking opportunities for accessing new funding to support it. 10.7 Promote the work of the programme.

The Practitioner Group 11. A Practitioner Group will meet regularly to review progress and report elements of the programme and the progress of participants to the Steering Group on a quarterly basis. 12. The Practitioner Group will be formed from members of the participating agencies who are actively involved in the day to day operation of the programme. Practitioner Group - Specific Role 13. The specific roles of the Practitioner Group are:
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13.1 Assess individuals, plan and deliver intensive supervision programmes to individual offenders. 13.2 Access services to support the plan of supervision. 13.3 Meet regularly to ensure the smooth running of the programme. 13.4 Contribute to monitoring and evaluation process. 13.5 Record activity and outcomes. 13.6 Share and report intelligence appropriately. 13.7 Take appropriate enforcement action. 13.8 Identify and facilitate any training needs, as appropriate. 13.9 Report to the Steering Group. 14. The composition of the Practitioner Group is at Annex B. SHARING OF INFORMATION 15. The targeting of individuals for all elements of the programme is based on what is known about their past behaviour. This may be a combination of previous convictions, known offending behaviour and police intelligence. 16. Information sharing between agencies involved is based on the management of risk that these individuals are assessed to pose to the community. 17. The intensive level of intervention is based on the potential impact on the community of re-offending by these individuals based upon volume and the acquisitive nature of their re-offending. 18. Information sharing between agencies involved is on this basis and will not include personal information which is not relevant to the management of risk. 19. A separate Memorandum of Understanding covering information sharing between the lead agencies is at Annex C. Prisoner consent forms for voluntary candidates and Release Declaration Forms for other candidates are at Annexes D and E.

ASSESSMENT AND THE SELECTION AND REFERRAL PROCESS Overview 20. An information sharing protocol between Kent Probation Area, Kent Police and the participating prisons informs an in-depth risk assessment, leading to a thorough induction process on reception to prison. This induction enables the Programme Co-ordinator, a peripatetic Prison Officer dedicated to this role, and the police Community Support Officers, to identify the offending motivators of potential candidates and determine the appropriate level of intervention. In the case of prolific offenders, potential candidates are referred to the probation
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service for approval for inclusion in the programme (see ‘Selection and Referral Process’). 21. Examples of interventions are work in partnership for those released on ordinary licence; adding an additional restriction and intensive supervision to the licence of prolific offenders; or the voluntary element relating to short-term prisoners and supervision by the Police in the community. 22. A multi-agency case conference is then called, where each candidates' offending needs are assessed. These conferences take place in the areas into which the offenders will be released, and involve the participation of local representatives of each agency. This has proved to be a well-liked and effective method of co-ordinating inter-agency activity, enabling individual offenders to make appropriate decisions whilst providing visible means of support. Every candidate receives a release plan that outlines their responsibilities and details the agreed community-based support. 23. The programme has proved to be immensely popular and has underlined the notion that many agencies are working to support the same people. A collaborative approach is to the benefit of all, including the families of the offenders, who have also provided positive feedback. In support of the programme, three dedicated ‘Job Centre Plus’ staff (one for each participating prison) and two housing advice centres have been established and a key factor in the success of the project has been greater inter-agency training and cooperation. More targeted release plans have been developed and the programme is now able to identify those offenders who have genuinely reached that life changing moment where they wish to change. 24. In support of the programme, Kent Police has employed nine Community Support Officers to act as a dedicated link between the Police and the various partner agencies. Volunteer Mentors form the Probation Service and the Diocesan Council for Social Responsibility (through the Lottery-funded scheme called “Routes to Resettlement”) are also involved, providing an element of guidance and oversight to short-term prisoners who do not normally receive Probation supervision when released. The Prison Service has appointed a dedicated Prison Officer to the programme, again as the link between the Prison Service and the various agencies and to assist appropriate candidates to take part in the programme. 25. A diagrammatic representation of the entire process is at Annex F. Assessment Criteria 26. Candidates for the Programme may be male or female, must be aged 18 years of over, and be released into Kent or Medway, or be of no fixed abode having been sentenced by a Kent or Medway court. Owing to the very different profiles of the three groups provided for by the programme, the assessment criteria for each of these groups differ significantly. Detailed criteria for the three groups are at Annex O Selection and Referral Process 27. As with the assessment, the selection and referral processes and agency responsibilities differ according to the type of candidate involved. Detailed selection and referral processes are contained in the task profiles and responsibilities of the Prison Service Programme Co-ordinator and
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Administrator, Police CSOs and the Probation Service at Annexes G, H and I respectively. A summary of processes is as follows: 27.1 Short-term Prisoners. The Programme Co-ordinator attends all participating The Coprisons on a regular basis to undertake prisoner induction. ordinator will identify all prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months (Automatic Unconditional Release – AUR) who also fit the assessment criteria. These prisoners are invited to join the programme, being advised that this is on a voluntary basis. Volunteers for the programme then sign a compact to confirm their willingness to take part and to agree to data sharing. This information is then passed to the Police CSO with responsibility for the area into which the prisoner will be released. The CSO then commences the research phase to confirm the suitability of the candidate. Once a decision has been made, this is conveyed to the Programme Co-ordinator who includes, or otherwise, the candidate in the programme. 27.2 Prolific Offenders. At prisoner induction, the Programme Co-ordinator forwards to the relevant CSO a list of all prisoners sentenced to 12 months or over, but less than four years (Automatic Conditional Release - ACR), who are being released into Kent or Medway, or who will be of no fixed abode having been sentenced by a Kent or Medway court. These details are then passed to police intelligence units for identification as candidates for the prolific offender element of the programme. These details are then passed to the appropriate Senior Probation Officer (SPO) who will confirm, or otherwise, that the candidate is suitable for inclusion in the programme. It is important to note that the Probation Service has absolute primacy in dealing with offenders serving sentences of 12 months or more. The SPO will apply to the prison for extra licence conditions/restrictions to be effected. Once a decision has been made, this is conveyed to the CSO and then the Programme Co-ordinator who includes the candidate in the programme. The consent of the candidate is NOT required. 27.3 Other Offenders, aged 18 years and over, and sentenced to 12 months or more but under four years (also ACR) are subject to a standard licence on release. However, basic details of these offenders are also passed to relevant SPOs along with details of prolific offender candidates. If the Probation Caseworker believes a multi-agency approach might be beneficial to the licence supervision, they may liaise with the Prison to arrange for that offender to be discussed at the next case Conference. MULTI-AGENCY CASE CONFERENCE Overview 28. As soon as is practicable, a Multi-Agency case conference is held to discuss prisoners selected for all elements of the programme. Conferences are held every six weeks within each geographical area and are chaired by the Prison Service. Attendees are pre-notified by the Prison Service of the time and venue of the meeting and, where possible, of the candidate details. Prior to the meeting, the Prison Service Programme Co-ordinator drafts an assessment form for distribution at the conference. A copy of the blank form is at Annex N. 29. At the commencement of the meeting, a statement of confidentiality is read to all attendees, emphasising the requirement for all persons and agencies involved to adhere to the Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act and the Memorandum
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of Understanding in place for this project. A copy of the statement is at Annex M. 30. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that all agencies are aware of the ‘big picture’ and how each can influence the resettlement process. The inter-agency contribution is enhanced by arranging personal visits prior to release, and selecting the best agency to lead on difficult issues, such as accommodation and post release support for drug and alcohol issues. Appointments are also made with the Job Centre Plus and details included within the Prisoner Release Pack. A detailed description of the service which can be provided by Jobcentre Plus is at Annex J. Details of agencies that may also attend case conferences is at Annex K. In many cases, the agency representative who attends the Case Conference will be the same person who meets the participant prior to or upon release. Case Conference - Terms of Reference 31. The following Terms of reference apply to inter-agency Case Conferences: 31.1 To make recommendations for a suitable strategy for the remainder of the participant’s sentence, complementing the release strategy. 31.2 To agree a multi-agency strategy to help prevent re-offending, which will commence upon the participant’s release. 31.3 Care is to be taken with regard to resource availability, and strategies adopted are subject to review and adjustment. AGENCY VISITS 32. Prior to the participant’s release, arrangements are made for agency visits and interviews in custody, such as those by housing providers, Job Centre Plus, Police and Probation staff and Mentors. HOME DETENTION CURFEW 33. Some prisoners may become eligible for Home Detention Curfew (HDC) while in custody. Otherwise known as electronic tagging, HDC can accelerate the release process by up to 135 days. This emphasises the need for early risk assessment, particularly in the case of short-term prisoners. ENFORCEMENT – POST RELEASE Offenders Undergoing Statutory Supervision

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34. Post-release enforcement is a key element of the programme for all offenders other than short term prisoners, whose participation in the programme is voluntary; it demonstrates to all parties and agencies that the safety of the community is paramount in the process. Success is not only defined by good outcomes for individuals completing the programme but also by prompt enforcement action, where necessary, which reduces the potential for further offending by early intervention, swift police action and/or recall to prison. Enforcement responsibilities and action are as follows: 34.1 Enforcement and breach procedures are the statutory responsibility of the Probation Service. 34.2 Enforcement action will be in accordance with National Probation Service (NPS) national standards. 34.3 The SPO will take a final decision where there is a dispute in the practitioner group. 34.4 Evidence of breach of licence will be presented to the Sentence Enforcement Unit by the Probation Service in accordance with existing procedures. 34.5 All Agencies working as part of the Practitioner Group will report failures to comply with conditions to the Probation Officer immediately. 34.6 Unacceptable behaviour within any of the project reporting requirements may be a cause for breach proceedings being commenced. 34.7 Each Agency will agree the consistent application of the rules and interpretations to be applied for identifying unacceptable misses and unacceptable behaviour. Short Term Prisoners 35. Participants in the short-term element of the programme do so on a voluntary basis, and there is currently no supervision by Probation caseworkers. However, most participants have contact with CSOs and Probation or “Routes to Resettlement” volunteer Mentors as well as other participating agencies. Mentors are a key element to this part of the programme in that they are able to provide practical support and encouragement to the offenders that would not be otherwise available. The responsibilities of Probation Mentors are at Annex I and the service provided by Routes to Resettlement is at Annex L. 36. Although continued participation in the programme by AUR prisoners can not be enforced, the participating actors and agencies can provide information on the activities and behaviour of individuals that can assist public protection. THE REVIEW PROCESS – EVALUATION
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37. The programme will be evaluated throughout its lifespan. Rather than providing a ‘snapshot’ of the programme, this will be a longitudinal study using both qualitative and quantitative data. Evaluation will be based upon re-offending rates in Kent, compliance with national standards, including recall, the seriousness of re-offending, and will include sources of social support, offender and Mentor feelings and attitudes, as well as other data such as demographics and participant profiles. 38. Evaluation will be carried out by the Psychology Department at the University of Kent (at Canterbury). SUMMARY/THE FUTURE 39. The K&MRP aims to reduce re-offending, assist in rehabilitation and increase public protection. It is an ongoing process that is subject to development and change. It should be noted that there is a strong desire to include the female estate, which will inevitably occur at some juncture. There will also be an impact with the implementation of ‘Custody Plus’, which is due for introduction within the next few years and which, as yet, cannot be assessed.

Annexes: A. Steering Group B. Practitioner Group C. Memorandum of Understanding D. Prisoner Consent Forms – AUR Prisoners E. Release Declaration Forms - ACR Prisoners F. Process Diagram me G. Prison Service Co-Ordinator and Administrator responsibilities H. Police CSO responsibilities I. Probation Service Responsibilities J. Service provided by Job Centre Plus. K. Case Conferences – Suggested Attendance L. Routes to Resettlement M. Short Term Prisoner Discharge Agreement N. Prisoner Assessment Plan O. Prisoner Selection Criteria

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