Integrated Offender Management National Conference 2012
Author: Home Office
This report provides a summary of the addresses given by the speakers at the 2012 Integrated Offender Management conference, which took place on 3 and 4 July.
The speakers were:
Jaee Samant, Director, Crime, Home Office
Juliet Lyon CBE, Director, Prison Reform Trust
John Long, Assistant Chief Constable, Avon & Somerset police
Sally Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Avon & Somerset Probation Trust
Martin Jones, Deputy Director (Sentencing, Neighbourhood Justice and Transparency), Ministry of Justice
Professor Paul Senior, Hallam Centre for Community Justice, Sheffield Hallam University
Ken Gallagher, Head of Operations & Tactics, Prevention; Serious Organised Crime Agency
Alice Hopkins, Deputy Director, Enforcement and Foreign National Offender Removals; United Kingdom Border Agency
Claire Wiggins, Head of Public Protection Partnerships; National Offender Management Service
Nick Herbert, MP, former Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime
Duwayne Brooks, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association Safer and Stronger Communities Board
Simon Marshall, Head of Health and Wellbeing Co-commissioning, National Offender Management Service
Paul Chandwani, Deputy Head of Drugs and Alcohol Unit, Home Office.
John Drew, Chief Executive, Youth Justice Board
Clive Martin, Director, CLINKS
DAY ONE – TUESDAY 3 JULY 2012
Jaee Samant – Director, Crime – Home Office
Jaee Samant opened the conference. She spoke about the role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) – the most fundamental reform to policing in over a generation – and their relationship to IOM.
She also spoke about the potential for local areas to consider options for extending the scope of local IOM arrangements, and how these could help to rationalise the local strategic landscape.
PCCs would provide an opportunity for local leaders to review the local landscape, and to simplify and streamline ways of working wherever possible, making full use of local IOM arrangements to remove duplication, reduce costs and tackle issues in a joined up problem-solving way, in order to deliver local solutions to local problems.
In 2013/14, PCCs would receive funding from a new, un-ring-fenced, Community Safety Fund, to be used to help deliver commitments in the local Police and Crime Plan. Pre-existing Home Office community safety funding would end at that point.
The arrival of PCCs and the consequential ending of direct central funding for the Drug Interventions Programme and Positive Futures did not mean that tackling drug-related crime or youth crime prevention should not be seen as a priority locally – this would be a matter for local determination. The Home Office would continue to provide non financial support for areas that wished to continue with these approaches.
Jaee also referred to the consultation on the future of probation: Punishment and Reform: Effective Probation Services. This set out a possible future direction for probation services, firstly, in becoming accountable to PCCs, and, secondly, in potentially taking on responsibility for probation services in the future. The real strength of IOM lie in building a joined up approach to all of the crime threats faced by the local area, from the early onset of youth crime at one end of the spectrum through to the local arrangements for managing the most violent of serious sexual offenders at the other. There were a number of different partnership approaches that looked at aspects of these issues for local communities, and IOM potentially provided an opportunity for bringing some of these together to achieve some rationalisation of the local landscape.
Jaee left the conference with a set of challenges:
how to use IOM most effectively to bring greater coherence to local arrangements;
how best to use the IOM approach to remove duplication wherever this exists, in order to maximise the outcomes for the community from the resources invested;
ensuring that the local approach addresses all of the crime threats faced by the community, set against a clear focus on local needs and priorities; and
ensuring that no offenders likely to cause serious damage to the community are allowed to fall through the gaps between existing programmes or approaches.
Juliet Lyon CBE – Director - Prison Reform Trust
Juliet Lyon focused her address on work with women offenders. While dealing with relatively small numbers compared to male offenders, the interventions required are often different to those for men, and the implications of sending women to prison (about 10,000 women are received into custody each year) could have a profoundly damaging impact on their children, with long-term implications for the community, including early onset of criminality.
Most women offenders sent to custody receive very short sentences. Last year 58% were sentenced to custody for six months or less. The Chief Inspector has just reported that the average length of stay is 29 days at HMP Eastwood Park for example.
Short sentences provide little opportunity for meaningful intervention or rehabilitative support and increase the risk of the individual losing benefits or work, tenancies or hostel places in the community, rising debts, as well as separation from children and increased stress and mental health problems. While representing only 5% of the total prison population, women account for around 47% of all self harm incidents in prison establishments each year.
Juliet also noted that up to two thirds of women leaving custody are reconvicted within 12 months.
There have been a number of positive developments: these include the provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to restrict the use of remand; the development of women’s centres following the Corston review; diversion and liaison schemes in police stations and courts across England, and the use of conditional cautioning.
In addition, Juliet suggested that the local IOM framework would provide a real opportunity to address the factors in women’s lives that may increase the risk of re-offending.
Work to address drug and alcohol dependency is vital to this. Child care provision would also increase compliance with community orders. She highlighted the plight of the many women who are victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and those foreign national women who are coerced or trafficked into offending. Police and probation services, and others in the criminal justice system, have the difficult job of responding to women as perpetrators of petty, often persistent offending, and at the same time needing to respond to those who have been victims of serious crime.
Juliet also spoke about the potential for making better use of restorative justice approaches for low level or first time offences. Rapid assessment by agencies could identify risks and protective factors which could inform the joint decision making about level and nature of offending and appropriate response. More serious offenders or persistent offenders could, with good information exchange, be dealt with by the courts informed by timely reports as to the availability of effective community measures in most cases.
Juliet concluded by asking delegates to send any examples of their own practice in work with women offenders to the Prison Reform Trust which would then ensure that those are profiled locally and nationally.
Conference Session 1: IOM from partnership perspectives
This part of the conference comprised three presentations, from: i. John Long, Assistant Chief Constable, Avon & Somerset police and Association of Chief Police Officers lead for IOM; ii. Sally Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Avon & Somerset Probation Trust and Probation Chiefs Association lead for IOM; iii. Martin Jones, Deputy Director (Sentencing, Neighbourhood Justice and Transparency), Ministry of Justice.
i. John Long
John Long focused on three themes:
He said that, over the last three years, the IOM approach had developed from the ground up, through the evaluation of a number of IOM “pioneer areas”. These had made the case for a whole new approach to rehabilitating offenders. The bar was still set very high, with IOM now being seen as a cost effective way to reduce crime and the number of victims.
New directions: was about thinking about what the response should be to different groups of offenders who might not normally hit the threshold for inclusion in local IOM cohorts. In addition to women offenders – the theme of the presentation given by Juliet Lyon – partnerships might want to consider expanding the focus to include dangerous offenders, particularly those falling outside local MAPPA arrangements.
New partnerships: IOM also provided opportunities for developing new partnerships, including the voluntary and community sector, charities, and new types of joint ventures incorporating Payment by Results approaches, which offered opportunities to pool resources and help spread risks. It was, however, important that the increased competition did not inhibit the sharing of effective practice between areas and agencies. In the current climate – now more than ever was the time to seek to bolster resources to maintain local IOM approaches.
New governance: PCCs represented a major change to local arrangements, and represented both an opportunity for local IOM arrangements, but also a risk that local priorities might not make it into the PCC’s manifesto, given the size of police forces areas.
John concluded his presentation by saying that local IOM partnerships needed to keep the bar high. It would be important for local areas to help their PCC to understand the case for IOM and how it could support the delivery of their priorities around crime and community safety. Local areas had access to the toolkits on the Home Office website, which would help them to set out the investment case for IOM.
ii. Sally Lewis
Sally covered four key issues in her presentation:
(a) the Government consultation – “Punishment and Reform: Effective Probation Services”. The Probation Chief’s Association supported competition aimed at breaking the cycle of offending and rehabilitating offenders, and welcomed the proposal to devolve commissioning responsibilities to Probation Trusts. However, they did not support the proposal to split up the different types of case management of offenders and offer for competition the case management of low risk offenders.
(b) Payment by Results: in general the Probation Chief’s Association support the government’s intentions to introduce PbR and welcome an approach that focuses upon outcomes rather than processes. There was already a considerable amount of experience in areas of working with PbR models, including the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme. The Department for Communities and Local Government Troubled Families work presented another example of PbR approach currently in place. PbR was one method to encourage more joint working, local innovation and sharing of good practice, but the supply chain needed to be developed to provide clarity as to where payments are earned. PbR was also a method of supporting local areas in considering new and innovative ways in which the voluntary and community sector can be equal partners in the delivery of approaches and outcomes. These joint venture opportunities present as very similar to IOM arrangements for working together. It was crucially important that commissioners aligned outcomes to facilitate effective joint ventures and avoid conflicts. At present police and probation outcomes do not align to best advantage.
(c) Links between IOM and Troubled Families: the programme aimed to ensure that 120,000 troubled families were turned around by the end of the current Parliament. The programme was about changing the way that services were delivered. It was important that local IOM partnerships had a direct link into the programme and the IOM principles could be extended into this work.
(d) Developments in the application of IOM principles: local areas can consider more integrated work with women offenders and offer pathways designed for women service users rather than adaptations of male pathways. The focus of IOM has been on working with those at high risk of reoffending and this approach is now being applied to those at high risk of harm and presenting issues of public protection. Sussex and Surrey have already been undertaking this work. The application of IOM principles, with this group, needs to be appropriately synchronised with local MAPPA arrangements where the cohorts combine. It is important for local IOM partnerships to consider how IOM principles can inform other areas of practice. In Bristol there are plans for IOM principles to be applied to victims and witnesses services in order to deliver more coherent and high quality services that represent better value for money. Restorative justice approaches can also more routinely be built into the local IOM arrangements.
Sally concluded by talking about the benefits of offender journey mapping examining the experience of services users in order to make real and measurable improvements. She cited the independent research conducted by Novas Scarman in 2010 on Offender Journey Mapping with clients from Bristol IMPACT which demonstrated that this approach was extremely well received by the recipients of the interventions. Clearly this had much to contribute to the desistance approaches organisations were already pursuing to achieve effectiveness and reductions in crime and in reoffending.
iii. Martin Jones
Martin outlined the principles that would be covered within the Government’s White Paper on Criminal Justice Reform and covered the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
The Criminal Justice System is important to the public, but 45% of the public felt that the system was not effective. On average it takes 179 days to take a case to conclusion and it takes 157 days to get the case to court, with considerable variation for different types of offences, with risks of continuing offending in the meantime, and on victims’ and witnesses’ recollection of events.
The public saw a difference in the CJS response to the riots. Courts were open 24/7 and dealt with 1,000 people in a week. The CJS rose to the challenge with CJS agencies working well together to make this happen. Transparency is important, targets have been removed and information is published.
The White Paper focuses on the need for a clearer system, more effective case management, streamlined forensic reports, early guilty pleas to bring cases to conclusion within weeks rather than months and on how to engage and grip offenders at an earlier stage – this last point particularly relevant in the context of IOM.
Martin concluded his presentation by saying that he was a firm supporter of IOM. It made sense that agencies work together to get best value, whilst working with offenders to reduce crime and victimisation.
Conference Session 2: IOM skills and workforce development
This session comprised a presentation by Professor Paul Senior, Hallam Centre for Community Justice, Sheffield Hallam University.
Professor Senior provided an overview of the IOM e-learning platform which was formally launched at the conference. The platform would allow local areas to develop their own and bespoke IOM training and learning packages, as well as being a repository of key documents and information.
The e- learning platform comprised:–
a knowledge repository –focused on policy documents, practice guides, video clips, podcasts to enable ideas, thoughts and challenges to IOM to be captured;
problem solving with examples of workshops/workshop templates; and
toolkits to support effective practice.
The platform also had a discussion forum which allowed lOM practitioners to share their thoughts, ideas and views.
The e-learning portal can be accessed at http://cjp.org.uk/iom-elearning/.
Conference Session 3: from the local to the national
This part of the conference comprised three presentations, from:
- Ken Gallagher, Head of Operations & Tactics, Prevention; Serious Organised Crime Agency;
- Alice Hopkins, Deputy Director, Enforcement and Foreign National Offender Removals; United Kingdom Border Agency;
- Claire Wiggins, Head of Public Protection Partnerships; National Offender Management Service.
i. Ken Gallagher
This presentation focused on the work of SOCA, which was set up to tackle complex, serious and organised crime. Ken Gallagher set out the approach that SOCA takes to this. He spoke about specific projects and types of crimes, which often had a serious international perspective to them.
SOCA’s approach is to map out the crime, examine the processes, enablers and vulnerabilities, the reasons why a crime is committed such as motivation and benefits.
SOCA also conducts lifetime management of those they designate as persons of interest.
Work with the victims was a priority with wraparound services to victims via the police, crime stoppers, social services, local media and victim support.
The challenge for the conference was the potential links between offenders who might be managed under local IOM arrangements and more serious crime networks. Where areas were beginning to broaden the focus of their IOM approach, such links might become increasingly prominent.
ii. Alice Hopkins
The purpose of this presentation was for Alice Hopkins to raise awareness of some of the issues that IOM partnerships might face when dealing with foreign national offenders. She spoke about the links between UKBA removal enforcement activity and work with other agencies with regards to the management of foreign national offenders. In relevant cases, UKBA can offer a removal process under immigration legislation, which works well within the prison setting and is developing its role with other law enforcement agencies. Two examples were set out one on prevention and one on tackling foreign national offenders.
On prevention, the Stoke placement pilot was set up in response to concerns about the concentration of foreign nationals in low cost housing and the impact on the local community. The pilot challenged local agencies and the community to do things differently to support effective integration.
On tackling foreign national offenders, the example of Operation Bite in London was cited. This was a joint operation between UKBA and the Metropolitan Police with the aim of identifying the most harmful foreign national offenders. The team consisted of 10 police officers and 10 immigration officers and had a positive impact in relation to the successful deportation of top offending foreign national offenders through immigration legislation. IOM was seen as an opportunity to support this work and offer a greater co-ordinated approach. If local IOM partnerships had foreign national offenders on their caseloads, they should make contact with UKBA to consider the management options.
iii. Claire Wiggins
Claire set out the background to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and also sought to provide clarity on what MAPPA is and does, and what it does not do.
MAPPA is a set of arrangements involving the police, prisons, probations to form a partnership, with a duty on other agencies to co-operate. It is delivered locally and manages serious sex offenders and violent who pose a serious risk of harm to the public. There are three levels of MAPPA management and overall around 50,000 offenders are covered through under local arrangements.
Level One represents the normal inter-agency management of the offender in the community by one agency, with some liaison. 45,000 offenders are managed at level one. Level Two means that Multi Agency Public Protection meetings (MAPPs) will be held where the offender's management will be discussed between various parties involved in their case. Level Three sees senior management representatives in attendance and greater resources are expected to be used in the management of the offender. A management plan is highly specific to each offender and their offending history and will include both restrictive and rehabilitative elements.
The focus is on managing risk as effectively as possible. So before a management plan is put in place, a detailed risk assessment takes place to identify the circumstances and opportunities that are most likely to lead to a further serious offence in this particular offender and the steps that can help reduce this risk. Risks are regularly reviewed, due to rapid changes with the direction.
On links between MAPPA and IOM, IOM provides an overarching framework that will recognise that some offenders in the local area may be subject to MAPPA, but that this may not cover all violent offenders. MAPPA is statutory, unlike the voluntary nature of IOM and the local nature of the delivery model. This should not, however, prevent effective sharing of information locally, to ensure that the local area has optimum arrangements for reducing all types of crime, offending and victimisation in the local area.
DAY TWO –WEDNESDAY 4 JULY 2012
Nick Herbert, MP, then Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
The Minister began by expressing his strong support for Integrated Offender Management, thanking all those who helped to deliver local IOM approaches. The Minister had seen for himself what IOM can deliver. It was one of the reasons why crime was coming down, but he believed that the approach had potential to deliver even more.
The Minister spoke about the importance of tackling re-offending, including by addressing the factors which increased the risk that an offender would re-offend – this was part of the Government’s rehabilitation revolution agenda. The Payment by Results models which were currently being piloted, with their focus on outcomes, were an important part of the approach.
Smart on crime
The Minister spoke about the challenge of directing resources upstream, to prevent onset of crime in the first place, whilst also preventing re-offending and escalation of offending, in a smart and sustainable way. IOM offered an approach to help deliver this.
Accountability – Police and Crime Commissioners
The Minister spoke about the issue of accountability within the criminal justice system. One of the successes of IOM was that it was built around the idea of joint responsibility, working together with a common mission and recognising the benefits of a more efficient use of resources.
Police and Crime Commissioners represented a real opportunity to drive cooperative working even further. Police and Crime Commissioners would play an important role in helping to draw together the coherent delivery of services in the areas of crime prevention and upstream work, and in securing reductions in re-offending.
The Minister said that it was in the interests of all who are working hard to reduce re-offending to support the wider role of Police and Crime Commissioners, beyond their enforcement role. The public would want people who are leading the fight against crime and ensuring public safety, whose insight included stopping escalation into criminality, and the further escalation when re-offending is not dealt with properly.
Criminal Justice reform
The Minister spoke about the imminent launch of the White Paper on criminal justice reform (“Swift and Sure Justice: The Government’s Plans for Reform of the Criminal Justice System” published 13 July). This would include a strong focus on sure justice: ensuring that the system deals with offending behaviour, and the underlying causes that need to be addressed, from the earliest point of offending. The ongoing role of Integrated Offender Management would be an important feature of this.
The Minister spoke about the Government’s health reforms. Dealing with mental health issues had placed a significant burden on the criminal justice system. There was now an ambition on the part of the health service to recognise that dealing with these issues is part of the public health agenda.
Devolution of responsibility
The Minister spoke about the importance of the Government’s approach to devolve responsibility to the local level. There had been a real handing down of responsibility to local areas to decide how to work together and decide what is effective in securing reductions in re-offending and the best use of resources. This freedom was precisely why IOM had flourished.
The Minister concluded by saying that he had been encouraged by what he had seen of the effectiveness of IOM in different areas. IOM was a common sense approach, yielding significant outcomes for local communities.
Conference Session 2: IOM futures
This part of the conference comprised addresses, from:
- Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
- Duwayne Brooks, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association Safer and Stronger Communities Board.
i. Stephen Greenhalgh
The Deputy Mayor opened his presentation by talking about the transition from the Metropolitan Police Authority to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime; and set out the general context for policing and crime in London: a huge economic engine generating £1.4 billion in business rates, with a third of the population from minority backgrounds; a hub for tourism, but with the challenge of a stark polarisation between the rich and the poor. All of this presented significant challenges for policing and crime reduction. Set against this, there is one Mayor, 32 boroughs and the MPS with strength of almost 50,000 staff, of who around 32,000 were officers.
The Deputy Mayor’s vision for London was for it to be the safest global city in the world, with the most efficient and effective police force, and all public service agencies working together to reduce crime and reoffending. His key priorities were focused on: crime prevention; police accountability; justice, and offender re-entry, with success factors around holding the MPS to account in cutting crime by 20% over the next 4 years; increased public confidence that the police are doing a good or excellent job – up to 75%; more visible policing; and success in reducing costs without impacting on frontline performance.
On IOM specifically, a diverse approach was needed across London recognising the differences between, and sometimes within, boroughs, but this did not prevent the articulation of key overarching principles relevant across the capital, and a common focus on outcomes, supported by the London Crime Reduction Board.
The Deputy Mayor also talked about the value of sharing best practice, whether locally, on a national basis or even internationally.
The Deputy Mayor spoke about the importance of accountability, leadership and genuine partnership working, with the right devolution of authority to the most appropriate level – in many cases this might be the neighbourhood level.
All of this had to be achieved whilst managing with less. The key to this rested on the 3 “Rs”:
- release under-utilised assets, and save operating costs;
- reduce overhead in delivering public services, and
- reform the delivery of local public services – do not try to do the same with less – if you do have to do it, do it differently.
ii. Councillor Duwayne Brooks
Councillor Brooks opened his presentation by saying that were too many victims and too many communities afffected by crime and addressing this was a key priority for local government. Tackling offending and reducing re-offending was essential to creating safer and stronger communities.
Councillor Brooks spoke about the importance of a multi-agency local response to crime and offending, and the value of local councils and councillors becoming involved in local IOM arrangements.
There were opportunities and challenges moving forward, including:
- Public sector reforms: proposals relating to the future of probation services to include larger trusts that could overlook local knowledge but provide greater efficiencies and range of specialised services. The LGA welcomed the development of localised services including the possibility of making trusts accountable to councillors.
- New approaches: the Troubled Families and community budgets programmes provided opportunities to address total needs of families and communities rather than individual issues or services.
- Bringing together all these changes: local partners will need to consider how best to work together, and consider accountabilities for reducing re-offending. Local commissioners needed to take a strategic approach to local service delivery. This was complex but an area where local government has experience and can support commissioners.
- Payment by Results (PbR): the focus on local outcomes was welcomed. Pilots were underway and these enabled the focus to be on local needs and outcomes. PbR also encouraged diverse partnerships to address specific needs. The area of concern for the LGA was ensuring outcomes were genuinely local, which may differ from the binary measure for re-offending outcomes.
Central Government should enable localities to develop their own approaches. A multi-agency approach such as IOM was crucial in keeping reducing re-offending high on the agenda.
The local justice reinvestment pilots also provided opportunities to work together to identify costs and problems within local commissioning and partnership arrangements.
Councillor Brooks’ own council for example, Lewisham, had identified that the pathways for offenders to access help and support were complex and confusing. Lewisham developed an IOM model focused on the single outcome of reducing re-offending.
One organisation was given responsibility and a contract was placed on a PbR basis. The organisation was paid more for working with offenders with a higher risk of re-offending. Evaluation of the pilot is being undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University.
Restorative justice and Neighbourhood Justice Panels provided further opportunities for local partners to involve communities in reducing re-offending.
Councillor Brooks concluded his presentation by saying that in future commissioners must work together and that councils have a depth of knowledge and experience that local IOM partnerships should make full use of.
Conference Session 3: IOM: broadening the scope
This session comprised of addresses, from:
- Simon Marshall, Head of NOMS Health and Wellbeing Co-commissioning
- Paul Chandwani, Deputy Head of the Home Office Drugs and Alcohol Unit
i. Simon Marshall
The focus of the presentation was on the implications of health reforms in England on the commissioning of services for people in contact with the criminal justice system.
Evidence suggests that those in contact with the criminal justice system disproportionately experience health challenges. For example, many offenders experience significantly greater health problems than the general population – both in terms of prevalence and severity – and yet these needs are more likely to be unmet by mainstream health and care services for variety of reasons, including access and use of services.. The linkages between tackling the wider determinants of poor health and offending are well understood by both health and criminal justice agencies which is why there is cross departmental commitment to ensuring that recent reforms support shared outcomes.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 made significant and important changes to the way that services will be commissioned in England. From April 2013 there will be three groups of commissioners who will have an important role in commissioning services for those in contact with the Criminal Justice System:
- first, GPs and other clinicians will come together in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). These CCGs will be responsible for commissioning the majority of healthcare services for those in the community including mental health services;
- second, dedicated commissioners within the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for commissioning all health services for people in prisons as well as services in other places of detention including the juvenile secure estate, police custody and court services.
- finally, Local Authorities will take responsibility for commissioning public health services including drug and alcohol treatment services for those not in prison or a place of detention as well as continuing to be responsible for commissioning social care services for both adults and young people.
Health and Wellbeing Boards in each top-tier local authority will have a key strategic and planning role in bringing together local authorities, the local NHS and communities (with other key partners) to consult with local communities and produce Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and joint health and wellbeing strategies to underpin local commissioning plans and service planning. The Act specifies the statutory minimum membership for local boards but leaves local discretion to invite other key stakeholders, for example local criminal justice representation. It is important to recognise that many of the statutory members of Health and Wellbeing Boards are also statutory members of local Community Safety Partnerships which will help support joint health and criminal justice outcomes.
The presentation concluded by highlighting some of the key opportunities and challenges presented by the reforms which included:
- the marshalling of evidence based approaches on what is working;
- focusing upon shared outcomes and investing in these across partner organisations for sustained planning and delivery;
- maximising local determinism and best use of available resources
Simon concluded by talking about the opportunities these reforms presented for local IOM arrangements both in terms of thinking and working differently. Increased recognition of the need for joining up local planning for populations and identifying shared outcomes were at the heart of both IOM and the health reforms and provide a good basis for working together in future.
ii. Paul Chandwani
Paul talked about drugs and alcohol and the links and challenges from the perspective of IOM.
The 2010 Drugs Strategy had three main strands:
- Reducing Demand;
- Reducing Supply; and
Drugs were the biggest driver for crime and organised crime gangs were involved in drug trafficking whilst the cycle of dependency increased the risk and likelihood of re-offending.
Promoting and enabling recovery was a shift in focus with treatment as the first step in the process with housing and employment supporting the individual.
Recovery was a step change and was probably the main area of the strategy most relevant to the offenders that local IOM partnerships were working with. The complex needs of these individuals required input from employment, accommodation, mental health and social care, as well as drug treatment.
Conference Session 4: IOM: broadening the scope 2
The final conference session saw two further addresses, from:
John Drew, Chief Executive, Youth Justice Board.
Clive Martin, Director, CLINKS.
i. John Drew
The presentation looked at the involvement of Youth Offending Teams in local IOM arrangements, and focused on three specific areas relevant to the IOM agenda.
Firstly, prevention: there was a range of initiatives to encourage the reduction of first time entrants into the youth justice system, including the Troubled Families agenda, tackling serious youth crime and violence, encouraging restorative justice approaches, gathering and disseminating effective practice and other schemes for early intervention with children and building desistance.
Secondly, working together to reduce offending and re-offending: there had been a significant reduction in the number of young people in custody – down to 700 young people. This had been achieved through the use of custody as a last resort and re-directing resources into other effective interventions. This begged a question about why the same phenomena had not been seen for young adults.
A range of initiatives were underway to help reduce offending and re-offending and the use of custody. There was partnership engagement through resettlement consortia. Localised accountability through the Youth Justice Reinvestment Pathfinder being run in four areas to make upstream investment in prevention and early intervention in order to drive down the use of custody. There was also the development of a revised assessment system which was less intensive and freed YOT workers time to do rehabilitative work with young people and new fields had been introduced covering mental health and language.
The third area was transitions into the adult justice system: there were a number of initiatives underway to deal with the transition from the youth justice system to the adult criminal justice system. These included the YJB led youth to adult transitions framework, the NOMS led protocol for transitions within custody, the Youth to Adult (Y2A) Portal and the Youth to Adults Transitions Forum.
John Drew said that it was important that youth justice formed an integral part of local IOM arrangements. YOTs provided the gateway for a great many young people who found themselves within the adult criminal justice system.
John concluded his presentation by focusing on three key developments or challenges:
significantly fewer resources - impacting on the YOTs’ ability to deliver effective interventions and affecting the YOTs structure and place within the local authority;
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act – the creation of a single remand framework and associated changes, sentencing changes and the budgets for custody being moved out to local authorities which may facilitate upstream investment to where the resources can have the greatest impact; and
Introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) – the YJB was excited about PCCs and felt that this presented a huge opportunity. Government was committed to stripping the bureaucracy away and there was an opportunity to use the downturn in offending to secure resources to focus on the serious young offenders within the youth justice system.
ii. Clive Martin
Clive’s presentation focused on the role of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in IOM, posing the question: added value or embedded value?
Some initial context was provided on the VCS and on their role in providing services to support reducing offending/re-offending, including work with individuals and families. VCS assets were embedded in the local community, which was the context in which efforts to tackle offending behaviour take place.
In terms of the VCS role in IOM, Clive made reference to the work CLINKS had led for the Home Office on building VCS involvement in local IOM arrangements, which had clearly demonstrated the value of full engagement with the VCS at the commissioning stage – as equal partners with statutory agencies – rather than solely a delivery agent.
The work for the Home Office had been evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University and the findings demonstrated the benefits of VCS involvement which included:
- speed of delivery with the VCS;
- key role of Local Support and Development Organisations (LSDOs) in mapping VCS stakeholders and brokering engagement with operational team under IOM arrangements;
- need for a Single Point of Contact in VCS organisations
- need for every area to have an identified led VCS body; and
- use of small seed corn grants (around £1,000-£2,000) to community groups to generate momentum.
There remained five key challenges:
- Strategic engagement – where and how were the VCS engaged at a strategic level within local IOM arrangements?
- Resources – not just about money but about having an understanding of what resources exist within the local community and how these could be utilised;
- Doing this without public confidence in the Criminal Justice System – working with offenders was not necessarily an easy sell;
- Diversity – the VCS can help statutory agencies engage with hard to reach groups and individuals;
- Service user engagement – the VCS had a crucial role to play in getting close to service users and their views on existing services.
As part of the Safer Future Communities programme, CLINKS were leading a partnership which had put in place a VCS network in every police force area to allow the sector to engage with Police and Crime Commissioners and other commissioners with one voice.
Clive concluded the presentation by saying that the sector was willing to collaborate and work with local IOM partnerships.