Aim of the costing exercise
The aim of this exercise was to explore the cost of IOM offenders to local agencies using a case study approach; identifying the cost of services provided to a selected offender over a twelve month period.
This report therefore details:
How the offender was selected
The profile of the offender
The data collection period
Data collection methodology
The results of the data collection
A 'technical appendix' has also been included which provides a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred by each agency.
As part of this costing process, the evaluation team have developed a costing methodology that can be utilised by local agencies to gather similar data and calculate costs for other IOM offenders.
Selection of the offender
The offender chosen for the initial exercise was selected based on the following critieria:
An IOM offender on an onerous community sentence and have spent most of the last 12 months in the community;
A diverse range of needs covering several of the seven reducing re-offending pathways;
Diagnosed with mental health issues;
A problematic drug user or alcohol user; and
At high risk of re-offending and be a Tier 3 or 4 offender in terms of risk of harm.
The decision was also made to pick an offender from Brighton and Hove because this is an area with a unitary local authority and this might make some of the identification and collection of data easier.
Finally an offender was selected who had had the same Offender Manager for the recent past, again, to make the identification and collection of data easier.
The offender selected by the Probation Trust was an IOM offender with a long history of offending. He was released on licence in November 2010 and recalled to prison towards the end of September 2011. During July and August 2011 he served a Fixed Term 28 day recall.
The index offence for which he was on licence was Supply Class A drugs. He had multiple needs, covering accommodation, drugs misuse, alcohol misuse, mental health ( he had been diagnosed as having a personality disorder and had a significant history of self-harming and suicide attempts), 3 relationships ( choosing vulnerable and chaotic females as partners), and lifestyle (associating with antisocial peer group). He had limited contact with his family and so was quite reliant on support that came from partnership agencies.
Data collection period
Data was collected for a twelve month period from mid-September 2010 to mid-September 2011 – the point at which the offender was recalled to prison.
Data collection methodology
Starting the data collection process
Data was first collected from the Probation Trust. The offender’s Offender Manager consulted contact notes with the offender and diary in order to identify the time that they had put into the offender’s case. This included face-to-face contact with the offender, the completion of assessments and reports relating to the offender and liaison with other agencies in relation to the offender. The list of agencies that they had liaised with formed the basis of requests to those other agencies for information on the time and resources that their staff had put into the offender’s case over the same time period.
Local agencies incurring costs
Based on the list produced by the Offender Manager, the other agencies identified as incurring costs during the relevant 12 month period were as follows:
The Sussex Police who were involved in management of the offender in the community through IOM and who also carried out a number of searches of the offender and arrested the offender a number of times;
Glenwood Lodge Hostel, a housing provider that the offender resided with during the time he was in the community and who also provided housing support services to the offender;
CRI, a health and social care charity that provided substance misuse services to the offender and also provided information about specialist prescribing to the offender;
Mental health services that the offender was briefly in contact with during the twelve month period;
NHS services that the offender received; and
Brighton Magistrates’ Court that the offender appeared before.
Attempts were made to request data from all of these agencies, with the exception of the mental health services and the NHS services. As a substitute, some broad estimates of likely NHS costs have been made based on information (provided by some of the above agencies) about the type of health interventions received by the offender.
For all agencies data was requested on time spent on the offender’s case by front-line, service delivery staff. This included face-to-face contact with the offender, the completion of assessments and reports relating to the offender and liaison with other agencies in relation to the offender. Annual salaries for the relevant staff were either requested from the agencies, or a mid-salary estimate was used. Salaries were for the 2010-11 financial year and in all cases a twenty per cent uplift was made to allow for on-costs (National Insurance and pensions). Salaries plus on-costs were then converted into hourly rates by dividing the annual salary by 16501. In some cases some additional resource usage, other than the salaries of front-line staff was also captured, so, for example, the cost of housing included an estimated cost of the accommodation and the cost of police arrests included an estimate of the costs of holding an arrestee in police custody.
The estimates of the cost of the offender to local agencies over a recent 12 month period are likely to be under-estimates of the true cost of the offender to those agencies. In addition to paying the salaries and on-costs of front-line staff, local agencies will also bear a wide range of other costs such as the cost of managers, buildings, utilities, ICT, ‘back-office’ functions such as payroll and finance, transport and staff training. However, the time and resources available for this exercise precluded detailed information on all of these costs being collected and we assume that, for most service-delivery agencies, staff salaries and on-costs will account for a substantial majority of the organisation’s overall costs.
Over a 12 month period from mid-September 2010 to mid-September 2011 we documented costs to local agencies from working with the offender of £60,805.55. A breakdown of these costs by local agency is set out in Figure 1.
Cost over 12 months
| Probation Trust
|| £ 2,356.36
| Sussex Police
|| £ 4,796.04
| Magistrates Court
|| £ 208.00
| Glenwood Lodge Hostel
|| £ 33,382.07
| CRI and NHS drug treatment services
|| £ 3,785.45
| Prison Service
|| £ 10,384.62
|| £ 5,893.00
Figure 1: Costs of an offender to local agencies over 12 months
The proportion of costs incurred by local agencies is set out in Figure 2. The largest proportion of the costs was incurred by Glenwood Lodge Hostel (55 per cent) followed by the Prison Service (17 per cent).
Appendix 1 - Technical appendix
More detail is provided in this appendix on how costs for each agency were calculated.
Surrey and Sussex Probation Service
The Offender Manager calculated the time she spent on the offender’s case. A breakdown is set out below.
Hours over 12 months
| Probation appointments ( based on thrice/twice weekly reporting)
| Calls made to Offender
| Prison visits made to Offender
| OASYS assessments
| Enforcement/ recall paperwork
| Offender Manager discussion of case with manager re risk/noncompliance
| Offender Manager contact with housing providers
| Offender Manager contact with drugs misuse service( CRI/SMS)
| Offender Manager contact with MH services ( CMHT)
| Offender Manager contact with prison (OS)
| Offender Manager contact with ASBO team
| Offender Manager contact with hospital
| Offender Manager contact with Social Services
| Case conference with partnership agencies
| Referrals made to housing providers ( council/hostels)
| Total time spent over 12 months by the Offender Manager.
The mid-point salary for a Probation Officer in 2010-11 was approximately £32,000. Allowing for 20% on costs this rose to £38,400. This equates to an hourly rate of £23.27 assuming 1650 annualised hours.
The cost of the offender to the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust was therefore £2,356.36.
Eight Stop records over 12 months. Offender was searched on 7 of these occasions. Each search encounter was most likely conducted by a pair of Police Officers and may have taken around 15 minutes on the street followed by 5 minutes administration later on. The total time for the 7 search encounters is estimated as 4.67 hours.
The offender was arrested 6 times over 12 months for offences including Recall to Prison. Following the Centre for Social Justice assessment (undated) we assume that evidence-gathering and preparation for an average arrest requires 6.5 hours of police time. We have assumed that this is Police Constable time. Note that various estimates for the time associated with an arrest are in circulation. For instance, the Home Office (2006) in their "Efficiency Planning Toolkit – Ready Reckoner", cite earlier work, PA Consulting Group's 'Diary of a Police Officer' and HMIC's 'Diary of Two Constables':
"Arresting someone - no matter whether they are a petty criminal or a serious offender - keeps officers off the beat for as much as 3.5 hours - often for far longer."
An arrest will be followed by a period of time in police custody. For the offender's 6 arrests these times are shown below.
| Arrest One in Police custody for 101 minutes
| Arrest Two in Police custody for 1088 minutes
| Arrest Three in Police custody for 491 minutes
| Arrest Four in Police custody for 996 minutes
| Arrest Five in Police custody for 1101 minutes
| Arrest Six in Police custody for 1452 minutes
It was recently reported in the national and local press that, for Sussex police "The bill for the first eight hours in a basic custody cell is £359, with the price dropping to £205 for every subsequent eight-hour period." (Daily Mail 2011). Custody costs for each arrest have been calculated accordingly.
Thirty five intelligence reports about the offender were submitted to the IOM team. The police estimate that each report would have taken the submitting officer around 5 minutes to write, and the receiving officer 5 minutes to process. It has been assumed that all time was incurred by Police Constables, although in reality some reports could have been submitted by less highly paid Police Community Support Officers. However, the time involved in each report is very small and so even if this was the case it would be unlikely to significantly change the estimates.
The police were involved in a number of IOM joint appointments with the offender, the time for which was estimated by the police to be 2.5 hours in total.
The mid-point on pay scale for a Police Constable is £31,9172. Allowing 20% on costs (NI and pensions) this rises to £38,300.40. Dividing this figure by 1650 we calculate the hourly rate for a Police Constable as £23.21.
Taking account of time spent on searches, arrests, intelligence reports and IOM case conferences The total Police Constable time over the 12 months is estimated as 52 hours. At an hourly rate of £23.21 this is a cost of £1,207.04. The cost of custody is estimated as £3,589.00. The total cost for the police is therefore £4,796.04.
The offender appeared in court twice. Once he appeared on bail charged with theft. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a conditional discharge of 12 months and order to pay £25 costs. The second time he appeared on bail charged with drunk and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a £50 fine or 1 days detention. Consideration was given to a drink banning order but this was not imposed. Court officials estimate that on both occasions the court session would have lasted approximately 15 minutes. This estimate is slightly lower than estimates derived by Ipsos Mori (2011)3 from an extensive programme of observational research in courts across England and Wales. They found that, on average, lay magistrates took 20 minutes and 52 seconds to deal with a case. However, District Judges took, on average, 14 minutes and 52 seconds to deal with a case.
Ipsos Mori (2011) estimated the cost of a case, taking account of the costs of lay magistrates or the salary of a District judge, the cost of court staff, the cost of lawyers and legal aid the cost of premises and the costs of other professionals typically present, such as police officers. They estimated that the cost of a summary case in a magistrates court was £104 in 2008/9 prices.
We therefore estimate the total cost of court resource as £208.
Glenwood Lodge Hostel
Offender resident at Glenwood Lodge from 15/11/2010 - 14/09/2011 a total of 43.5 weeks. However, during this time there was one 28 day stay in prison, reducing the total stay to 39.5 weeks.
The basic cost of a week’s stay at Glenwood Lodge is £396.10. This consists of Housing Benefit of £195 and a Supporting People grant of £201.10. This cost includes £219.76 per week to cover support costs (staff time). This covers 4.6 hours of staff time per client per week. However, the offender used substantially more staff time than is allowed for in the weekly charge. Glenwood Lodge estimated that the offender required a minimum of 2 hours staff time per shift and 1 hour per night totalling 6 hours of staff support time per day or 30 hours per week. Some of this time would be with his keyworker in structured sessions but the majority would be ad hoc with the offender demanding staff time/input at the front desk and requesting meetings with the Managers if he did not get the response he required from the staff team. Allowing for support time built into the standard weekly cost it is estimated that the offender received an average of 25.4 hours of additional staff time and this would be mostly keyworkers time but would also include Supported Housing Assistant, Night Hostel workers and Managers time. A breakdown of this additional time across different staff roles in set out below. Staff salaries (including on costs) and an hourly rate calculated by dividing the total salary cost by 1650 annualised hours is also included.
|Staff potentially involved with offender
||Salary including on costs (NI, pensions, etc.)
||Cost per hour
||Estimated additional hours per week for offender
|Deputy Manager -
|Night Hostel Workers -
|Supported Housing Assistant -
We therefore calculate, based on the table above that the average weekly cost of additional staff time is £449.02. When added to the standard accommodation cost this amounts to a weekly cost of £845.12. Multiplied by 39.5 weeks this comes to a total cost of £33,382.07.
CRI and NHS substance misuse costs
The offender was in contact with community-based drug services for approximately 40 weeks of the 12 month period (for the remainder of the 12 months he was in custody and may have been in contact with prison-based services). During those 40 weeks the offender would have a one hour, planned appointments each week. He would occasionally drop in for extra support, this would depend on his support needs at the time so could be once or up to five times a week. It has been assumed that the average was an extra 1 hour per week of contact time. In addition to an average of 2 hours per week contact time, drug workers would spend additional time on paperwork (filling in TOPS forms, care plan reviews, etc.). This could take between half an hour and an hour per week depending on any changes to offender's script/care plans. This time has been estimated here as half an hour per week.
Annual salary for a drug worker is assumed to be £24,000 plus on costs (NI, pensions) of 20%) giving total of £28,800. When divided across 1650 annualised hours this gives an hourly rate of £17.45. The
total weekly drug worker cost for face to face time and paperwork is therefore calculated to be £43.64.
Throughout his time in the community CH was scripted, this has been either through the substance misuse service or via his chemist. The cost of specialist prescribing for substance misusers is calculated as £51 per user per week by Curtis (2011). The reference costs come from an NTA study and are 2009/10 costs that have then been uprated, by Curtis to 2010/11 costs using the Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) inflator.
Multiplying the weekly cost of drug worker time and the cost of specialist prescribing by 40 weeks gives a total of £3,785.45.
The 12 months assessed for this exercise saw the offender in custody for 12 weeks out of 52.
Various estimates exist for the cost of custody. The Prison Reform Trust (2010) suggest a figure of £45,000 per year based on running costs. This equates to weekly cost of £865.38. Once inflation is accounted for, this seems broadly consistent with a National Audit Office (2008) estimate that a 6 week stay in prison costs £4,500.
Multiplying the weekly cost by 12 weeks gives a total annual cost to the prison service of £10,384.62.
No direct contact has been made with the NHS and so the estimates that follow are based on reported interventions received, provided by other agencies.
The offender was hospitalised on a handful of occasions, one of which was self-harming. He attended his GP weekly to get medication and the local run Substance Misuse Service ( NHS service) daily to get his methadone. It transpires that he was also accessing drugs services (run by NHS) out of the area at the same time to get more diazepam. The cost of specialist prescribing has been calculated as part of the estimate of drug treatment costs. No attempt has been made to cost the additional 'out of area' prescribing.
The cost of a weekly GP consultation is £36, based on an 11.7 minute consultation where the cost of a GP in a clinic or surgery is £3.10 per minute (Curtis 2011). It is assumed that a weekly consultation was required to issue the prescription. Not knowing anything about the nature of the offender's condition(s) or prescription any other assumption is difficult to sustain.
The weekly prescription cost per consultation is 42.70 based on Curtis (2011).
The national average cost of a non‐elective inpatient stay in a hospital, where the stay is of a short duration is £549 (calculated by Curtis (2011) based on NHS Reference Costs of selected adult health services. All costs have been uprated by Curtis (2011) to 2010/11 levels using the HCHS Pay & Prices inflator).
It is assumed that there were 5 non-elective admissions during the 12 months.
During the 12 months offender was in the community for approximately 40 weeks. Total NHS costs are therefore estimated to be £5,893.00.