A new integrated offender management system has slashed crime by more
than half in a two-year period, a new report by the Hallam Centre for
Community Justice shows.
The research was carried out on behalf of the Sussex Criminal Justice Board (SCJB) by the Hallam Centre for Community Justice (HCCJ) at the University.
It demonstrates that the use of a new Integrated Offender Management (IOM) framework cut the proportion of offenders reconvicted in Sussex by 57 per cent, and the frequency by 69 per cent over a two-year period from October 2010. As a consequence, the number of people who were victims of crime also fell.
IOM is an overarching framework that integrates the work of probation services, police, local authorities and other agencies, to provide a high level of monitoring, supervision and support to offenders. It allows different agencies to work together and pool resources to ensure that those offenders whose crimes cause most damage and harm locally are managed in a coordinated way.
Kevin Wong, deputy director of HCCJ, who led the research team, said the system was also proving more cost-effective in Sussex.
He said: "Although this research only looks at arrangements in Sussex, it does indicate that the IOM system can have dramatic effects on reoffending rates and the frequency of crime. This research adds to a growing evidence base about how probation services could be run in the future."
Local approaches differ from area to area, reflecting local priorities and this can be seen in other research work conducted by HCCJ for the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice (see note 3).
The research into the programme in Sussex was commissioned by the Sussex Criminal Justice Board, which is made up of Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust, Sussex Police, West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.
Nick Smart, Vice-Chair of the Probation Chiefs Association said: "The Probation Chiefs Association welcomes this research, which clearly demonstrates the benefits of probation trusts working closely with a range of partners to reduce crime and create a safer society. Targeting offenders who commit the highest volume of crime with this integrated approach has resulted in reducing reconvictions by around two-thirds."
The research is available at http://www.sussexcriminaljusticeboard.org.uk/news/iom.