Foreward by chief executive Kim Thornden-Edwards
As a consequence of the publication new Probation Instruction relating to Liaison Arrangements Between Sentencers and Providers of Probation Services, I believe the landscape for Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and court engagement has changed for the better.
The need for improved dialogue has been reinforced by the Senior Presiding Judge Lady Justice Macur. Minimum requirements in relation to communication with sentencers have been established and this is welcomed by all CRCs.
The new working arrangements recognise the need for those sentencing to understand what we have to offer; to be properly briefed and to get regular progress updates on how we are performing.
I hope that the latest edition of our publication Changing Lives is of interest to you and that it helps give you a useful insight into our work. In this edition you will be able to see our latest performance data and examples of our work.
I would be delighted to receive your feedback about this publication and how it can develop. Please continue to use the Probation Liaison Forum to disuss probation-related matters.
Probation partnership supports Doug
When Doug was released from prison he ran the risk of returning to the streets and a lifestyle that in the past had lead him to attempt suicide.
The 30-year-old was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of two aggravated burglaries and assaulting a police officer, incidents that stemmed from him steeling food from shops while brandishing a knife.
Doug has paranoid schizophrenia and when he committed the offences was living on the streets. He was hungry, and was also using drugs.
Clare Barnes, a probation case manager for HIOW CRC, supervises Doug on licence.
He said: “I was homeless, I was hungry and I wasn’t thinking straight. Of course I regret what I did, I’m not a violent person but the stress of my lifestyle made me act out of character.
“When things happen to me it makes my mental health worse. I struggled after a friend I was living with died, and I jumped off a roof in 2015 because I was in a mess.
“I was only on the streets for three months, but it wasn’t very pleasant.”
Now, thanks to a partnership scheme involving the Hampshire & the Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company HIOW CRC) and others, Doug lives in supported accommodation and feels he is getting the help he needs to make positive changes to his life.
Clare is part of Southampton’s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) team that includes the police and monitors people classed as prolific offenders. People on the scheme who meet the right criteria can access housing support run by the Society of St James, which is called IOM House.
He said: “I was picked up by my IOM police officer at the prison and taken to the house. I eased myself into things and did drug rehabilitation and life skills courses. It’s good having something positive to fill my time with.
“I became better in myself. I didn’t want to go back to my old lifestyle.
“I also get on with Clare very well. She helps me with all sorts of things, with housing and advice and tips on what courses to do. She is there for me when I need help.”
Residents have to provide negative drug tests to maintain their tenancy, but in return can access a wide range of activities to assist their rehabilitation. Doug especially enjoys the guitar and music sessions.
Clare said: “Doug has done exceptionally well. The charity is actively helping him to find accommodation to move into because this period of stability has given him the necessary breathing space he needed to progress.
“He is a perfect example of why the scheme works. People often get clean in prison, and so providing the right support package on the day they leave those prison gates is ideal.
“Doug hasn’t wanted to return to his old lifestyle. He has moved away from his former circle, he is engaging with everything on offer, he is taking the right medication and he is showing real determination to take the right path. I am proud of him.”
Doug added: “I struggled when things happen, and with drugs as well, then I got mixed up with the police and got a grudge. My thought processes and reasoning wasn’t good.
“But I’m feeling much better now, and am committed to not getting into trouble again. I’m playing the guitar and enjoying making my music, and I’m hopeful that things are looking up for me.”
Paths to Success: A new rate card
HIOW CRC has launched a new rate card brochure that showcases the interventions and programmes available to the National Probation Service and sentencers.
The brochure, called Paths to Success, is designed to better engage with the NPS and others who commission our services. It will also make it easier for the courts to allocate specific interventions for service users.
To read Paths to Success, please click this link.
Offenders contribute £135,000 to communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Community Payback valued at £135,000 in Hampshire and IoW
Offenders working in their communities after being sentenced for criminal offences have contributed thousands of hours in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC), which is responsible for supervising offenders on Community Payback and ensuring they comply with their sentence. and the orders of the court, delivered more than 17,000 hours in the first quarter of 2018.
With the national wage standing at £7.83 that equates to £135,000 of work delivered.
Those ordered to take on unpaid Community Payback work participate in a range of manual tasks, including removing graffiti, litter picking, clearing parks and cemeteries, renovating buildings and work in charity shops.
Magistrates or judges can sentence offenders to carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of unpaid work as part of their order. Community Payback must include a minimum of a day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week. A significant proportion of offenders are mandated to complete 28 hours of work every week.
All projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills. It is also a punishment as the individual is giving up their time to carry out the work. Community sentences can be imposed for crimes including damaging property, theft and assault.
Stephen Czajewski, chief operating officer of HIOW CRC, said: “Community payback provides a tough, effective and visible punishment requiring people to undertake challenging work while giving something back to communities where they live.
“It also provides an opportunity for people to turn their experience into a positive one by picking up new skills that can help them towards paid employment and leading more stable, positive and crime-free lives.”
"I always wanted a job, but I didn’t think anyone would employ me because of my record"
Andrew’s work trial leads to a job in hospitality
A job offer from national hotel chain Premier Inn is helping Andrew to go straight.
Andrew*, aged 23, from Southampton has a new focus thanks to paid employment with Premier Inn. He was put forward for a work trial by his Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) case manager, Allison. Andrew is managed by the CRC whilst on licence since leaving prison in February 2017 after serving half of his four-year sentence for theft.
The young man admits that he was a ‘prolific offender’. Andrew was first arrested at the age of 15 for stealing, and progressed from petty crime to major business thefts. Andrew felt that he only knew how to get by through crime, and many of his friends were involved in a criminal lifestyle.
Allison said: “Andrew has done really well. I knew he was worried about his criminal conviction and being judged, but he also has a positive attitude. I’ve always seen a lot of potential in him. His enthusiasm and ambition to get into employment has been rewarded.”
In the past, Andrew had been reluctant to work with agencies. He explained: “Before I met Allison, I thought probation officers were threatening and focussed on sending me back to prison.”
However, Andrew began to trust his new case manager. He said: “Allison is really down to earth, I could tell that she wanted to help me become a better person, rather than send me back to prison. I said that I wanted paid work, and she found an opportunity for me. I always wanted a job, but I didn’t think anyone would employ me because of my record.
“Allison spent time with me at my appointments, sometimes over an hour. We spent each meeting looking for a job. At one session, she told me about the job trial at the Premier Inn, arranged through Saints for Sports.”
During the job trial, Andrew spent two weeks on the hotel reception. He was keen to learn and within five days had picked up most of the computer systems and check-in processes. Andrew was also mentored by an experienced member of the reception team.
“I enjoy working with people. It’s fun to talk to people who’ve travelled from the US, Canada and other countries. I do long shifts on some days but time goes quickly.”
After a two-week trial, Andrew was offered a part-time job by the manager, but the 20-hour rota swiftly became 38 – 40 hours with overtime. Andrew appreciates the things he spends his money on now that he knows how much hard work goes into earning his wages.
Andrew explained: “It was new to me, being at the hotel and speaking to people without having my guard up. My phone book was full of contacts involved in crime but I’ve let go of these old associates. Now I’m focused on working hard and going to the gym. I’m also saving up, so that one day I can start my own gardening maintenance business.”
Premier Inn’s partnership with Saints for Sports offering work placements has been running for seven years and has led to several appointments including senior managers.
Premier Inn Operations Manager, Edd Bolton said: “As a company and personally, we are passionate in the support of getting people back to work that have experienced difficulties in their lives and giving them the opportunity to reintegrate in society with confidence of employment.”
*name has been changed
Our performance data
Hampshire & Isle of Wight CRC operational performance
Key factors to note are that HIOW CRC is a well performing community rehabilitation company in relation to its contractual requirements.
In relation to Accredited Programme successful completions the data shows a 91% completion rate for CRC cases. A caveat is the small number of programme requirements when compared to the wider caseload.
Successful Unpaid Work completions for HIOW CRC cases are 96.38 %. Our contractual target is 90% (Unpaid Work successful completion is work sentenced and delivered within 12 months)
Finally HIOW CRC breach 6.58% of our total community caseload.
HIOW CRC will continue to provide this performance data in our newsletters moving forward.