Public Protection works under the following banners
- LRPT has one team to cover all criminal Courts including the Crown Court, and the Magistrates’ Courts based in Leicester, Hinckley and Loughborough. The unified courts team has enhanced its service delivery to the Courts, following the closure of other county Courts.
- Protocol advice. The local Pre Sentence Report Protocol adheres to the advice given by the Chairman of the Sentencing Council, Lord Levesen, following the agreement with the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The protocol specifies that the Probation Service is the organisation that determines which format of Pre Sentence Report (PSR) is presented to the Court.
- Court Report Selection Where there is sufficient information available to ensure a defensible decision, a comprehensive same day PSR is the default report for the more straightforward cases. The protocol means that a PSR can now be written on offences that cross the custody threshold and may receive a custodial punishment rather than a community sentence. The most extensive report, which takes 15 days to complete, is reserved for the most serious offenders that require Probation staff members to undertake comprehensive risk assessments including liaising with other agencies if there are mental health issues; concerns concerning the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults. In cases where the criteria has been met for a 15 day PSR, the Offender Manager still has the discretion to return a comprehensive same day report.
- Post Adjournment Review This action describes an arrangement made with the Court to enable a review of a report type – if it has been adjourned without consultation with the Probation Service.
- Examples of post adjournment review include:
- The Court has adjourned for a report when no court officer was available to advise on the report type.
- A case initially adjourned for a same day PSR reveals the need for more detailed enquiries.
- A case initially adjourned for a 15 day PSR is subsequently assessed as suitable for a same day PSR.
- The PSR formats for same day delivery
- Oral Pre Sentence Report: core criteria – no recent pattern of offending.
- Community Payback Pre Sentence Report: core criteria – no more than two convictions in last five years.
- Verbal Addendum Pre Sentence Report: core criteria – a report has been compiled in the last three months and can be updated with a verbal explanation of the intervening period.
- Comprehensive same day Pre Sentence Report: core criteria – less complex case that doesn’t require the intervention of another agency.
- Approved Premises are a residential facility that provides an enhanced level of supervision and monitoring for individuals who present a high or very high risk of causing harm. Their residency introduces structure and supervision into their lifestyles. The LRPT has two Approved Premises in Leicester that provide accommodation for male offenders and are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Places are allocated to selected offenders; some individuals will have been released on licence from prison, other residents will be defendants on bail, awaiting trial.
- The decision to send an individual to an Approved Premises, also known as a probation or bail hostel, is taken by the Courts, prison authorities or the Parole Board. Conditions may be attached to the residency that specify certain controls e.g. a curfew or a ban that prohibits them from visiting named areas or locations. Trained probation staff rigorously enforce the regulations. If an individual breaches the rules at an Approved Premises or their order or licence conditions, they can be recalled to prison or returned to court. When appropriate, there will be some residents who will attend life skill courses to enable them to move successfully into independent living and support to find paid employment.
The PIPES Project
- Currently available to residents in the Kirk Lodge Approved Premises is the PIPE Project.PIPE stands for Psychologically Improved and Planned Environment. This is a joint National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and NHS pilot programme that is running in a selected number of prisons and one other Probation Trust besides LRPT.
- LRPT staff have taken this new approach and developed a programme of activities that has seen motivated offenders improve their skills and engage in a very positive way. Amongst the intended outcomes of the PIPE project are:
- Reduced sexual and violent offending,
- Improved (or sustained) levels of institutional behaviour,
- Improved psychological health of offenders.
- The PIPE Project informs criminal justice staff on how to develop a safe and facilitating environment that supports residents and helps them retain and build on the rehabilitative work undertaken in prison. One of the new initiatives has been the launch of the daily lunch club, which now sees residents taking the lead and preparing food with ingredients from the FareShare Box. The FairShare charity provide food boxes to promote a greater awareness of healthy eating. This activity has grown in popularity and a real sense of community has developed as residents have worked together, shared cooking skills, tried new foods and eaten together.
- Participants have the opportunity to discuss any issues and concerns that have arisen during the morning. Eating regular meals has reduced the anxiety of some residents, who were experiencing increased stress due to low blood sugar levels. After the success of the lunch club, there is now a weekly supper group, which encourages residents to return early and therefore limits possible harmful behaviour such as alcohol or drug use in the city centre.
Victim Liaison Team
- LRPT has a dedicated team of staff who exclusively provide services for victims of crime. – or their next of kin when applicable – of offenders sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more for sexual and violent crimes. The team also contact victims of racially aggravated offences whatever the length of custodial sentence handed down by the Courts.
- Members of the team explain to the victim how a sentence works, exchange information concerning an offender’s progress in prison, represent the views of the victim at parole hearings and request additional licence conditions, where appropriate, to protect the victim.
- National help line – If you are worried about the release of a prisoner or any unwanted contact from a prisoner and you are not already in contact with the Victim Liaison Team, please call the national victim helpline on 0845 7585112.
- LRPT launched its Restorative Justice (RJ) programme in February 2013 as a specified activity to run alongside a community order. The RJ process ensures the careful selection of participants and an appropriate and supportive environment for the victims. All the RJ facilitators have undertaken a three day training course followed by mentoring sessions. Each facilitator will manage five conferences within the first year of their training to develop and maintain levels of expertise.
- If the specified activity is ordered by the Magistrates, the offender will be contacted within 15 days of the sentence by the RJ facilitator to arrange an assessment meeting.
- The RJ requirement involves taking part in at least four meetings which will include:
- An assessment meeting to explore the possibilities of making amends
- A preparation meeting to prepare for the reparation event, which could be a meeting with the victim, or some other form of reparation
- The meeting with the victim, or reparation activity, which may involve writing a letter of apology
- A review meeting with the Offender Manager and the RJ facilitator.
- Eligible participants are offenders who have pleaded guilty to offences of violence, domestic burglary and other offences of personally directed harm. This applies to high and medium risk cases and others, who are at risk of custody and whose offences have a personal victim.
- If the offender is considered suitable, the court report writer will liaise with the Restorative Justice Service to confirm that appropriate arrangements can be made to implement the Specified Activity Requirement. RJ gives victims a unique chance to ask questions of the offender, to express their anger and explain how they have been affected by the crime. In many cases RJ enables victims to gain a real sense of closure, put the offence behind them and move forward.
- An integral part of probation work is the management of risk and how LRPT can reduce re-offending to make communities safer.
- Risk Assessment is a continuous process that requires expertise, training and insight. The supervision and working with offenders informs this process. All risk assessments and subsequent changes and additional information is recorded electronically.This means that key workers involved with the supervision of each offender are kept informed. They can see when the last assessment was made and what the outcomes were.
- The Probation Service and the Prison Service use the same web-based computerised assessment system called the Offender Assessment System or OASys-R. This system supports the sharing of information as offenders transfer from prison to supervision in the community. OASys-R is an incredibly detailed assessment that begins at an offender’s appearance at Court and, if sentenced, continues until the end of their supervision.
- Understanding Risk assessment: The assessment of risk posed by an offender, and the identification of the factors which have contributed to the offending, are the starting points for all work with offenders. Although Probation staff access OASys-R via their computers, an officer does not update the relevant sections during the interview. OASys-R doesn’t dictate the interview, but rather it adds structure to conversation and questions concerning progress and any changes in key areas.
- OASys-R is designed to help practitioners to make sound and defensible solutions. The information we record forms the basis for decisions to manage any escalating risk, and ensures there is continuity in the management of each offender.
- Integrated Offender Management describes a partnership approach that creates local solutions to beating problem crime and working with offenders in Leicester city and the surrounding counties. Integrated Offender Management (IOM) links criminal justice agencies, Local Authorities and Third Sector partners together to deal with those offenders, who pose the highest risk of re-offending and harm – and whose crimes have a greater community impact.
- Supervising High Risk Offenders: The victims of crime and our wider society have every right to expect that action is taken to protect them. The most effective way to improve public protection is by the different criminal justice agencies, local authorities and health services working together. The work of these agencies is directed by national guidance that is known as the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements – MAPPA.
- Our criminal law defines a number of offenders who will be managed by MAPPA because they have committed certain sexual or violent offences and, in the vast majority of cases, currently pose a high risk of committing further harm.
- Partnership working is the most effective way available to manage these often complex cases. The police, probation and prison services are collectively known as the Responsible Authority, other agencies such as Local Authorities and the Youth Offending Service have a duty to co-operate.