Within the Offender Management Statistics Quarterly Review (July-September 2019) published on 30th January 2020, the Ministry of Justice revealed that there were 82,868 prisoners in England and Wales as of 31st December 2019. Furthermore, the remand population represents the highest ‘end of year’ for the last four years, as well as 8% fewer prison releases during the quarter ending September 2018 than the same quarter the previous year.
In order to reduce crime and re-offending in local communities, improve the public’s trust in the justice system and subsequently enhance the quality of life, the Home Office and Ministry of Justice have outlined the key principles for Integrated Offender Management (IOM) (first published February 2015), which aims to strengthen multi-sector approaches to crime within local communities.
Five years on and the document is still as relevant as ever. As such, we have condensed the 6 key principles below and outlined the main pointers mentioned in each to ensure the continuation of successful and effective local IOM:
All Partners Manage Offenders Together:It is imperative that local partners work together to ensure a common understanding of the threats facing the community, agree the means to share relevant information and intelligence, and ensure there is a process to assign responsibility. This should involve partners from across private, voluntary and social enterprise sectors.
Delivering a Local Response to Local Problems:Offender groups should be targeted and prioritized according to the local community’s needs, following with a discussion on how available resources will be utilized to manage said offenders. This can be achieved by a local crime and offending risk assessment, the priorities of all participating agencies (including the Police and Crime Commissioner), the views of the local community and the needs of victims.
All Offenders Potentially in Scope:Following prioritization, it is crucial that no offender falls through the gaps. Therefore, it is important to have a robust framework in place, which is constantly in review, and to which all partner agencies are aware of to bring greater coherence to local arrangements.
Offenders Face up to their Responsibility or Face the Consequences:(with a focus on engagement with local voluntary sector agencies)
Supporting the rehabilitation of offenders is key to reduce re-offending in the local community. As such, local partners should work together to ensure that the right interventions are in place. If an offender chooses to not comply, there needs to also be a set enforcement regime to ensure appropriate consequences are given. This ‘Carrot and Stick’ approach should also be made clear to the offender.
Making Best Use of Existing Programmes and Governance:
To reduce the risk of duplication and to encourage ‘smarter’ working, it is advised that local IOM arrangements make use of, and add value to, pre-existing arrangements.
Supporting Desistance from Crime:Part of local IOM should include the supporting of rehabilitation of offenders, subject to statutory supervision. Exit strategies should be put in place for those who are at the end of formal supervision to ensure they are still monitored in case of re-offending.
To help support local communities strengthen their IOM provisions, there are numerous resources available:
- Visit the Government website for more information, including the Key Principles outlined here
- Read the latest Inspection of Integrated Offender Management (published February 2020)
- Join leading Stakeholders at the Offender Management Conference 2020
This blog post has been written by Liberty Smith, Marketing Executive, IG Crime Hub