Thursday, 3 December 2015

New Look London CRC 2

A fresh approach to working with stakeholders 

Learn more about our ongoing commitment to working with our external partner organisations to reduce reoffending

As part of our commitment to stakeholder engagement, and to support our new ways of working, London CRC will operate two new Directorates from 1 December 2015. Donna Charles Vincent is Deputy Director of Operations and Iain Anderson is Deputy Director of the Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate. 

Adopting the Offender Cohort Model will allow operational staff to spend more time face-to-face with their offenders And, as well as establishing a range of offender interventions, staff in the Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate will build and maintain partnership and supply-chain relationships. 

What does this mean? 

Within the Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate there will be four Heads of Stakeholders and Partnerships. Each of these senior managers will report directly into Iain Anderson and will work across a number of London boroughs (see page six for details). They will be responsible for engaging with both local strategic partners and organisations that work across all London boroughs. The Heads of Stakeholders and Partnerships will therefore be London CRC’s dedicated first points of contact for all its strategic partnerships. This means that you may have a new London CRC contact from December and it gives us an opportunity for more focused collaboration with our partner organisations. 

Donna and Iain will be working closely to ensure a smooth transition to our new approach to stakeholder management. We are in the process of handing over responsibility for local partnership arrangements from the Operations Directorate to the Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate.

A more focused approach 

London CRC’s Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate remains committed to working with you to reduce reoffending in your borough by working collaboratively and sharing information. We will also proactively identify new opportunities for joint working and cocommissioning services that deliver tangible reductions in reoffending. And we will continue to fulfil our Community Safety (Integrated Offender Management) and Safeguarding (MultiAgency Safeguarding Hubs) responsibilities, albeit in a different way. We are in dialogue with affected partners to outline our new approach. In summary, we intend to help our partners meet their local crime reduction priorities by focusing our involvement where we can have the most impact: 
  • The Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate will work strategically with the Reducing Reoffending Boards to identify new interventions and help shape policies and commissioning decisions 
  • While staff are unlikely to be able to attend every Community Safety Partnership meeting, they will provide written reports that capture the specific information needed by individual partner organisations. 
  • If asked to do so, we will attend meetings to help develop strategic plans or crossdepartment policies, or to provide clarity on London CRC operations.
Our Rehabilitation, Partnerships and Stakeholders Directorate will be responsible for: 
  • Working with prison staff and supply-chain partners to ensure our mandated Through the Gate services are embedded in all London’s resettlement prisons. 
  • Engaging local partners to identify new community safety projects. 
  • Identifying new employment and training opportunities for offenders
London CRC’s Through the Gate service 

Helping to prepare offenders for their release from custody

In response to changes introduced by the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 – and as part of our new contract with the Ministry of Justice – London CRC launched a new Through the Gate service in May this year. Six months on, we take a closer look at this partnership approach to coordinating the resettlement of offenders leaving London’s prisons. 

The Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 introduced changes to the offender sentencing and release framework including: 
  • Extending release on licence to custodial sentences of less than 12 months 
  • Introducing a period of additional supervision after licence for offenders serving custodial sentences of less than two years. 
This means that, for crimes committed from 1 February 2015, all offenders who serve a prison sentence of less than 12 months are automatically supervised by probation for a year following release. This is intended to break the cycle of reoffending which is prevalent among those who serve short prison sentences. 

A universal resettlement service 

London CRC’s Through the Gate (TtG) service provides a valuable opportunity to work with offenders who may previously have had very little coordinated support to help them prepare for release from custody. The new universal resettlement approach ensures that offenders – regardless of the length of their sentences – start to prepare for their reintegration back into society from the day they are imprisoned. 

All offenders who will be supervised by London CRC when released from prison (including those spending less than 12 weeks in custody), now receive comprehensive resettlement support while still in custody. To facilitate this, offenders serving more than 12 months in custody are transferred to a resettlement prison close to their home within 12 weeks of their release date. 

A partnership approach 

As part of our TtG service, all offenders on remand or serving custodial sentences are screened by both the Prison Service and London CRC when they enter prison. Based on the results of the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST2) assessment, London CRC develops a Resettlement Plan for all incoming prisoners. The plan includes: 
  • Accommodation advice 
  • Employment retention and brokerage 
  • Financial advice 
  • Signposting services for sex workers and victims of domestic and sexual violence. 
As one of London CRC’s supply chain partners, St Mungo’s help service users to find settled accomorganisations complete the Resettlement Plan and provide Post Sentence Supervision support to offenders on our behalf: 
  • Novus – part of the Manchester College Group and a not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to delivering education, training and employability programmes in prisons, Approved Premises and the community. 
  • Penrose – a registered charity that specialises in working with repeat offenders with complex needs and those whose mental illness is exacerbated by substance misuse issues. 
  • Women in Prison – a national charity that provides a range of gender-specific support to women in prison.modation in preparation for their release from custody.
Once our new Cohort Model launches on 7 December, these organisations will support London CRC to assess and deliver services for our offenders both in custody and upon release. For example, Penrose will work with working age males during the Post Sentence Supervision period in the community. 

Getting it Right: addressing reoffending triggers 

To support their resettlement, all offenders in London’s resettlement prisons will be given an opportunity to attend a four-week modular ‘Getting it Right’ programme either in prison or in the community. The programme addresses an individual’s primary reoffending triggers and offenders complete a Change Plan Journal to help them develop a personal relapse prevention plan. The journals are a useful tool for offender managers to use to enrich an offender’s probation supervision sessions. 

We are also currently trialling ‘Healing Trauma’, a TtG programme tailored to the needs of women offenders.

London CRC’s Through the Gate service at a glance: 
  • A universal resettlement service regardless of the length of custodial sentence 
  • Comprehensive resettlement support while in custody 
  • A personal Resettlement Plan for all offenders 
  • A range of partner organisations provide Post Sentence Supervision support 
  • Optional ‘Getting it Right’ programme to address personal reoffending triggers.


  1. Reads like a rather poor sentence plan.

  2. For anyone with a spare hour, put any of the CRCs into a search engine then look at any of the free company registration sites. The directors are named, along with any other directorships. When someone coined the comforting phrase "we're all in it together", I think it was misunderstood by many of us here in day-to-day-land. The web of connections is eye-wateringly cosy with many directors of the various CRCs sharing directorships with each other in other companies. So I suspect that Captain Biggles Cameron, Blue Leader, failed to complete his words of consolation over the RT:

    "We're all in it together; but you lot will have to put up with an awful lot of shite. Looks like Red Leader has bought it chaps... Tally Ho!!!"

  3. None of this is new.......

  4. All that talk of "offenders" rather than "service users" seems rather off-message

  5. Just announced - abolition of Court Charge! Another Grayling policy reversal.

    1. The justice secretary, Michael Gove, has scrapped the controversial mandatory criminal courts charge after more than 100 magistrates resigned in protest.

      The abrupt U-turn ditches a money-raising scheme introduced by the previous justice secretary, Chris Grayling, that only came into force in April this year.

      The announcement was made by Gove in an address to the annual meeting of the Magistrates Association in central London.

      He explained that every time he spoke to any magistrate they warned him about its negagtive impact on the adminstration of justice.

      Critics warned that the charge – ranging from £150 up to £1,200 – was unlikely to be collected and created a perverse incentive for the innocent to plead guilty.

      Commenting on the announcement, Malcolm Richardson, MA national chairman, said: “This is fantastic news and we’re very grateful to Mr Gove for listening to the case made by magistrates about the charge. In all my years on the bench, I’ve never seen something strike so hard at the heart of justice.

      “Although we have lost many experienced magistrates, there will be an enormous sense of relief across the criminal justice system. We’re grateful that Mr Gove made this announcement to the MA, as it stands in testimony to his collaborative approach and his appreciation of the work of magistrates.”

    2. This from Independent:-

      The move will be seen a rebuke to the policy of his predecessor Chris Grayling who introduced the charge to help off-set the cost of the court system as part of the Government austerity drive.

      The Independent understands that Mr Gove wanted to make the climb down earlier but was forced to wait for the outcome of last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

      In discussions with the Treasury Mr Gove is understood to have argued that early income from the charge was far less than the expected yield of between £65m and £85m a year.

      Estimates suggest that less than £300,000 has been collected of £5m charges imposed.

      The Ministry of Justice’s hand in negotiations with the Treasury was strengthened by David Cameron’s endorsement of Mr Gove’s strategy for criminal justice reform in his speech to the Conservative Party Conference.

      Mr Gove has already suggested that he wants to adopt a successful scheme pioneered in the United States to set up special courts designed to deal with criminals’ underlying problems such as drug use, family breakdown or mental health issues.

      There is recognition that piling debt on to people who already have very little money can be counter-productive and could even lead them to commit further crimes. The potential for the charge to “trigger more crime” is one of the issues so far highlighted by judges in sentencing.

    3. How many gob shite ideas that grayling came up with have been dropped or reversed?

    4. EXTRACT

      " I have therefore asked my department to review the entire structure, and purpose, of court-ordered financial impositions for offenders, in order to bring greater simplicity and clarity to the system."

      " Written Ministerial Statement made by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove. "

      " The courts take money from offenders in a number of ways, including fines, the victim surcharge, compensation orders, prosecution costs and the Criminal Courts Charge.

      This array of penalties, fines and charges is complex and confusing. I have therefore asked my department to review the entire structure, and purpose, of court-ordered financial impositions for offenders, in order to bring greater simplicity and clarity to the system.

      This review will seek to achieve three goals: giving the judiciary greater discretion in setting financial impositions; making financial penalties a more effective tool in delivering improved non-custodial sentences; and ensuring that money raised through financial penalties plays an appropriate - and sustainable - role in supporting taxpayers to meet the costs of running the courts.

      The review will consider how to ensure offenders make a fair contribution. The Criminal Courts Charge was introduced in order to ensure that those who break the law make a financial contribution to the costs of seeing justice done.

      The basic principle behind the policy – that those who have broken the law should bear some of the costs of running the criminal courts – is right. However, as the Justice Select Committee set out in its recent report, there have been concerns raised about how this has worked in practice.

      I am today laying in Parliament an amending statutory instrument which will mean that, as of 24 December, the criminal courts charge will no longer be imposed. Our review will consider alternative ways of ensuring that criminals pay their fair share."

    5. I wonder how many court cases, in the run-up to Christmas week, will end up adjourned until after the festivities in order to avoid the charge in its dying days? My money is on a very quiet week for PSR writers, followed by a sudden glut.

  6. I note that there have been a large amount of senior managers appointment. Surely most of these could be done away with and money saved as a result. Or is this merely another examples of jobs for the boys and girls?

  7. Some of the senior managers in London are like 12.

  8. Off topic, but worth a smile, The BlairWeasel has just deliverd the Kissinger Lecture in the US during which he praised the UK parliament's decision to open the bomb doors over Syria. Irony? Or were they just separated at birth?

    1. My guess is he's hoping to drag Cameron into the frame for when Chilcot finally delivers his report on Iraq, to soften the various blows that will rightfully be aimed in his direction then.