Message from the chief executive
“HLNY CRC has adopted the Government’s strategy aimed at providing the best possible support to female service users. The CRC supervises women on Community Orders, custodial licences, Suspended Sentence Orders and unpaid work orders.”
Welcome to the latest edition of the Humberside Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company’s (HLNY CRC) sentencers’ newsletter.
Since our last newsletter there have been a number of stories in the press about the national probation service and the CRCs regarding how the criminal justice system is addressing the issues regarding women offenders.
The Justice Secretary David Gauke recently outlined his hope that the number of women in prison falls from its current level of 3,850. AT HLNY we passionately believe Mr Gauke correctly identifies that many women caught up in the prison estate are themselves vulnerable, and with the right support would be better served by receiving the right support in their communities.
HLNY CRC has adopted the Government’s strategy aimed at providing the best possible support to female service users. The CRC supervises women on Community Orders, custodial licences, Suspended Sentence Orders and unpaid work orders.
Our women’s services are delivered by a range of partner agencies offering specialist support including the Together Women Project, Lincolnshire Action Trust and Humankind (formerly known as DISC) – all of which offer a viable alternative to custody to prevent the displacement of families and lasting damage to children because of their mother’s imprisonment.
More recently a report on domestic abuse has found serious failings with concerns that contact with offenders was too infrequent, leaving many to “drift” through their supervision without being challenged over their “predilection” for violence.
Prisons and Probation Minister Rory Stewart said: “This report highlights pockets of good practice to build on, but more must be done. By putting in place new arrangements, we will heed the lessons from what has and hasn’t worked, so probation plays its full part in tackling domestic abuse and protecting victims.”
At HLNY we have reviewed the report’s findings and we continue to work closely with the police to ensure we act on any areas for improvement we identify.
However, some of the criticisms outlined by the report do not reflect the practice at HLNY. We work with offenders to support their rehabilitation, but if they are not making progress and continue to pose a risk then we also work to mitigate the risk that they pose.
We employ Partner Link Workers who work directly with the victims of domestic abuse to ensure that they feel safe and that the actions we are taking with the men who have committed those offences are working.
“Our aim is to protect the public, and we take that duty extremely seriously.”
On a brighter note, HNLY 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, download the PDF here. link.
If you want further information on any of the topics covered in this newsletter or are interested in finding out more about the work of HLNY, we would be happy to attend Bench events or to arrange a meeting.
Martin Davies, Chief Executive
Our women’s services are delivered by a range of partner agencies offering specialist support
HLNY CRC’s approach to women service users
HLNY CRC has adopted a Government strategy aimed at providing the best possible support to female service users.
The CRC supervises women on Community Orders, custodial licences, Suspended Sentence Orders and unpaid work orders.
Our women’s services are delivered by a range of partner agencies offering specialist support:
Together Women Project (TWP) is a city-centre based women’s provision delivering a variety of support and interventions across Hull & East Riding. Services are designed specifically to meet the needs of women who find it difficult to access mainstream services.
Lincolnshire Action Trust (LAT) provides women’s services across Greater Lincolnshire to address the specific needs of female service users and to help them achieve their full potential.
Humankind (formerly known as DISC) provides women’s services across York and North Yorkshire. Services are designed specifically to meet the needs of women who find it difficult to access mainstream services.
The above services offer a viable alternative to custody to prevent the displacement of families and lasting damage to children because of their mother’s imprisonment.
A recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation inspection of the CRC’s probation services found the provision for female offenders to be “good”.
Becky Bailey, HLNY’s Community Director, said: “I am delighted the Ministry of Justice has published a strategy which endorses everything we have been striving to achieve in Humberside, Lincolnshire.
“The justice secretary David Gauke has outlined his hope that the number of women in prison falls from its current level of 3,850. I passionately believe he correctly identifies that many women caught up in the prison estate are themselves vulnerable, and with the right support would be better served by receiving the right support in their communities.
“At HLNY CRC we work with a number of dedicated partnership agencies to achieve the best possible outcomes for our women service users.”
The new strategy includes three key principles:
- Fewer women coming into the criminal justice system
- Fewer women in custody (especially on short-term sentences) and a greater proportion of women managed in the community successfully
- Better conditions for those in custody.
HLNY CRC is focusing on providing the right Rehabilitation Activity Requirements for women and Community Payback projects specifically for women as well. Other support packages under development include:
- Domestic Abuse and support
- Psychoactive substances information briefing
- Shoplifting prevention
- Support to prevent drug misuse.
The Ministry of Justice’s strategy can be accessed by clicking this link
Paths to Success: A new rate card
HNLY 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, download the PDF here.
From custody into the community
Interserve is recruiting more than a hundred people to join its probation services in a new role dedicated to supporting prisoners to stop re-offending.
The company runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) that are responsible for delivering probation services to low and medium risk offenders.
Since the Government implemented Through the Gate in May 2015, CRCs took on the responsibility for ensuring people admitted to prison were assessed for accommodation, benefit and educational needs. The aim was that everyone due for release would have the right support package to help them hit the ground running.
Nationally Through the Gate has come in for criticism because of funding pressures and the difficulties involved in launching any scheme of this size, which considerably extended probation services.
To help improve the service, Interserve has worked with the Ministry of Justice and partner agencies to radically alter how the company’s Through the Gate model works.
Nick Hawley, Interserve’s national lead for ITTG, said: “The revolving door of people being released from short custodial sentences to end up being back behind bars within a matter of weeks is a narrative familiar to everyone in the criminal justice service.
“TTG had laudable aims, but fell short of expectations for many reasons.
“I believe we are now putting in place an improved system that will support people during their first few hours and days post release, and that will lay the foundations for their successful re-integration into society.
“I am excited about the new roles which we are launching and strongly encourage anyone with an interest in supporting people to make positive changes to look at the jobs we have on offer.”
A new Integrated Through the Gate (ITTG) team will be based in each of the 18 prisons that operate across Interserve’s CRCs. The team will consist of the services already commissioned by Interserve that are working at the prisons – run by Catch22, Shelter and St Giles Trust – together with ITTG strategic managers and high intensity transition officers and case administrators.
During the last 12 weeks of a prisoner’s sentence, the ITTG team will ensure the individual’s resettlement needs are properly addressed.
Each prisoner will – with partnership support – develop their own resettlement plan. The plan will include objectives and hoped for results. It will be worked on by partner agencies both inside and outside of the prison walls. For service users with complex needs, it will also include community-based interventions undertaken by both the ITTG team and CRC staff.
Nick said: “The ITTG team will work collaboratively with other prison services and deliver interventions themselves to prepare people for a successful release that will reduce the likelihood of people committing more crime.”
The new high intensity transition role will involve case managers working with prolific offenders who lead chaotic lifestyles.
Nick said: “The high intensity case managers will own the individual’s case and be responsible for the coordination of the resettlement plan and transitioning the individual into their community, providing a level of continuity that previously hasn’t existed.
“Our model recognises that each of the 18 prisons we cover needs a bespoke service, one that recognises the complex patchwork of third sector and in-prison provision and strives to bring those links to life.
“ITTG will allow us to offer personalised support to people to help them stop re-offending.”
Offenders contribute more than 88,000 hours in community
Offenders working in their communities after being sentenced for criminal offences have contributed tens of thousands of hours in North Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire.
HLNY CRC, which is responsible for supervising offenders on Community Payback and ensuring they comply with their sentence. and the orders of the court, delivered 88,144 hours in the past six months.
With the national wage standing at £7.83 that equates to more than £690,162 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.
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.
Martin Davies, chief executive of HLNY 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.”
Gold award for Boston in Bloom
Boston achieved gold for the fourth year running, in this year’s East Midlands in Bloom large town category and came top in its category thanks to the support from the Community Payback team at HLNY CRC.
Along with four additional awards – Best Permanent Landscape for the Art Deco Garden in Central Park; Best First World War Display Award for the floral piano and soldier at the Stump Grounds; Willoughby Road Allotments Association received the It’s Your Neighbourhood Award and the Judges’ Award went to the volunteer gardeners at Fydell House.
Maddy Eyre, local communities development officer and secretary to the Boston in Bloom Partnership, said: “The members of the Boston in Bloom Partnership would like to take this opportunity to thank you and everyone involved from the Community Payback team for your continued support, sponsorship and partnership this year and going forward into 2019.
“Without our supporters, sponsors and partners we would find it difficult to sustain the level of success which we have achieved since joining the East Midlands in Bloom campaign six years ago. Every year the bar is set higher by our team and all of the volunteers, community groups, organisations and businesses which have invested time and funds into helping us to develop all year round projects in Boston.
“Without this level of commitment we would not have been able to achieve this standard of entry and we very much look forward to sharing our continued progress with you in the up and coming year.
Westway Open Arms embraced by HLNY CRC
Westway Open Arms, a Christian social action centre which proudly stands in the heart of the community of Eastfield in Scarborough, has benefited from the support of offenders working on Community Payback.
Community Payback in Scarborugh is managed by the HLNY CRC and aims to rehabilitate offenders through working on projects, nominated by members of the public, that benefit the community.
After opening in 2013, with the blessing of the Archbishop of York, Westway Open Arms has served thousands from Eastfield who have walked through its doors, offering help through its client support and debt relief teams, a food bank and weekly free lunch, and day-to-day drop-in activities such as arts and crafts.
As a Christian centre, Westway Open Arms also runs courses such as Alpha and START and each Thursday holds a service of Communion.
The charity says it is indebted to the dedication of its wonderful team of volunteers including HLNY CRC, without whom it could not run, and to the many individuals throughout Scarborough who so generously support it.
Centre coordinator Mike Tyas said: “We also receive help from wonderful organisations in our town such as the community payback team. They have helped Westway Open Arms on a number of occasions with vital work that was needed around our centre.
“We found the lads that helped us to be very respectful, hardworking and genuinely interested in the work of our centre. It was a pleasure to be in their company and they were a credit to themselves in the way they helped us.”
Major clean up for Grimsby’s Fat Alleys
Service users on Community Payback have been praised for helping residents in East Marsh, Grimsby, for their work in cleaning up the Fat Alleys in the area which had become blocked by fly tippers.
Grimsby’s East Marsh is one of the most deprived wards in England with significant poverty indicators and problems of low educational attainment, low employment, high numbers of lone parents, high in-work and pensioner poverty.
East Marsh United, a community group of residents of East Marsh asked HLNY CRC and the Community Payback team for their ongoing support in cleaning up the area.
Offenders on Community Payback and residents cleaned out the Fat Alley’s back alleys – and what a job it was.
One resident, Lee, said: ““Thanks so much to the lads from Community Payback, who were just phenomenal. Thanks to Stan at the local Chippie for donated lunches. Thanks especially to Newlincs for sponsoring us and for Biffa for being so great at supplying a huge skip – which wasn’t quite enough, so we’re going to have to get another for the big stuff we left neatly stacked and ready to go.”
Paul Sturton, Community Payback manager, said: “HLNY CRC and East Marsh United work closely in partnership deploying offenders on Community Payback on several projects across the town. Our work in East Marsh is a good example of how service users can put something back into the community while learning essential work and life skills which will improve their chances of employment.”
Shelter supporting Sheena back into the community
HLNY CRC commissions Shelter to run the Through The Gate service across Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.
Through The Gate makes sure that each prisoner has a resettlement plan starting before their release to prepare them for leaving jail. Our aim is to make sure that they do not reoffend. The service we commission aims to assess the needs of people in prison so that following release they can successfully rehabilitate in their community.
One offender to benefit from the support of Shelter was Sheena, who received a custodial sentence in June 2017. Prior to this Sheena had been sofa surfing for numerous years relying on friends for accommodation around Rotherham and Sheffield area. Sheena attended her pre-release assessment where she advised that she would again be of no fixed abode upon release.
Shelter assessed Sheena as being low in support needs and was able to maintain a tenancy herself. Shelter’s Andy Kirk said: “We talked about supported accommodation in her local connection area of Rotherham, but Sheena was anxious about being placed in hostel accommodation where previous associates and negative influences were known to be residing or accessing support.
“We supported Sheena with considering the private sector and details of local landlords were provided so that potential accommodation could be viewed on her release on temporary licence (ROTL).”
During her ROTL at her father’s address Shelter established an improved relationship and decided to concentrate on applying for social housing rather than accessing the unsecure private sector, using her father’s as a temporary address upon release.
Shelter liaised with the Housing Options team at Rotherham Council and arranged an appointment for the Sheena to visit their offices to meet the prison leaver’s lead. Shelter also supplied a supporting letter explaining Sheena’s circumstances and her local connection to the Rotherham area prior to the appointment and liaised with her father as to what actions we were taking.
During the appointment with the prison leaver’s lead Sheena was registered on the council waiting list and placed in the highest banding. Although classed as a “transient placement” Sheena had temporary accommodation with family away from negative influences with the likelihood of secure social housing soon.
Shelter’s Andy Kirk said: “We reassured the Sheena that we would support her with securing accommodation and worked with her developing a plan that was both realistic and agreeable to her. By liaising with agencies and Sheena’s support network in the community the plan changed from trying to secure private rented accommodation to securing secure social housing.
“All agencies working with the Sheena and her family were continually talked through the process so that an agreed plan could be put in place which provided a positive outcome.”