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'In relation to current areas of Probation, how is the work with offenders affected by the changes within the probation service'?

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Introduction

'In relation to current areas of Probation, how is the work with offenders affected by the changes within the probation service'? A five year strategy on reducing reoffending was published on the 9th February 2006 which outlined the policy direction for public protection, community sentencing, offender management and organisational changes, such as the creation of Probation Trusts and the system of commissioning. To answer the question I will focus on Offender Management and also the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into affect last year. I feel that these two issues will affect our work with offenders. One of the key aims of offender management was to emphasise on end to end offender management, this will mean that there will a named offender manager for every offender. They will manage the offender, often from before they are sentenced, throughout their prison sentence, and then during time on a community sentence or on licence in the community. Offender managers will be responsible for making sure that they are both punished and rehabilitated properly; and who will get involved as early as possible in managing the offender. ...read more.

Middle

( Home Office Statistics) What will also be improved on will be alcohol interventions and treatment for people with mental disorders. With regards to education and employment work is being done on cutting the numbers down on offenders who have poor basic skills. In 2004-2005 over 40,000 offenders were released from prison with an education, employment or training place to go to. (Home office Statistics). Housing is an issue too and working in conjunction with NOMS, HMPS, housing providers and supporting people arrangements the NPS will increase access for offenders to appropriate and sustainable accommodation. Work will also be done on working with partners at local and regional levels to help prisoners keep their accommodation while they are in prison. Focus will also be on developing services through voluntary partnerships to provide advice on finance, benefits and debt. Supporting offenders' social and family links is often the key to successful resettlement, and can help sort out other problems like employment and housing, this means that areas will be expected to work closely with other agencies at a local level to ensure that work with individual offenders is set in the wider context of the whole family. ...read more.

Conclusion

The intention is to focus or reserve custody for dangerous, persistent and more serious offenders and move low level offenders away from inappropriate custodial sentences. Focus is also placed on the increased use of fines by allowing them to be used instead of or alongside other community and custodial sentences. In particular the intention is for the fine to be used for low risk offenders as an alternative to Community Orders. The act makes a distinction between dangerous offenders and other offenders, meaning that most prisoners with sentences of 12 months plus will automatically be released at the half way point and be on licence for the remainder of their sentence, clearly putting more pressure on offender managers. Discretionary licence will be reserved for more dangerous offenders. The Act has drawn on research that suggests a custodial sentence with a supervised licence has a less likely chance of the offender reoffending. So to conclude we can see that the way we deal with those who break the law is fundamental to the health of our society. The five year strategy plan should transform the way the way offenders are managed and punished, it should reduce reoffending and cut crime, and will support the law abiding citizens and make society stronger and safer. ...read more.

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