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Reducing Reoffending

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) works with local agencies to break the cycle of reoffending.

As part of her role as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) Deputy Lead on Criminal Justice Efficiency and Effectiveness, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens is committed to bringing together local partners to prevent and reduce reoffending.

“My vision is to build on the strong commitment amongst all partners to prevent offending and driving own offending and reoffending rate to ensure safer communities for local people.”

PCC Sue Mountstevens

The reasons individuals reoffend are often multiple, complex and interlinked. In order to address those reasons and help people to choose a path away from offending, a multi-agency approach is required.

There are two main streams of work:

Resolve

The Resolve board was established in 2018 and brings together a wide range of partners from across Avon and Somerset.

Aims

The board aims to improve how local agencies work together to reduce reoffending and includes Criminal Justice partners such as Avon and Somerset Police, the National Probation Service, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and prisons.

Statutory agencies such as Local Authorities, The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Public Health England  also sit on the board are responsible for community safety and working with ex-offenders to ensure that they are:

  • Properly housed
  • Can find employment
  • Receive healthcare
  • Helped with their substance use.

The board also includes voluntary sector organisations, victims of crime and ex-offenders to ensure that all key stakeholders take part in the decision-making process.

Ongoing projects

  • Commissioned a review of Integrated Offender Management which identifies the crime and reoffending threats faced by local communities in Avon and Somerset
  • Created a multi-agency hub at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Bristol to improve the coordination of services when releasing offenders 
  • Launched a pilot scheme in Bristol Magistrates Court to signpost women to effective support services to suit their needs and offer better information to Magistrates before sentencing 
  • Developing plans with Local Authorities to provide an effective challenge to Domestic Abuse perpetrators to change the question from #WhyDidn’tSheLeave to #WhyDidn’tHeStop 
  • Exploring ways to change services for female offenders to provide consistency across critical support services. 

South West Reducing Reoffending Partnership

The South West Reducing Reoffending Partnership was established in March 2019 and brings together partners from across the South West to support multi-agency work to tackle some of the main causes of reoffending, such as lack of accommodation, access to health services and employment opportunities.

Aims

The Partnership is chaired by PCC Sue Mountstevens and is made up of a range of criminal justice partners which includes:

  • the South West regional PCCs
  • Ministry of Justice
  • National Probation Service
  • Community Rehabilitation Company
  • NHS
  • Public Health
  • the voluntary sector
  • prisons
  • Police
  • Youth Justice Board
  • the Department of Work and Pensions.

Together, they aim to reduce the frequency and harm of reoffending by adults and children in order to reduce crime and prevent further victims. There is a particular focus on four main priorities:

  1. Reducing short custodial sentences and improving the rehabilitation and resettlement of prison leavers
  2. Women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS)
  3. Children in the CJS
  4. Ex-Service personnel in the CJS

Ongoing projects

1. Increasing community sentences which are proven to be more effective at reducing re-offending than short custodial sentences, improving the rehabilitation and resettlement of prison leavers to enable them to lead a crime free life and prevent the revolving door into prison. This approach focusses on the rehabilitation and resettlement of prison leavers by:

  • Improving prison safety – reducing crime in prisons and improving mental health and behaviour
  • Increasing meaningful and productive activity in prisons to improve the culture of prisons and behaviour of residents
  • Working with central government and businesses to increase work and employment opportunities for those leaving prison
  • Working with local and central government to implement a modular housing project involving prisoners in the construction and assembly of affordable housing for communities
  • Working with Local Authorities to ensure people leaving prison have accommodation
  • Improving the health care transition from prisons to the community

2. Women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS)

  • Ensure statutory and non-statutory organisations are able to engage with women before they are released from prison to support them in the community on release. A dedicated HMP Eastwood Park Coordinator role has been created and co-funded by the Partnership
  • Increasing accommodation available for women by working with local authorities to increase gender specific accommodation
  • Working with the Ministry of Justice to scope a Residential Women’s Centre in the South West as an alternative to custody
  • The creation of a dedicated Coordinator who will work with partners to improve women’s experiences in maintaining contact with their family

3. Children in the CJS

  • Creating initiatives to reduce violence amongst children as violence against the person accounts for 30% of offending amongst children in the South West
  • Ensuring no child is remanded due to a lack of suitable alternative accommodation
  • Ensuring resettlement guidance is applied by all partners when a child is resettled from custody

4. Ex-service personnel in the CJS

  • Ensuring ex-service personnel and their families receive the right support in the community and prison
  • Working with the NHS to find a suitable solution to ensure holistic support is in place

Strategic work

  • Working with the Government on the probation reform programme to ensure good quality services are in place for addressing the needs of people in the CJS
  • Working with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to ensure commissioned services meet the needs of the people in the CJS

Terms of Reference and Delivery Plan

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