Giving offenders opportunities to change, and the skills to rebuild their lives
As the Government introduces a new Bill to bring about sentencing reforms, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, (APCC) has launched a new report which demonstrates how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are ending the revolving door of crime by ensuring those offenders who want to turn their lives around and stay out of prison get the help and support they need to do so.
Reducing Reoffending In Focus features the work of 26 cross-party PCCs from all over England and Wales. It contains details of initiatives such as:
• Providing accommodation for prison-leavers, to prevent homelessness and returning to crime.
• Addressing the complex needs of women offenders – offering specific support for them and their families.
• Community Sentence Treatment Requirement orders for offenders with mental health problems, addictions, or other substance-abuse issues.
• Providing training, new life skills and community development courses to increase employment opportunities.
• Offering refreshed and enhanced integrated offender management programmes.
• Domestic abuse perpetrator programmes.
The work of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex features in the document with a case study about the Horizons Project.
A partnership project is reducing reoffending and helping vulnerable people get the support they need to broaden their horizons and improve their lives.
The “Horizons” project, part-funded and supported by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is based on the Making Every Adult Matter approach. It provides direct support to a small cohort of people with multiple, complex and compounding needs who, due to their lifestyles, find it difficult to access support services in the traditional way.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex said:
“Our vision is to create safe and secure communities that become the bedrock to build success and wellbeing for all. The Horizons project is a shining example of that because it breaks that cycle of reoffending and demonstrates what can be achieved by local health and justice agencies working in partnership.”
APCC Criminal Justice Lead, David Lloyd, and Deputy Criminal Justice Lead, Sue Mountstevens, said: “Although a prison sentence punishes the offender and prevents them from reoffending whilst they are incarcerated, we know that to end the revolving door of crime PCCs need to work with key partners, both in the criminal justice system and more broadly to rehabilitate offenders back into society effectively. Helping offenders is not always a popular cause, but no-one wants to see them return to prison leaving even more victims behind them.”
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “Reoffending is a pervasive issue and accounts for around 80% of cautioned or convicted crime. It is a top priority for this Government to break the cycle of reoffending by ensuring offenders can access the services they need to change their ways and turn their backs on crime. I am most impressed and grateful for the work of PCCs and their dedicated staff across our country for their engagement with their partners and local communities to help divert offenders away from crime.”
Director General of Probation and Wales, Amy Rees said: “PCCs have been absolutely integral to our partnership working for many years and we really value the strong relationships we have developed which have led to important successes in reducing reoffending, protecting the public and supporting vulnerable groups. Integrated Offender Management is one of the best examples we have of partners coming together, pooling their strengths and expertise to find solutions to reducing reoffending in communities and PCC colleagues have been central to many successful previous and ongoing initiatives.”
David Lloyd is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire
Sue Mountstevens is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset