Integrated Offender Management arrangements
Integrated Offender Management arrangements have been introduced somewhat differently in every local area, but they typically bring together staff from all the agencies engaged in local CJS partnerships (Police, Probation, Prisons, plus other key statutory and VCS organisations) within a single, coherent team structure for the management of repeat offenders, including those released after serving sentences of less than twelve months.
In light of evidence that IOM teams were not engaging fully as they might with local Voluntary and Community Sector organisations, Clinks was invited to work in partnership with the Home Office between 1stSeptember 2010 and 31st March 2011, to strengthen the role of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Integrated Offender Management (IOM) in four selected ‘development and demonstration’ areas:
- Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole;
- and Leeds.
During this period Clinks actively supported the partners in all four areas that made successful applications for Home Office funding to develop and implement locally-inspired, VCS-led proposals that in different ways achieved innovative VCS involvement in local IOM arrangements.
A range of activity was funded in each area to enable innovative VCS involvement in local IOM arrangements, which included:
Building strategic partnerships: Mapping local VCS provision with the potential to support/engage with IOM; building active e-networks; establishing VCS Forums; electing and training VCS representatives for IOM Boards and Community Safety Partnerships; developing a Commissioning Framework.
Capacity building the VCS to engage with IOM: Offering training for VCS organisations to work with IOM offenders as volunteers; training workers in statutory IOM agencies to recruit and support their own volunteers; establishing small grants funds to enable small, diverse grassroots community organisations to work with IOM teams and engage with IOM offenders; providing ‘market place’ opportunities for VCS and IOM partners to network and make links.
Developing new opportunities for volunteering with and by offenders: Providing training and brokerage for mentoring of IOM offenders, including peer mentoring; offering small grants for VCS organisations to develop new volunteering opportunities for IOM offenders.
Involving service users: Establishing a user reference group to inform IOM planning and delivery; involving ex-offenders in the production of a DVD to highlight their experiences of resettlement.
Exploring the potential for local social action to increase IOM’s capacity and responsiveness in very dispersed rural communities: Raising awareness and assessing potential among rural community groups.
Developing innovative VCS service approaches to meet the identified needs of IOM offenders: Establishing a multi-agency ‘hub’ at the gate of HMP Leeds to offer ‘wrap-around’ services tailored to the needs of IOM prisoners returning to Leeds; a new court-based assessment and referral service for women entering the CJS; feasibility studies for social enterprises providing training and work opportunities for IOM offenders; piloting of a brief family interventions programme for IOM offenders and their families.
Each of the four areas submitted its own final project report, detailing their local activities, outputs and outcomes. These may be viewed by clicking on the links below:
- Final report from Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
- Final report from Croydon
- Final report from Gloucestershire
- Final report from Leeds
These resources, published jointly by the Home Office and Clinks, are primarily intended to help key stakeholders involved in local Integrated Offender Management (IOM) arrangements to review the role of Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) partners, but may equally help VCS organisations to think about the range of roles they could undertake, individually or collectively. Resource 4, in particular, aims to help VCS organisations to engage with local IOM arrangements and other Criminal Justice System (CJS) structures. Find them here
A number of other reports and resources were also generated by local VCS partners which may be of interest to other areas. Clinks will be gathering and posting these here as we receive them:
Gloucestershire: Voice from the streets: voice for change – Users’ accounts of support services for offenders with drug issues
Dorset - Working with Offenders in Rural Areas: Research into the Involvement of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Integrated Offender Management in Rural Dorset