West Yorkshire Probation Keeps On Reducing Reoffending
The latest Ministry of Justice local reducing reoffending figures (1 October 2012 - 30 September 2013) show that Probation Trusts across the country have cut reoffending by 3.87% compared with the baseline rates of 2007 - 2008.
Once again West Yorkshire Probation is one of the best performing Probation Trusts with the actual reoffending rate 11.92% lower than the baseline rate.
All districts of West Yorkshire saw significant falls in reoffending rates compared to baseline rates including:
- Bradford where the reoffending rate fell by 15.72%
- Calderdale where the reoffending rate fell by 18.47%
- Kirklees which had a significant fall of 12.82%
- Leeds where the reoffending rate is 9.55% lower than the predicted rate
- Wakefield where the rate is 9.13% lower than predicted
The statistics are the fourteenth quarter in a row where West Yorkshire Probation has significantly reduced reoffending.
Chief Executive of West Yorkshire Probation, Sue Hall, said "This is yet another example of the excellent work being carried out by our professional and committed staff working in partnership with other local organisations. I am proud of the hard work and skill of my colleagues across West Yorkshire Probation who continue to deliver such positive results for our communities."
West Yorkshire Probation Trust
At any one time, West Yorkshire Probation Trust is responsible for the management of more than 11,000 adult offenders, approximately 5,700 on Community Orders, 2,300 on licence and 3,000 in custody.
We work with offenders in the community and in custody to tackle their offending behaviour and help them address issues that led them to commit crime. We work in partnership with a range of local organisations and are one of the top six Trusts for reducing reoffending - our reoffending rate has declined by 14% since 2005.
Our Victim Services Unit supports the victims of serious crime and domestic violence.
We are an award-winning, innovative Trust which is committed to reducing reoffending and protecting the public. In 2013 we received Investors in People Gold Award, are the only Trust in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index and won three Butler Trust Awards.
All in a Day's Work
Probation Officer, Halifax
John has a case load of 45 high risk or very high risk offenders. John is an early starter and is often in the office by 7am when he might:
- Check emails.
- Review the sentence plans for offenders he’s meeting that week.
- Get ready for a Pre Sentence Report if he’s meeting someone that morning. John schedules two slots a week to talk to offenders to prepare a report proposing options for sentencing. In order to prepare he finds out about any previous convictions, looks at photo evidence and talks to appropriate local agencies including social services, police intelligence and the vulnerable persons unit. He plans his questions linked to the OASys risk assessment so that he knows he’ll have all the background to recommend appropriate sentencing options.
- Write up a Pre Sentence Report following the meeting with the offender.
- Follow up telephone calls with offenders, families, partner agencies, colleagues etc.
- John tries to schedule offender supervision sessions in the afternoon with up to eight half hour slots on a busy day and keeps appointments to three out of five days.
- The other two days provide time for home visits, MAPPA (public protection) or child protection meetings, which he attends if an offender he’s working with poses a significant risk to the public or a risk to children. He is there to ensure that the risks are effectively considered and controlled.
- Contact an offender in prison via video link or a face-to-face meeting if the prisoner is approaching the time where parole might be agreed. These meetings include John as the offender manager, the offender, the prison-based offender supervisor
There has been one punch thrown in John’s eight years as a probation officer and the man later apologised over a cup of tea and some Jaffa Cakes. This is despite John often being allocated the most difficult, anti-probation offenders who can pose a threat to staff.
John also teaches with the OU on Youth Justice in his spare time. He’s been doing it for five years and loves it seeing it not as work, but as a personal interest. He also runs weekend workshops, writes exam questions and quality assesses other lecturers.
Why I come to work
- the diversity - every day is different
- working with challenging offenders and seeing the changes that validate the work
- not seeing people return to reception once their sentence is complete
- being part of a great team – without the support of case admin, the receptionists and all other colleagues, the job would be impossible
- the changing emphasis from face-to-face work to paperwork
- too many targets which stop the job being done as well as it could be
Probation Officer - Calderdale