High Risk Offenders
In 1990 West Yorkshire Probation devised a new approach to protecting the public from dangerous offenders. This involved working with other agencies, such as the police and prison service, to assess and manage the risks that some offenders posed to the public. This approach was adopted throughout the country in April 2001 and is known as Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
When potentially dangerous offenders return to the community, either after release from prison, or on a Community Order, a Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements panel meets to assess and manage the risks they pose. A risk management plan is then drawn up outlining how the risks will be managed and by whom.
MAPPA involve close partnership work between Probation, the police, prisons, social services, the health authority, accommodation providers and any other appropriate agencies. The panels are powerful and have a wide range of choices available to them, including the power to make some offenders live in Probation Hostels (Approved Premises). This partnership approach allows us to focus on the details of each case and share information so that we can make a co-ordinated and effective response to combat the risks that dangerous offenders pose.
The MAPPA Annual Report contains many case-studies which illustrate the work of the partnership agencies working together.
The concerns of the victims, where known, are always considered in MAPPA meetings and taken into account in risk assessments and risk management plans. Our dedicated Victim Services Units inform victims of any decisions.
Certain offenders, usually those convicted of sexual or violent offences, are sometimes assessed as a 'serious' risk to the public. This means that they may be likely to re-offend and could be a danger to an individual, or to society in general. The Probation Service and the Prison Service need to assess the extent of this risk. This is done with a tool called 'OASys', the Offender Assessment System.
OASys is designed to:
- Assess how likely an offender is to offend again
- Identify offending-related needs, including personality and behavioural issues
- Assess the risk of serious harm, risk to the individual and other risks
- Help those who manage the risk of harm
- Link the assessment to the offender's supervision
- Indicate the need for further specialist assessments
- Measure change during the period of supervision.
Risk is dynamic, meaning it can change depending on certain factors, so the OASys assessment has to be applied at least every 16 weeks. This is to review the level of progress the offender has made and to re-assess any continued risk they may pose.