Category Archives: HM Probation Inspectorate

Approved premises need more effective focus on drug testing and managing the risks of substance abuse, says Ombudsman

 

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Approved Premise (APs), home to people released from prison or on bail or court orders, need more effective drug testing practices and better staff guidance to identify and address the risks associated with substance misuse, and support individuals, according to a report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO).

Overdoses of opiate and other drugs, including alcohol, by people released from prison remain a significant risk, the PPO ‘Learning Lessons’ bulletin found. People are at a higher risk of overdose if they slip back into drug and alcohol use after periods of abstinence or detoxification.

The bulletin – Approved Premises – substance misusebased on findings from deaths in APs investigated by the PPO also raised significant concerns about New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). These range from stimulants to hallucinogens and are commonly seen in prisons and the community as synthetic cannabinoids, known by names such as Spice and Mamba.

Elizabeth Moody, the acting Ombudsman, said: “The rise of New Psychoactive Substance use in the prison estate is well documented and is widely recognised, in the words of the previous Ombudsman, as a “game-changer”. However, it is clear from our investigations that the implications of NPS for the AP estate have not yet been fully understood or addressed by the National Probation Service (which is responsible for APs).”

The PPO examined 29 of their investigations into AP deaths that were drug-related, or where there was a history of substance misuse. The bulletin expressed concern that testing for NPS in APs “appears to lag behind that in prisons and does not draw on the experience of prisons”. One case study in the bulletin discloses that AP staff were unable to test a man despite their concern he had taken NPS.

The PPO found some good practice in the management and care for those who misuse drugs and alcohol. However, Elizabeth Moody added, “we also see cases with too little focus on the risk of relapse and overdose.”

Some of the PPO investigations identified deficiencies in information sharing and in welfare checks. The bulletin made a number of recommendations relating to:

  • Ensuring a good flow of information between stakeholders, which is critical, particularly for managing substance misuse where there is a clear requirement for effective multi-disciplinary working. PPO investigations found this did not always happen.
  • Checks on the welfare of AP residents – another important way to ensure the risks associated with substance abuse are well managed. PPO investigations found checks were not always carried out effectively.
  • An overarching need for the National Probation Service to improve the AP manual to give staff better guidance on NPS use, information sharing and making welfare checks.

Elizabeth Moody said:

“We know offenders can be at heightened risk of death following their release into the community. I hope this bulletin will help AP staff apply the learning from our investigations to improve the ways they identify, monitor and address the risk factors associated with substance misuse.”

The bulletin is available here – https://www.ppo.gov.uk/?p=10336

North London Probation Services – Unacceptable Service Putting Public At Risk Say Inspectors

Probation services in the north of London had deteriorated and work by the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) responsible for managing low and medium-risk offenders was poor. People were more at risk as a result, and this was unacceptable, said Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation. Today she published the report of a recent… Continue Reading

CRC and Through The Gate: “Delivery is poor and little to commend.”

The report reflects the findings of HM Inspectorate of Probation and HM Inspectorate of Prisons. Under the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, all prisoners sentenced to 12 months or less are now subject to 12 month’s supervision by probation services on release. This means that an extra 50,000 extra people are now supervised, an increase of… Continue Reading

Good relationship with key worker pivotal in turning young people away from crime

One positive and sustained relationship with a youth worker can make all the difference in helping young people leave crime behind, said Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation. Today she published a report on the effectiveness of practice in Youth Offending Teams (YOTS), looking at the main themes which desistance research has identified… Continue Reading

Little or no progress at all in moving young offenders to adult probation services say Inspectors

Little progress has been made in improving the preparation and planning for young people to move from youth offending services to adult probation services and this can affect their rehabilitation, said Alan MacDonald, Assistant Chief Inspector of Probation. Today HM Inspectorate of Probation published the report of an inspection of transition arrangements. Today’s report, Transition… Continue Reading

HM Inspectorate of Probation reports on early implementation of Transforming Rehabilitation – transitional issues remain‏

Adult probation services under the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme had seen some improvements but more needed to be done, said Paul Wilson, Chief Inspector of Probation. Today HM Inspectorate of Probation published a fourth report on the early implementation of the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme. The report, Transforming Rehabilitation – Early Implementation 4: an Independent… Continue Reading

QUALITY OF THE DELIVERY OF UNPAID WORK VARIES SIGNIFICANTLY, INSPECTORS FIND

Although some unpaid work was well managed and well delivered, much of it was simply not good enough, and its potential to rehabilitate was not always exploited, said Paul Wilson, Chief Inspector of Probation. Today HM Inspectorate of Probation published a report on unpaid work, the most frequently imposed requirement of a community sentence.  … Continue Reading

Probation Chief Resigns – but what took so long?

The Chief Inspector of Probation has resigned from his post over fears his wife’s job could create a conflict of interest. Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling today announced that Paul McDowell is standing down. It comes after it emerged that Mr McDowell’s wife Janine is the deputy managing director of private justice company… Continue Reading

Prisoners should have internet access says Chief Inspector

Prisoners need greater access to new technology to assist with their rehabilitation, as long as the risks are carefully managed, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he spoke at the Modernising Justice through Technology, Innovation and Efficiency conference in London. Referring to the findings of a joint report by the Prison Reform Trust… Continue Reading

Integrated Offender Management has potential but more evidence of its effectiveness is needed, say Inspectors

The approach that sees police officers, probation staff and other agencies work together to manage offenders in a co-ordinated way is promising and has potential, said independent inspectors. Today they published the report of a joint inspection into integrated offender management (IOM), but added that a better understanding was needed of its effectiveness. Integrated Offender… Continue Reading

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