Inspection of Offender Management in South Yorkshire

The latest inspection report on adult offending work in England and Wales was published today.

Sally Lester, Assistant Chief Inspector of Probation, said:

‘This inspection of offender management work in South Yorkshire took place as part of our second programme of Offender Management Inspections. We have examined a representative sample of probation (adult offending) cases from the trust, and have judged how often the work with each case was done to a sufficiently high level of quality.

‘Over the trust as a whole, we judged that the work to keep to a minimum each individual’s Risk of Harm to others – i.e. the ‘Control’ purpose’ – was done well enough 81% of the time. The work to make each individual less likely to reoffend – the ‘Help’ and ‘Change’ purposes – was done well enough 82% of the time. Work to maximise compliance and enforcement was done well enough 84% of the time. A more detailed analysis of our findings is provided in the main body of this report, and summarised in a table in Appendix 1. These figures can be viewed in the context of our findings from the areas and Trusts where we have inspected so far – see the Table below.

‘We also found that the Trust had a strong commitment to practice improvement and there was generally good work being done with offenders to protect the public and reduce reoffending, including in some difficult and demanding cases. However, attention was needed to some aspects of offender management, including assessment, risk management planning, and reviews.

‘Overall, we consider this a very creditable set of findings. Given its focus on improving the quality of practice, South Yorkshire Probation Trust is well placed to take forward our recommendations.’

Scores from the English regions that have been inspected to date Scores for South Yorkshire
Lowest Highest Average
‘Control’ – ‘Risk of Harm to others’ work (action to protect public) 64% 84% 74% 81%
‘Help’ and ‘Change’ – Likelihood of Reoffending work (individual less likely to reoffend) 62% 82% 73% 82%
‘Punish’ – Compliance and Enforcement work (individual serves his/her sentence) 69% 86% 79% 84%

Notes to editors:

  1. View the report (PDF, 665.83 kB)
  2. This Offender Management Inspection 2 programme started in September 2009. Adult offending work is being inspected by visits to all NOMS areas and trusts over a three-year period from September 2009.
  3. The purpose of offender management has been usefully characterised as to ‘Punish, Help, Change and Control’ each individual offender, in accordance with the need of the individual case. Although our detailed inspection findings can seem rather technical for the general reader, our headline findings can be related to those ‘plain language’ purposes. We have given particular attention to the ‘Control’ purpose – the Public Protection aspect of the work – since this is where independent inspection can add the most value. Our ‘Risk of Harm to others score’ measures how well this has been done.
  4. Sally Lester can be contacted on 07917 084763