There is one approved premises in York and North Yorkshire - Southview.
Southview provides accommodation for those who are on bail, subject to probation supervision or to a licence on release from prison.
What are approved premises?
Approved premises provide controlled accommodation for offenders under the supervision of the Probation Service. They provide a greater degree of supervision for offenders than is possible in other forms of housing. Approved premises were formerly known as bail and / or probation hostels.
Most approved premises are owned and managed by the Probation Service. A small number are run by voluntary sector providers but all are required to work to the same operating standards.
Residents follow a structured regime, which includes an overnight curfew. There is 24 hour supervision at the approved premises by trained staff.
Who lives in approved premises?
Approved premises accommodate offenders who have committed a very wide range of crimes. Approved premises are not specialist accommodation or treatment centres for sex offenders; they hold a range of offenders on bail or on licence in the community for whom no other types of accommodation would be suitable. Approved premises are available for both male and female offenders - although Southview only houses male offenders.
Are they safe?
Approved premises are the safest option for many offenders as it allows their risk to be managed. They are required to comply with all the conditions of their order or licence, including the curfew and any additional restrictions imposed on their movements.
Facilities like these are a vital part of the public protection process. They enable successful resettlement of offenders back into the community, while contributing to the reduction of re-offending.
Residents are also required to comply with house rules which set out the standards of behaviour expected of them. There are rules forbidding them to act in such a way as to cause disruption to neighbours and the immediate community, or to bring the premises into disrepute.
Any breach of the conditions of residence or the house rules renders an offender liable to clear sanctions; either eviction; a return to court or their immediate re-call to prison.
What would happen if approved premises where not available?
If some high risk offenders were not able to go to approved premises on release, or as a condition of bail or a community order, then they would be placed in other, less secure forms of accommodation, such as local authority housing, voluntary sector hostels, privately rented flats or bed and breakfast establishments. It is much more difficult to manage offenders safely and effectively in these settings. This would significantly reduce the protection afforded to the public, since offenders would be less tightly monitored and lapses of behaviour would be less likely to be detected.
In many cases offenders require a place because they have offended against a member of their own household (for instance in cases of domestic violence) and it would not be appropriate to allow them home until their risk can be properly managed.
Who decides which offenders go to approved premises?
Almost all residents in approved premises are placed there by the courts community orders or on bail) or the Parole Board (on licence). Admissions decisions are made by the Trust, based on a thorough risk assessment.