Offenders who are given a prison sentence must serve the first part of their sentence in prison and the second part in the community. High risk and prolific offenders and those sentenced to ISPPs (Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection) are always managed by an offender manager in the community. Probation staff, located in prisons in York and North Yorkshire, work in close partnership with community based colleagues and partner agencies.
The aim is to ensure each offender addresses issues relevant to their offending behaviour while in prison and to ensure the safety of the public when the offender is released subject to a licence, which is managed by an offender manager until their sentence expires.
Work with offenders in prison includes:
- assessing the risks posed by offenders to the public, other inmates or themselves
- co-ordinating sentence-planning
- one-to-one work with offenders to deal with any issues they may have
- facilitating groupwork programmes, to address offending behaviour
- assessments for the Parole Board
- providing links to agencies in the community
- prison provides an environment for offenders to develop new skills or to improve existing skills that lead to employment. It is widely acknowledged that employment is one of the most important factors linked to offenders not re-offending.
Offenders who serve sentences of 12 months or more are released subject to a licence, which involves keeping in contact with an offender manager and abiding by certain restrictions on their movement or behaviour.
Offenders who break the rules of their licence can be returned to prison. The restrictions an offender is given on leaving prison depends on the seriousness of the crime. For example, less serious offenders may be released early, but may be electronically tagged until their licence expires.
More serious offenders may have to start their licence period residing in an approved premises, where the regimes and controls imposed offer greater protection to the public. Those on life sentences released into the community remain subject to a life licence for the rest of their life. If their behaviour deteriorates, they may be returned to prison.
The primary aim of all resettlement work is to make sure that the public is protected and offenders have the best chance possible of leading a law abiding life.