Research shows that 10% of offenders are responsible for 50% of recorded crimes.
These offenders need extra help and support if they are to stop offending. Integrated offender management (IOM) is an approach which brings together probation, local authorities, police, health, home removal companies and other organisations. It targets offenders who commit the most crime and makes sure they get the support and interventions they need to stop offending.
Offenders are identified for IOM because of their previous criminal record. Many have a long history of offending, with 30 or 40 convictions. The work undertaken with each offender is determined by the frequency and nature of their offending and might include drugs and alcohol treatment, help with basic numeracy and literacy or advice on housing and financial issues. Offences often include dwelling house burglary, alcohol and drug related crimes and theft.
Some offenders are on community orders and receive additional support from probation and police staff but are fast tracked back to court if they do not comply. Others have served short prison sentences and are not subject to any compulsory supervision, but agree to participate because they need help to change their lives and break the cycle of reoffending.
Offender case study – Katrina
Katrina pleaded guilty to shop theft, failing to surrender to custody by not complying with her bail conditions, and 2 counts of assaulting a police officer at the station. She was sentenced to a community order with 18 months supervision and 9 months drug rehabilitation (DRR).
Katrina had a string of convictions with an established pattern of offending including violent behaviour towards those in authority and shoplifting. Most of her offences were committed under the influence of alcohol or to fund her drug addiction.
At the time of the offence, she was using 2-3 bags of heroin per day, as well as smoking crack cocaine whenever possible. Her drug habit accounted for hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds a week.
Gradually, Katrina started to evidence some improvement. She engaged with a homeless unit at Gateshead Council, and after some initial temporary accommodation she was given a 2 bed council tenancy.
She engaged in treatment with substance misuse workers. She stopped her intravenous drug use and began to put in some clean drug tests.
Katrina also engaged with a healthcare worker and was diagnosed as bi-polar. She is accepting help to manage her condition.
Katrina has made sustained and positive changes in her life across a range of issues. She has developed support networks and skills to help over come her problems. She did not reoffend during the period of her supervision.
She has more confidence and makes constructive use of her time, attending a women’s group and other agencies. She is looking into a college course and creative writing group. She is also exploring employment options.
At the end of her statutory supervision, she continued to engage with the Gateshead IOM team, to support her ongoing progress.