Latest figures, published by the Government, for adult proven re-offending rates published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in October 2018 show that Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees local authority areas have some of the highest adult reoffending rates in the country. National research also shows that adult offenders (aged 18 years and over) who receive an out-of court disposal are much less likely to re-offend than those who go to court, particularly when combined with restorative interventions. Deferred prosecution schemes for juvenile offenders (aged 17 years and under) have been extremely effective in reducing the number of first-time entrants into the Criminal Justice System.
Currently, there are no early intervention schemes operating in the Cleveland area that specifically seek to reduce the offending behaviour of adult offenders. To address this, the PCC is preparing to commission early intervention schemes and will establish a pilot to determine a new way of working that effectively addresses adult offending behaviour and builds a local evidence-base to understand ‘What Works’. An allocation of up to £227,260.48 has been approved for the delivery of this scheme that will seek to
1. Reduce the number of victims of crime by reducing reoffending and making communities safer.
2. Reduce risk of individual becoming involved in the Criminal Justice System and encourage them to participate in a positive future.
The scheme will divert cases of low-level adult offending away from the Criminal Justice System by offering an individual the opportunity to comply and complete specified conditions, including rehabilitative work, instead of being prosecuted.
Evidence shows that people are generally motivated to commit crime due to a range of underlying issues. By tackling these issues at potential point of entry into the Criminal Justice System through an effective and targeted early intervention offer these issues can be addressed before becoming overly problematic and lead to more offending behaviour.
Subject to an agreed eligibility criteria, the scheme will assess and identify the needs of individual's (aged 18 years and over), and address the underlying causes of offending behaviour through the development of a personalised agreement to support them to desist from further offending behaviour.
Supported by multi-skilled Divert Support Officer individuals will engage with agencies to address the issues that have contributed towards their offending behaviour including but not limited to – substance misuse, housing, physical/mental health, finances, employment, relationships, attitudes, thinking and behaviour.
This initiative supports the PCC's objective of Tackling Offending and Re-offending.