Drink driving & offences

Following this report another document was published Evidence Based Practice, by Chapman and Hough [1998]. This identified similar issues but also identified the need for reinforcement of motivation and learning for the offender throughout the period of supervision. By the late 1990's the probation service identified that previous results were unsatisfactory and inconsistent nationally. If it was to develop an important role in the Criminal Justice System, it had to evolve. Thus the creation of a National Service emerged, with greater emphasis on the achievement of National Standards and targets Holt [2002].

The rational underpinning probation case management is that of efficiency, and that often sparse and expensive resources should be targeted at those individuals most in need and consequently posing most identified risk to the public Oldfield [2000]. The agency focus is on risk management and criminogenic need, interventions are based on cognitive behavioural methods and service delivery is centred upon the management of the supervision plan Holt [2001].

Probation assessment of risk calculates that of harm and re-offending, by applying actuarial and clinical methods of assessment i.e. a combination of statistical static factors and observed dynamic factors Kemshall [1996]. All areas should by now have adopted the national prison and probation assessment tool known as OASys [offender assessment system]. This combined tool provides a common framework for assessment and matches offenders to appropriate interventions Wallis [2001]. In terms of developing a national model of case management, little has been done despite its references in the afore mentioned Home Office literature. The notion has remained relatively under-developed Holt [2001].

In discussions with colleagues it has been highlighted that Merseyside is possibly more advanced than many other regions. Possibly as a result of Paul Holt, Research Fellow at DeMontford University being commissioned to undertake developmental work relating to case management within the context of effective practice and is based in the Merseyside area as a senior probation officer providing guidance and evidence of best practice as research is compiled. Risk management of offenders is instrumental in the Merseyside / DeMontford case management model in line with the national agenda.

The assessment of risk at the pre-sentence report stage is a major influencing factor in case management, however this will be covered in depth in part two of this assignment. As such I will focus on the case management model I am using with an offender, to example the above model of what is seen as good practice within case management. I am currently working in a pre and post release division of the National Probation Service and am supervising offender 'A' on a six-month licence, he has a past history of violence, sexual assault, black mail, drink driving plus lesser offences ranging over a twenty year period.

He is 48 years old and states he is gay and is HIV positive, 'A's presenting problems or issues relating to his offending are connected to his abuse of alcohol which acts as a disinhibitor and he states is as a result of bereavement. Assessment As stated above the referral stage of the process will be discussed latter, as such I will discuss the assessment methods I have used to assist in preparing a supervision plan for 'A'. James Maguire suggests that we have moved on from simply asking 'what works' we should now be asking 'what works when, where and with whom Maguire [2002].

As no OASys assessment existed for 'A' my first priority was to assess his needs and those of the public who have a right to be protected, in doing this risk scores were calculated and used to help provide an accurate evaluation of 'A' and to identify static and dynamic factors which may influence future offending. Maguire's view that assessment needs to be tailored to meet the individual need was apparent in this case, having complex and multi faceted issues which need to be addressed in order to prevent recidivism by 'A'.

In developing a supervision plan which would empower 'A' whilst enforcing his need to comply with the terms of his licence, it has been necessary to use a multiplicity of approaches to provide services which will empower him whilst reinforcing his need to change and adopt a more responsible role in the society in which he lives. In working with 'A' I adopted an approach used by Ivanoff in which I explained what interventions I would recommend and why I was recommending them [Ivanoff et al. 1994: 58]. In doing this, the assessment formed part of the professional relationship and began a process of work towards change.

My initial assessment and supervision plan included individual cognitive behavioural work adapted from the Think First programme, the one to one alcohol pack, the use of partnership agencies to provide extra support with housing, counselling, pain management as 'A' has arthritis, also the support of a key worker from a partnership agency who could provide support and some practical help. Objective setting In setting the objectives for supervision I identified the issues, which had caused 'A' to offend in the past.

These centred on his alcohol abuse and the fact that he feels a sense of loss for his dead partner and mother, which in turn act as a trigger to his drinking binges. This is compounded by contact with his former partners mother who herself has a problem with alcohol. Compton and Galaway [1994] identify the fact that you can not expect an individual to work to wards a goal which they have not been part of setting, as such I discussed with 'A' the objectives which both myself and he believed to be achievable whilst remaining within the bounds of national standards.

I believe this motivated the offender to identify issues and to aspire to change whilst involving him in the process of decision-making. The objectives set were to include stopping drinking alcohol, cognitive one to one work to improve 'A's perspective taking and consequential thinking skills, obtaining counselling for alcohol and grief problems and to get alternative therapy to help with pain management.

These objectives reflect Holt's view of case management bringing together the brokerage of services, which will provide 'A' with help from partnership agencies, which may reduce his risk of recidivism via counselling for alcohol and grief problems and should help with his pain management for the arthritis problem. Some of the objectives use a task centred problem solving model which would identify 'A's problems and better equip him to identify triggers and antecedents and then deal with them before they become problems not just for him but also the public at large.

Planning In planning 'A's supervision I identified what provision was available both within the probation setting via my own input as the case manager and also from partnership agencies, ensuring what was being offered was not only anti-discriminatory, anti oppressive but also suitable for 'A's needs and was acceptable under national standards. 'Case management must become a system reform strategy with responsibility for direct practice with individuals …

' [Rose 1992, p. viii]. Rose's comments identify the fact that case manager input is essential and that any support via outside agencies needs to complimented by one to one work with the individual. In planning the interventions to be used a flexible approach was adopted to ensure change could be made if necessary, this was done to prevent the supervision becoming limited by any rigid focus and to allow for pro-active changes to be made if the licence required them.

This type of planning allows for any gaps in service provision to be revised and strategies put in place, which will rectify any short falls in service provision. The cognitive work identified for use with 'A' was drawn from the Think First programme and is designed to enhance 'A's thinking skills, this work done with the case manager will reinforce positive behaviour and identify the possible negative consequences of offending behaviour enabling 'A' to make pre-emptive decisions before he acts negatively.

In doing the above the case manager can be pro-active empowering 'A' with skills he can apply in his every day life. It can also mean that provision is made for rehearsal opportunities in supporting newly learnt behaviour [Chapman and Hough 1998]. Planning in this manner allows the case manager to focus on what works identifying the need for service provision and providing opportunities for the offender to use skills learnt. Intervention

Interventions which focus on insight alone or the relationship alone and do not include problem solving or pro-social dimensions have limited support in work with involuntary clients [Andrews et al, 1990; Gough 1993]. Andrew's observations provide support for the interventions I have devised and agreed with 'A'. The interventions used are cognitive behavioural, pro-social modelling and the use of partnership agencies that provide extra support for none criminogenic issues that are linked to past offending. The essay will focus on case manager interventions but will also identify work done by partnership agencies.

In using cognitive behavioural sessions as part of 'A's appointments, we have been able to identify triggers and antecedents to his offending behaviour also to identify anti-social peers and negative role models. In doing this work I have used cognitive exercises such as the ABC diary (antecedents, behaviour, consequences) empowering 'A' to see what the triggers are to his offending and how to help prevent the possible negative consequences by reducing risk, I have also used other cognitive approaches such as costs benefits analysis of his offending to highlight the cost of his offences.

This has been consistently backed up with positive encouragement and reinforcement of all positive actions reported during appointments. By acting in a pro-social way rewarding and encouraging pro-social behaviour and discouraging negative behaviour, I have encouraged 'A' to adopt a more pro-social attitude encouraging him in appointments to change attitudes or behaviour which has been problematic in the past. Cognitive theory, unlike behaviour theory, recognises that learning processes are influenced by thoughts and feelings.

Cognitive therapy, rather than concentrating on behaviours, focuses on thought patterns and changing distorted thinking [Hepworth et al 1997]. The cognitive work done with 'A' has allowed him to reflect on past thoughts, feelings and behaviours and identify, the triggers and antecedents to the offending pattern he has developed over the past twenty years. This task centred approach has worked well with 'A' developing his awareness of problems and how he can solve them before they become a major issue for him.

None criminogenic interventions provided by partner support agencies as recommended in the What Works implementation [Home Office2001d] have allowed 'A' to move out of hostel accommodation into rented accommodation, also they have been able to offer support with pain management for arthritis and counselling for alcohol and bereavement which have complemented the offence focused work done in appointments.

This was arranged as part of a package, which I as the case manager brokered with individual partnership agencies upon release into hostel accommodation, and has allowed 'A' to live independently providing more autonomy whilst remaining within national standards. Evaluation Evaluating 'A's progress is difficult and complex, as he has many issues and problems both criminogenic and non-criminogenic, some of which he has been better able to deal with than others.

In particular his empathy for his victims as opposed to his abuse of alcohol, which has caused further problems as will be discussed latter. 'A' has six weeks left on his licence and states he believes his objectives and goals are being achieved via interventions from probation and partnership agencies. Client evaluations are of course only one measure of effectiveness, and perhaps less persuasive than hard data measures like re-offending, more hospital admissions or further notifications of abuse.

Nonetheless, client perspectives have value in their own right. Additionally, some research suggests that positive client evaluations tend to correlate with positive hard data evaluations [LaSala 1997]. Whilst LaSala's observations identify the fact that individuals may believe they are changing, I however believe 'A' to be still struggling with his alcohol problem regardless of the cognitive work and pro-social modelling done by myself, plus the counselling and outreach work he has received from a partnership agency.

Mid July 'A' was arrested and charged with being drunk and disorderly plus possession of cannabis for which he received a conditional discharge. In the week of writing this essay he has been arrested for false imprisonment and indecent assault with the charges delayed whilst the police decide whether or not to bring the charges. Whilst I believe 'A' has benefited from the cognitive work and has been able to use some of the problem solving techniques, 'A' however believes his progress to be much further on than do I.

In asking him what he believed has helped, from a case management perspective he informed me he thinks more about the consequences but still finds it hard not to drink and once drinking falls into old habits. Throughout this period of supervision I have asked 'A' if he thinks it has helped him, if there was something, which might have benefited him if done differently, if he felt the contact to be to intrusive as it was kept at weekly appointments for the full period of the licence.

Surprisingly 'A's answer to all of the above questions were he was happy with the work done and the level of contact, as he stated it helped him to focus and prevented him from drinking when he new he had an appointment. In conclusion and as a foot note to the above regardless of the work done with 'A' he latter when on to lose his accommodation as a result of his behaviour towards other tenants also to commit a further offence against a young male in a hostel threatening him and was charged and held in custody.

As a result of this and the other offences his licence was revoked and he is now awaiting sentence in custody, with further charges pending it is almost certain he will receive a further custodial sentence. It is evident the interventions used have not worked and regardless of the efforts made 'A' has remained rooted in a recidivist life style. It may seem case management models regardless of content will need to continue to be re-evaluated and effective practice re-examined in order to ensure best practice remains a watchword for working with involuntary individuals.