A team dedicated to working with prolific offenders to support their rehabilitation and protect the public has won a prestigious national accolade.
The Wirral Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Team, a partnership of Merseyside Police, Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company (M CRC), National Probation Service (NPS), and Wirral Ways to Recovery have been awarded a commendation from the Howard League for Penal Reform.
The commendation was in recognition for the work the team does with problematic and repeat offenders on the Wirral and was made in the Liaison and Diversion category.
Colleagues received the accolade on the 8th of November at the annual Howard League for Penal Reform Community awards.
Gillian O’Donnell, M CRC probation case manager for the unit, said: “It was an honour to be nominated and I am pleased that the work that we do is being recognised.
“Working within this bespoke service can be both challenging and rewarding.”
The chair of the awards panel, Gerry Marshall, Trustee for the Howard League for Penal Reform described the team as being an ‘exemplary example of an IOM team’ which showed the ideal balance between rehabilitation efforts and robust enforcement.
Sgt Kevin Jones said: “Although a wider range of agencies stand ready to assist with solutions, there are four main partners who work out of the unit in Wallasey to support prolific and priority offenders.”
The project is a collaboration between criminal justice and rehabilitation partners who work together to rehabilitate offending behaviours, reduce victims of crime and improve community life.
The team is co-located which overcomes delays to services enabling the team to efficiently deliver meaningful strategies around offenders who need help and guidance to turn their lives around.
Partners can discuss offenders in real time by a discussion across a desk. This close working arrangement also affords agencies the ability to deal with risk around victims and vulnerable persons associated with cohort members.
A variety of offender profiles are dealt with including serious acquisitive crime offenders and more recently those who are disposed to domestic abuse.
Amy Prosser, Criminal Justice recovery coordinator for Wirral Ways to Recovery, said: “Service users benefit from intensive management and supervision of their substance misuse issues.
“They have rapid access into treatment and support to rehabilitate back into the community.”
Those who have been identified to be managed under this integrated approach can expect robust yet fair supervision – the aim is get offenders to accept responsibility for their behaviour and to support them out of criminality.