What is an Offender Manager?

An Offender Manager is someone who works for a Probation Trust. They are usually based in an office in the local area. Generally speaking the same Offender Manager should be responsible for the person with a conviction throughout the whole of their sentence whether the sentence is served in custody, in the community or a mixture of both. The Offender Manager is responsible for assessing the person with a conviction’s risks and needs, planning how their sentence should run or deciding upon necessary interventions (for example a programme that will help them to think and act in a different way). The Offender Manager will also look at how the person with a conviction progresses on their sentence, making any adjustments as required if circumstances change.

Who has an Offender Manager?

Those people serving sentences in the community will have an Offender Manager.

People serving 12 months or more in custody may have an Offender Manager however this depends on the type of sentence being served. A prisoner will be told if they have an Offender Manager.

Prisoners serving an indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) will have an Offender Manager in their home area.

Prisoners with Offender Managers will also have an Offender Supervisor based in the prison who will help to arrange some parts of the prisoner’s sentence plan. The Offender Supervisor will keep the Offender Manager informed of the prisoner’s progress and any difficulties they may be having.

What does an Offender Manager do?

Following the imposition of a community order on a person with a conviction, the Offender Manager’s role is to:-
  • impose obligations and restrictions on the person with a conviction to fulfill sentencers’ requirements of punishment
  • develop more responsible behaviour in the person with a conviction
  • improve the person with a conviction’s attitudes so they become less anti-social
  • help improve the person with a conviction’s social circumstances and links in the community
  • manage risk presented by the person with a conviction so that the possibility of serious harm is reduced
  • provide good value for money in the cost of organising and running the order

The Offender Manager will encourage the person with a conviction to think about the things in their life that led them to offend in the first place and that might lead them to re-offend. This may include addressing money or accommodation problems, tackling issues with drugs and/or alcohol or highlighting unhealthy relationships.

The Offender Manager will talk to the person with a conviction about what they might do to reduce their chances of re-offending. This might be learning a new skill that could help them find employment, getting specialist help with a problem (for example debt advice) or getting treatment for drug or alcohol dependency.

These things can then be built into an action plan for the person with a conviction to follow during their sentence.

It is up to the person with a conviction to stick to the plan and comply with all the expectations of their sentence in order to make the changes in their life that will reduce their risk of re-offending.

Scotland

In Scotland the process for Offender Management is called Integrated Case Management (ICM).

The process was developed by the Scottish Prison Service and is focused on helping prisoners deal with any problems in order to break the cycle of re-offending. The ICM system is charged with assisting prisoners as they assess their attitudes and behaviours that led them to offend. Participation in the process is voluntary and prisoners are under no obligation to join the system.

Core Screen Interview

The ICM process usually begins with a Core Screen Interview. Soon after being sent to prison, a prisoner will meet with a prison officer and complete an interview. It is a chance for them to discuss their issues and the needs they have, for instance: drug problems, housing issues, training or education requirements, mental illness etc.

Standard ICM or Enhanced ICM?

After this interview the prisoner will be informed whether they will be placed on “standard ICM” or the “enhanced ICM” route.

The “standard ICM” is for prisoners serving less than four years and who won’t require Statutory Supervision by social work involvement outside of prison. The “enhanced ICM route” is for prisoners serving over four years in prison or who are subject to statutory supervision and who will require social work involvement upon release. Prisoners on either “route” are supported by prison staff throughout the process and will be assisted in communicating the process to their loved ones. However, if the prisoner is on the “enhanced ICM route”, loved ones can expect to be contacted by a Community Based Social Worker (CBSW) in order that the family can work together to support the prisoner throughout the process.

Case Conference

The next stage in the process is a case conference. If you are in touch with a CBSW they will be able to guide you through what this entails. The usual proceedings are that a group of people involved with the prisoner gather to discuss their plan for the year and how support can be given. Alongside the prisoner, the people who usually attend a case conference are the ICM case coordinator, a family member or close friend, a social worker and the prisoner’s personal or supervising officer. Case conferences will be held once a year, with the last one taking place around three months before the prisoner’s release date. If you as a family member or friend are experiencing financial difficulties and wish to attend your loved one’s case conference, help may be available to you. Please visit our Cost of Prison Visits page for more information.

ICM’s are a good way for prisoners to plan for their time in prison and to receive support during their rehabilitation. If the prisoner is eligible for a Home Detention Curfew Order (HDC), participating in the ICM process can speak well of an prisoner’s intent to rehabilitate themselves and re-join society in a productive manner.

This page was updated on November 2018