The London 2012 Olympics cost the UK more than £9 billion, more than three times the original cost projections. This was during the height of the worst recession in 100 years and against a background of economic hardship and cuts to public services. But the British economy loses more than the cost of staging an Olympic games every year – from the huge cost of reoffending.
“…the British economy loses more than the cost of staging an Olympic games every year…”
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) calculates that nearly 60 per cent of offenders who are released from prison after serving sentences of less than 12 months, go on to offend again. This isn’t a new problem; successive administrations have struggled to address it, and it requires an integrated approach to offender management.
The MoJ’s Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme looks to do just this with a relentless focus on rehabilitation to prevent reoffending. In October the MoJ will announce which bidders have been selected to take on 21 regional contracts to deliver probation services in England and Wales to help achieve this vision.
Opening up justice to new providers
TR is part of a wave of sweeping reforms to the Justice sector, which will see more private and third sector organisations providing probation services. This includes supporting offenders released after short prison sentences – at present those serving sentences of less than 12 months receive no support at all, despite being the set of offenders most likely to commit further crimes.
“…those serving sentences of less than 12 months receive no support at all…”
The Interserve approach
As one of a number of organisations which has submitted bids to operate the contracts, we at Interserve believe that public service delivery benefits from the participation of a wide range of service providers and partners. We have therefore developed a fully integrated model with a range of partners including SMEs, the public sector, charitable and not for profit groups to create a more efficient and better value service while also fulfilling the MoJ’s ambition that such entities should be a key part of TR delivery.
A business of Interserve’s scale and capability brings business expertise, investment, infrastructure and vast experience of delivering front-line public services, for example in the welfare field. Our strategy is to engage the 3rd Sector Consortium (3SC) to create and manage the performance of our TR supply chain. The overall aim is to round up local, on the ground expertise to change the behaviour of individuals – fundamentally the only way to reduce offending. 3SC will manage more than 30 voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) delivering these services locally according to their strengths.
Understanding the local environment
These groups, which include Shelter, Addaction and New Charter Housing, have been selected for their knowledge of local areas and have extensive experience of dealing with a range of complex offender needs. They have been drawn from the public and charitable sectors because they understand local environments and have a proven track record of successful local delivery.
We believe that this approach should encourage local communities to participate in the rehabilitation process.
Interserve has pledged to give VCSEs significantly more responsibility than current arrangements do to maximise the benefit of their local expertise to proactively deliver innovative services that make the critical difference to reduce reoffending.
Making it Work
We undertook a robust and lengthy due diligence exercise to assess our partners’ delivery capacity and decided on a volume of work for each partner that is realistic and commercially sustainable for both parties.
Interserve would manage the financial risks of the TR contracts, allowing our partners to benefit from the stable cash flow a company of our size and scale can provide. We have created and published a ‘Charity Charter’ which sets out what we can offer our VCSE partners and, in turn, what we expect from them.
Interserve prides itself on being a company which operates in a sustainable way.
Our approach to TR aligns with the aims of our business-wide sustainability plan – SustainAbilities – which sets out ambitious targets for the business to achieve by 2020, two of which are to deliver public services in the public interest and to build more skills and opportunities.
These commitments are fundamental to reducing reoffending. We would aim to deliver these objectives for significantly less than the current costs and the nature of the Payment by Results element of the contract means that we would only be fully paid when results are delivered, namely that reoffending is in fact reduced.
These are old problems. It’s time for new solutions – this is what we commit to deliver.
Find out more…
Justice – Interserve is working to create safer communities, prevent future victims of crime and support hard-to-reach members of society.