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Tuesday 24 April 2018

The Dog ate the Letter - Exercise in Dealing with Non-compliance

Version: PS/OC/4/1.0

Author: Jo Chilvers

Below is a series of non-compliance scenarios.


Work through the situations in pairs or small groups.  For each one, decide how you would respond, noting what the relevant factors are in your decision. No roles are assigned in the scenarios. You should use your own experience of IOM to inform your thinking about the various operational and strategic perspectives involved. 


Each pair/group will be asked to report their response and rationale to one scenario, in turn.  Other pairs/groups will have the opportunity to express different views. This exercise is not about identifying right and wrong answers. Its purpose is to enable participants to explore some common IOM dilemmas from different perspectives.




Scenario 1

Dylan, aged 22, is on licence for burglary. He is assessed as being at high risk of reoffending. He has been a Class A drug misuser. He has been engaging with probation and with his drugs worker, providing 5 negative tests in the past two weeks. From a police perspective, there is intelligence to indicate that he is involved in the spike in burglary numbers near his home in the past few days. It is the Friday before a Bank Holiday and Dylan tests positive. His drugs worker leaves a message on the voicemail of his probation officer, who has already finished for the weekend. The increased incidence of burglaries continues on the Saturday and Sunday. The local police commander is frustrated that Dylan remains on the streets and is speaking very negatively about the IOM scheme. What do you do?




Scenario 2

Josh, aged 19, was released on licence from prison three months ago and is living in a YMCA hostel. His offences include burglaries, thefts and assaults as well as numerous driving matters. His risk of reoffending is very high. However, he has tested negative for Class A drugs, is engaging with probation and drugs workers, and there is no intelligence to indicate that he is reoffending. He has been allocated a flat but the housing association are delaying him moving in because someone else is squatting there and she has very complex needs. In the past fortnight another IOM offender, Amir, has also moved into the YMCA. The Police are checking him three times a day and are including Josh in their checks too. Josh is starting to feel really irritated, saying that he is doing everything right but still getting hassled. The YMCA staff are not happy either. They are concerned about the frequency of police visits to the hostel and also report that there is tension between Josh and Amir which they believe could escalate to violence. What do you do?




Scenario 3

Estelle, aged 22, is on a Community Order that includes Unpaid Work. Her offences include thefts, shoplifting and driving offences. She has previously served a prison sentence for assault and supplying Class A drugs. There is no intelligence about reoffending and no indication of drug use. For her unpaid work she has been placed with a charity which takes furniture and domestic appliances and recycles them to people in need.  The placement started well but three weeks ago the organisation reported to probation that there had been a deterioration in Estelle’s work. It was difficult to get her to work diligently because she was always on her mobile phone, and often her boyfriend would hang about when the staff were not watching and talk to her.  Estelle was warned by probation that she should not take her mobile phone to the work place, and that her boyfriend should not visit her there.  Yesterday probation received another call from the organisation to say that they will not have Estelle there anymore.  Her use of the phone reduced for a while but then crept back up again. Yesterday her boyfriend was hanging around talking to her.  One of the staff approached the two of them and warned Estelle that she was in breach of the agreement about her placement and that if it did not stop she would be reported to probation. The boyfriend then threatened the member of staff and left the site, taking Estelle with him. Police were not involved at the time. What do you do?




Scenario 4

Lindon, aged 25, was recently released from prison for theft and possession of Class A drugs. He is not on licence but has stated that he will engage voluntarily with the IOM scheme. He has a history of drug related offending including thefts, burglaries and assaults. He keeps his first appointment with his probation IOM worker and sees his drugs worker. The practical focus of probation intervention is on getting Lindon back into employment. He is due to see probation again two days later but leaves a message on voicemail to say he has a hospital appointment that day. He is then asked by voice message and letter to come in the following Monday and Thursday. Both appointments are missed although he sees his drugs worker on Wednesday and the police check him over the weekend and again on Tuesday. The drugs worker reports that Lindon is engaging really positively and has provided two negative tests since release. However, Police intelligence indicates that he is associating with a known drugs dealer. When his probation worker speaks to him on the phone Thursday afternoon Lindon is very light-hearted and personable.  He says he is keen to co-operate, does not want to get into any more trouble and is sorry about the missed appointments. He stresses that he has seen the police and his drugs worker.  He tells probation that he didn’t get a voice message. The appointments letter arrived but he has a new dog which keeps chewing up the mail.  He laughs about how he has to get to the mail before the dog because it cannot read!  Probation offer a further appointment the following Monday but then make an unscheduled home visit with the police the following day. Lindon is not in.  His mother answers the door.  When asked how the new dog is she replies, ‘what dog? Ours died last year and I’m not getting another.’ What should be done?