Probation Forum – 13th November 2018

At the previous probation forum, I floundered in a sea of acronyms. This time, a glossary of abbreviations was kindly provided, especially for the High Sheriff.

The forum received reports from the National Probation Service (NPS) and the Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). Since the last forum, changes to the way that the NPS is structured – in effect, a renationalisation. While changes happen at the top, those who deliver the service keep up their good work.

A presentation on the RESOLVE programme was given. The introduction described this programme as “a moderate intensity cognitive-behavioural group intervention that aims to reduce violence in medium to high risk adult and young male offenders.”. It consists of 22 group sessions and 4 individual sessions, each session lasting 2 1/2 hours – so a considerable commitment on both sides.

It is one of a number of programmes trying to address different types of criminal behaviour. Such programmes are not always successful but simply locking people up for a period certainly does not stop offending on release.

A presentation by ADDACTION was given. ADDACTION is a registered charity helping people with addictions, be it alcohol or drugs. Here is a link to their web-site. Hereford Council have commissioned them to provide substance misuse treatment in Herefordshire. It is a sad fact that their services are so needed and that the judicial system spends so much time dealing with the fall-out of addiction, as does society as a whole.

The meeting was honoured by the presence of Lady Justice Macur, the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales. The High Sheriff had the opportunity to meet beforehand. It is very heartening that such a senior figure is keen to come down to our County, especially in the light of increased centralisation of justice. Here we have a champion of local justice. For more about the role of Senior Presiding Judge, click here.