New National Lead for adult offenders set up by ADASS

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Thursday 24th February 2011
Embargo: Immediate

A new National Lead for adult offenders has been set up by the Association of Directors of Adult Social services in order to help inform the social care of one of the most vulnerable and little-regarded groups in our society.

The new National Lead for Offenders is Phil Lloyd, DASS for Cheshire East Council, said today that on the face of it We have come some way since Winston Churchill remarked in 1910 that the mark of a civilised society was how it treated those who offend against it.

But the boom in imprisonment, both in numbers and length of sentences despite the current strategy of the Ministry of Justice - has meant that many of the issues affecting the wider community are also writ large in prisons and the criminal justice system (CJS).

According to Phil Lloyd: We not only have an ageing population: we have an ageing prison population. And older prisoners are probably more likely to have conditions that need specialist care. It is for this reason that the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have established a role to look at how the relationship between the two sectors social care and the CJS - might be structured. After all, most joint work is with individuals who are known to both sectors and who have quite often committed quite serious offences.

The focus of the National Lead will be on prisoners with social care needs. But this role will include reference to all offenders within the CJS with social care needs.

This is a national role and is intended to identify and address any required action in relation to the social care needs of offenders in England, and to promote appropriate action and responses through policy, guidance and practice.

  • Underlying areas to be addressed include:
  • Commissioning: for the provision of social care, early intervention and preventive support. To include the use of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments to assess prison and offender populations;
  • community safety; and
  • safeguarding.

Again, according to Mr Lloyd: This is clearly not an agenda that ADASS could, or should, pursue alone. Partnership working is required with agencies including: Offender Health at the Department of Health, the Probation Service, the National Offender Management Service, the NHS, the Police and key third sector groups such as NACRO and the Prison Reform Trust. There is also an increasingly articulate user voice, which will be considered.

It is important that this work is seen within the context of current budget pressures with clarity around the fact that Councils do not have money to invest in extending services. The aim is rather to address issues through improved multi-agency working, joint commissioning and efficiencies gained in areas such as reablement, particularly as applied to those with drug or alcohol issues or mental health needs.

It is possible that as initiatives such as locality working and budgeting develop there will be scope for considering how multi agency teams in localities deal with the needs of offenders with wider health or social care needs. Similarly, there will be occasions when input from Probation colleagues may assist in managing people with social care needs who are in the criminal justice system.

There are particular areas of the country that have concentrations of prisons and directors from these areas have shown particular interest in the development of a response to the issues.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Phil Lloyd, National Lead, Offenders, 01270 686559
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Notes for correspondents and editors

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.