Analysis of 12–18 year olds’ perceptions of their experiences in secure training centres and YOIs

AuthorSharon Brereton
Published date01 June 2019
Date01 June 2019
Subject MatterResearch & reports
The inspectors found an enthusiastic and committed NPS staff, but practitioners
felt pressure to focus on risk and lacked an understanding in the strength-based
approach. There were inconsistencies in practice which derived from poor roll-out
of national training. Training and support to empower practitioners is recom-
mended. Managers should consider structured professional support and the benefits
of the employment assistance programme. Divisions could benefit from utilising
existing examples of good practice in providing training and information to staff.
Disappointingly, much of the work in custody to assess, treat and manage sex
offenders was poor. There was shockingly little training and staff felt unsupported.
Liaison between prison and probation staff was often not strong, resulting in insuf-
ficient sentence plans. There was a lack of intervention, especially since the removal
of the Sex Offender Treatment Programme in custody. This has resulted in untreated
men leaving prison or delay and disruption to progress on sentences. Offender
Management in Custody (OMic) may address some of these issues, but differentials
between areas may only highlight this further.
The report finds sufficient quality in OASys and use of RM2000. The Active Risk
Management System (ARMS) was used in most cases, but the quality was poor.
Many practitioners were not fully recognising the benefits of the assessment and not
relating it to intervention and future risk assessments. ARMS needs to be included in
the overall assessment and intervention for it to be effective. Accredited pro-
grammes were not used enough and the delivery of one-to-one intervention was
‘inconsistent at best and non-existent at worst’.
Review processes nationally are inconsistent and purposeful home visits lacking
in community cases, resulting in missed vital information. Appropriate MAPPA levels
were used but the process was not working well in custody and information
exchange between partners was not always present. The value of ARMS is not yet
recognised, and by incorporating good practice to training programmes it is hoped
that the benefits will be promoted.
Overall, some good practice was notedin all probation regions. We nowneed to
model theseto replicate in all areaswith a national trainingprogramme to increase the
use of a strength-based approach andempower already skilled and committed staff.
Management and Supervision of Men Convicted of Sexual Offences: A Thematic
Inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation and HM Inspectorate of Prisons (Jan-
uary 2019). Available at:
Amy Thornton
NPS (Midlands)
Analysis of 12–18 year olds’ perceptions of their
experiences in secure training centres and YOIs
Since 2001 regular inspection processes have been undertaken at secure training
centres (STCs) and young offender institutions (YOIs) by the HM Inspectorate of
252 Probation Journal 66(2)

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