The development of the active risk management system

Publication Date07 Aug 2017
AuthorStephanie Kewley,Mark Blandford
SubjectHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Criminal psychology,Sociology,Sociology of crime & law,Deviant behaviour,Public policy & environmental management,Policing,Criminal justice
The development of the active risk
management system
Stephanie Kewley and Mark Blandford
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to detail the development and implementation process of a risk
management tool that includes the assessment of static and dynamic factors, as well as factors that are both
risk related and protective.
Design/methodology/approach Active Risk Assessment System (ARMS) is a tool used to help criminal
justice practitioners as they work to support the safe reintegration of those with sexual convictions back into
the community.
Findings The tool was developed for use by the police, probation and prison services across England and
Wales and this paper outlines the following: the process adopted by the development team in designing the
tool, the theoretical principles considered and adopted by the team, and a summary of the early evaluation
and recommendations made.
Originality/value This paper includes some further recommendations for both the developers of the tool
and for the police service in England and Wales.
Keywords Rehabilitation, Policing, Risk management, Reintegration, Sexual offending, Sex offenders,
Strengths based
Paper type General review
1. Introduction
The introduction of the Sex Offender Act 1997 began with what could be argued as a significant
cultural shift in policing across England and Wales. While the act introduced a lawful obligation on
certain individuals post-conviction and caution, to registerwith the police, its intention was
more than to introduce a process of mere administration (Brain, 2010), indeed, these
requirements were later strenghtend following the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
The introduction of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 imposed further statutory
requirements for the police and probation service to collaborate in the assessment and
management of sexual and violent offenders. The introduction of Multi-Agency Public Protection
Arrangements (MAPPA) and Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels followed (Harrison, 2011).
These arrangements were consolidated further by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 whereby, the
prison service joined the police and probation service as the responsible authority for MAPPA
and a host of other agencies required as agencies with a duty to co-operate (Thomas, 2010).
MAPPA requires agencies with responsible authority such as the police to: identify people who
require MAPPA (these include sexual and violent offenders); share relevant information about
such people with appropriate agencies; assess their risk of serious harm; and manage their risk.
Arguably, over the last 20 years, the policing of people with sexual offences has shifted from a
regime of surveillance to a regime of supervision (Brain, 2010).
In an effort to provide supervision and direct specialist resources to the management of people
convicted of sexual offending, the police along with their criminal justice partners have historically
used the Risk Matrix 2000 (RM2000) assessment (Hanson and Thornton, 2000). RM2000 is a
statistically derived risk assessment tool, used for adult males convicted of a sexual offence.
It has become the industry standard across the criminal justice system in the UK, but in particular
Received 22 October 2016
Revised 10 December 2016
Accepted 15 December 2016
Stephanie Kewley is a Senior
Lecturer in Criminology at the
Department of Criminology,
Birmingham City University,
Birmingham, UK.
Mark Blandford is a College of
Policing Associate at the
MOSOVO, National College of
Policing, Newcastle-under-
Lyme, UK.
DOI 10.1108/JCP-10-2016-0034 VOL. 7 NO. 3 2017, pp. 155-167, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2009-3829
PAG E 15 5

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