Martin Steventon – “As one of the Deputy Managers in the IOM programme we focus on serious inquisitive criminals.
We’ve been using E-CINS for 2 years and now manage approx 720 serious criminals on the system. On a daily basis all information that comes in from our police and partner systems is put on to E-CINS by our 3 IOM admin officers. They are split into Red – high risk, Amber – medium risk or Green – low risk. One of the biggest cohorts are those that we manage in prison – that was a real gap for us.
Sharing Information with the Prisons
We did communicate with prisons reasonably well before we had E-CINS but not in realtime. We had lots of phone calls, emails and meetings which was quite difficult but E-CINS has facilitated that communication between our IOM teams in prisons.
When we started on the IOM journey the challenge for us was to better understand our prison population. Only 54% were at reach but 46% were not and we needed to get better at reaching those offenders. We used to share information but it was very ad hoc. Prisons didn’t know who our IOM offenders were, we just didn’t share the information enough but E-CINS has allowed us to identify who those offenders are and manage them better. We have 220 offenders now in prison who are in 33 different prisons
Managing Risks Around Offenders
E-CINS has helped us to improve the transition from community into prison and back out again. 60,000 pieces of information was put on to E-CINS last year in respect of our prisoners and offenders, much of that is really helpful to managing those offenders when they arrive in prison, their anxieties, their needs, the risks around those offenders.
We have a great example of where we have shared information on a prisoner who recently lost their loved one. It was an anniversary event when that offender was in prison. We were able to communicate this information to the prison so that they were able to put measures in place to support the prisoner’s emotional state. Those measures may have prevented that prisoner from actually killing themselves and also protected us from being asked the question “you knew about that why didn’t you share it?”
Each of the offenders have a prison log and we put information on there when we visit the prisons and the prison officers do the same.“
Richard Bell – “It’s generally a copy and paste from our records onto E-CINS, replicating what the Landing Officers are saying about the offenders -what they are doing on the landings, the way they are behaving, if they are into any gang issues, any drugs, any illicit items.”
Martin Steventon – “At one time the prison had little information about their new inmate but they now have much more so that they can manage that risk better. Before they enter the prison the IOM team input information onto the prison log such as any gang affiliations, anxieties, pathway needs, mental and physical health issues or drug and alcohol issues. That reciprocates when we get them back, with the prison putting a wealth of information on there about that individual’s progress in prison their pathway needs, what they require from us when they come out. That is very very useful to us and we will go to lengths to provide any support and assistance we can to that individual to minimise the risk of them reoffending.
We have already been working for some time on a pan-Staffordshire information sharing protocol. All the major agencies, schools, education, prisons and others have signed up to the information sharing agreement and are really comfortable. Bolted onto that is sharing by electronic means which covers E-CINS. We have a Memorandum of Understanding that puts restrictions in place about control. The prisons still have responsibility so that if someone leaves the prison service they are taken off the system. That control of users is given through the Memorandum of Understanding to local administrators.
Benefits To Us
We’re sharing the right information at the right time and in real time. The risk to those offenders is more controlled because we know what their attitudes are, what they’ve behaved like in prison and what their problems are likely to be when they come out.
HMP can clearly identify an IOM offender from the start, something we didn’t have before. The Reception teams in some of the prisons have access straight away to E-CINS where they can put the name in and see if they are on the system. We’ve also identified other offenders that have gone through Restorative Justice. We’ve had an offender who was dealt with for a low level verbal racial incident on a bus – something the prison needed to bear in mind when considering who that prisoner should be put in a cell with. Little examples like that where we are beginning to analyse the other profiles on E-CINS are proving very useful. The prisons have access to that search facility, including troubled families elements, too.
There’s a lot of good news that comes out of this reciprocal arrangement. It changes your attitude about prison, how far some offenders have become rehabilitated, it helps you treat them more sympathetically and put them with the right service provider when they come out.
Looking ahead we are developing our approach so that all of our prisons that are signed up to E-CINS there is a prison officer who has an administrator for that establishment who are helping us to develop how we use the system to share the information.
We manage a whole range of Restorative Justice on E-CINS. We have 2000 Level 1 profiles, Level 2 neighbourhood justice panels where we share information between the police and victim support and Level 3 high intensity work that we do in prisons. We piloted the prison work initially with Stafford and Dovegate and that’s now been rolled out to all 11 prisons that cover our region. We are frequently talking with prisons and how we can better use it to share information.
A recent example is where we had a Level 3 RJ case in Stafford and managed to cut right down on meetings. We updated our actions around victim support and the face to face work Richard was doing with an offender in custody and it was all organised within 3 weeks. We didn’t have to have the normal meetings because everyone has the information in front of them on E-CINS.
Building Resilient Families
We all know the links between troubled families and people serving custodial sentences and we’re developing that at the moment. We identify offender pathways early, make sure it is on E-CINS so people know the needs of the offender and we deal with it in the community and the transition to prison. The prison pick that up and work through those pathway needs with the prisoner and we pick up the ball again when they re-enter the community. it makes that cycle much smoother.
Using intelligence Gained on the Outside
Prison security is very important. There are a lot of scams in prisons and prison officers need to know about them. Debriefing our offenders at the right time in the right way can make prison a more secure place. Also we share prisoners’ attitudes, thinking and behaviour with police and prison intelligence so that our analysts can better understand crime.
E-CINS is a very good platform to secure that and share it with the people who need to know.
Virtual Partnerships with Other Prisons Nationwide
We’ve still got 15% of our prisoners in other prisons, We need to look at opportunities to join up with them too but we need to convince other prisons to use E-CINS as it presents many opportunities for us. It’s an exciting time sharing information using this system.”