Continuity and Integration

DOMICE was interested in practice which supports the principles: 

  • work done at any point in the system should build systematically and incrementally on work done earlier
  • there should be a sustained and good quality one-to-one relationship which the offender respects and values

In the NETHERLANDS and SPAIN an individual case manager is assigned to some cases during a period of pre-trial detention and retains the case after sentence.

In PORTUGAL and TURKEY the case manager assigned for pre-sentence supervision retains the case after sentence.

In NORTHERN IRELAND pre-trial reports are viewed and managed as the start of the case management process rather than as a separate task; wherever possible whoever prepared a pre-sentence report retains responsibility for a case after sentence.

In GERMANY (part) and NORWAY specialist staff manage the transition from prison to supervised release.

In SWEDEN and TURKEY the same IT-based case record system covers custody and supervised release, easing the problem of information flow from one stage of the system to another.

Consistency

One of the clearest messages emerging from the What Works evidence is that crime is often a learned behaviour, based upon learned perceptions and attitudes.  These perceptions, attitudes and behaviours can be unlearned and new ones learned.  If correctional work is to contribute to this re-learning process it is important that offenders receive sustained and consistent pro-social "messages" (both verbal and non-verbal) as they move through the system. 

The achievement of medium-term consistency poses a challenge for the way in which case management is designed, especially in those arrangements where there are multiple changes of key personnel.  DOMICE was interested to learn about any arrangements which consciously focussed upon achieving this consistency.

In many countries responsibility for prisons and probation services has been brought together within a single department or ministry.  One of the objectives of this is usually to enable better integration and more consistency between the main components of the system. It is the observation of many correspondents that this kind of amalgamation can provide the conditions for better integration and consistency but it will not achieve it on its own.

In BULGARIA all front-line correctional staff receive the same basic training before they move on to specialist training for particular functions.  This is designed to ensure consistency of approach between the different stages of the system.

Diversity

Effective correctional work requires that the programme of work (sentence plan) is highly individualised to the needs, risks, circumstances and experience of each person.  This means it is necessary to adjust what is done to be relevant to the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the offender population. The DOMICE project was interested to learn about case management approaches which were specifically designed to be relevant to the needs and experiences of particular groups within the offender population.
In the CZECH REPUBLIC a specialist mentoring service is provided for offenders from the Roma community.