The important outcomes of the DOMICE Project are that it has provoked discussion, debate, sharing and learning about a key aspect of correctional work, across the whole of Europe, for the first time. It leaves its findings and conclusions behind in this website and in the enhanced understanding, awareness and enthusiasm of all of its participants. The project has drawn together a few simple recommendations for moving this agenda forward into the future. These are divided into recommendations for action at the international and jurisdiction level.
The project has been struck by the piecemeal way in which case management arrangements have evolved in most jurisdictions. It is not surprising that individual providers focus upon their own agency or project-specific contribution. This is likely to get worse as the appetite for multiple providers in the delivery of correctional services grows.
It takes a whole-system perspective to ensure that there is consistency, integration and continuity between what happens in one part of the system and what happens in others. This is the responsibility of commissioners, strategic managers and designers.
COMMISSIONERS AND DESIGNERS OF CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS SHOULD REVIEW THEIR ARRANGEMENTS FROM AN OFFENDER-CENTRED PERSPECTIVE AND DEVELOP PLANS FOR REFORM TO ELIMINATE DUPLICATION AND INEFFICIENCY
The balance to be struck between delegated professional discretion and managerial prescription is a fine one. However, the project is of the view that there is scope in most jurisdictions for improving the clarity of outcomes case managers are expected to achieve, matching these better with resources, and providing a more productive climate of guidance, support, standards and quality assurance.
PLANS SHOULD BE FORMULATED AND IMPLEMENTED TO IMPROVE THE SUPPORT PROVIDED TO THE WORK OF CASE MANAGERS
Many of the DOMICE participants have observed that the project has provided a first opportunity to consider the design and delivery of correctional case management comparatively between European jurisdictions. It has also introduced an insightful but unfamiliar whole-system perspective. It represents the beginning of a learning and improvement process, not the end of one.
There is no simple off-the-shelf system which can be transplanted from one jurisdiction to another. It is necessary therefore to find ways to continue the dialogue now started so that each system can learn from others in designing their own.
CONTINUE THE DIALOGUE ABOUT THE DESIGN AND DELIVERY OF CORRECTIONAL CASE MANAGEMENT WHICH HAS BEEN STARTED BY THE DOMICE PROJECT
The geographical focus of case managers is too narrow in a Europe increasingly characterised by mobility across national borders. Correctional case management needs to have a European dimension. This should be built-in to training and induction for case managers. It cannot be achieved without sharing the knowledge and understanding of how different systems operate, in the way begun by the DOMICE project. This website should be developed into a European Manual of Case Management, to complement the European Standards.
INTEGRATE AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE INTO THE TRAINING, INDUCTION AND OPERATIONAL FOCUS OF CASE MANAGERS IN ALL EUROPEAN JURISDICTIONS