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Garth McVicar talking nonsense on Prisoner Case Management

Garth McVicar talking nonsense on Prisoner Case Management

“Garth McVicar’s claim that prisoner case management hasn’t changed in 20 years is absolute drivel” says Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was referring to a media release by the Sensible Sentencing Trust, claiming that there is nothing new in the Minister Collin’s announcement that 227 Case Managers are being appointed to support a new case management system. Kim Workman was Head of Prisons when case management was first introduced in 1990.

“The case management system we introduced in1990 was pretty basic – it encouraged prison officers to work more closely with prisoners, and to provide a level of support and accountability throughout their sentence. Garth’s claim that recidivism rose as a result of that system is a fabrication. The prison system had no ability to measure recidivism across the prison system until around 1996. We simply don’t know.”

“The Integrated Offender Management System was developed under Mark Byers and launched around 2000. Prison officers were appointed as Case Officers and expected to monitor and track prisoner progress. A 2009 ‘Value for Money Review’ showed that the system was not working. The Review Team could not identify who had been working with what prisoner, or the issues they were seeking to address. Corrections Officers were not functioning at the level required to operate a complex system. The coordination of offenders through their custodial sentence was failing due to missed interventions and poor planning. The UK National Offender Management System failed for the same reasons.” “The new approach removes case management responsibility from prison officers and creates a new class of prison personnel. It is a very different approach, and much more than Garth’s ‘lick of paint’ claim. It effectively ‘dumbs down’ the role of Prison Officers, which as the 2009 Review warned, will bring its own set of problems.” “We will need to wait and see whether this new approach makes a difference. Claims that it is “the same old” are without foundation.


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