Reducing reoffending

The problem

Nationally, reoffending has fallen by 1.5 per cent – but has increased in some areas. In the Tri-borough area, reoffending by all adult offenders has increased from 23 per cent to 27 per cent despite investment of £6 million a year of discretionary grants in 9 separate reoffending programmes.

The solution

The Tri-borough is proposing a local reoffending service for short sentenced prisoners (less than 12 months) returning to the borough including:

1. Implementing a Tri-borough adult reoffending service which will replace all local authority grant funded services targeted at reoffending and will:

  • Allocate resources to short sentenced prisoners (SSPs) based on their individual needs, risk of reoffending and motivation to change behaviour
  • Work with short sentenced prisoners in custody and the community to ensure effective resettlement and rehabilitation;
  • Extend a personalised approach to working with short sentenced prisoners by ensuring that both the personal and the practical needs of offenders are met
  • Ensure the critical deliverables and outcomes from the previous Drug Intervention Programmes are assimilated into the combined new service model, including continued and expanded drug testing
  • Decommission DIP in its current form
  • Establish a clear role for the three borough’s community safety partnerships in supporting the new service in terms of governance, commissioning and delivery

2. Releasing resources from current spend on reoffending programmes to support the wider Tri-borough priorities from a Public Health and Criminal Justice perspective

3. Replacing all local authority grant funded services targeted at reoffending;

4. Shifting the current discretionary spend (predominantly Public Health and Police and Crime Commissioner funding for the Drug Intervention Project) on adult reoffending from services predominantly focused on those receiving sentences of over 12 months in custody and those assessed through the Drug Intervention Project to those receiving 12 months or less who actually have a higher likelihood to re-offend

5. Establishing a service consisting of a custody referral element engaging all offenders at the earliest opportunity to identify and provide help for a wider range of health related issues including all drug misuse, alcohol misuse, mental health and learning disabilities

6. A reducing offending team focusing on assessment and action planning for short sentenced offenders

7. Targeted interventions which are tailored to the offender.


In order to make the Tri-borough’s approach to re-offending a reality they are seeking technical support from central government for a two year pilot and evaluation. If the evaluation shows better outcomes and savings, scaling up the model will require joint investment from the departments that benefit including the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department of Work and Pension and Department of Health.

A common issue holding back progress on reoffending is the lack of local data and the sharing of data for specific groups.  Agreeing specific targets for reducing offending and reoffending across key groups requires more detailed data to be collected, stored and shared.  For example, there is no centralised storage of personalised data for short sentenced prisons.  The collection and the sharing of personalised data on short sentenced prisoners is critical to the successful implementation of the Tri-borough’s new local reoffending service.



Tri-borough is aiming to reduce the re-offending of short sentenced prisoners by 10 per cent. The new service will cost £11.2 million over a five year period from 2013-14. Reducing the reoffending of short sentenced prisoners is expected to reduce local spending on tackling reoffending by £1.2 to £6.1 million over five years.

pie chart reoffending triborough

Further examples from the pilots