West Lothian Council is responsible for the supervision of offenders who are in prison (on Throughcare) or who have been released subject to Licence.
There is a range of types of post-sentence Licence; apart from the licences imposed in Scotland, the Throughcare Team manages licences made by courts and Parole authorities elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Some of these orders cannot be transferred to Scotland, and these are managed on behalf of the Probation Service in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
What is the role of the Criminal & Youth Justice Service with prisoners?
The Throughcare Team takes responsibility for working with prisoners to help them reintegrate into the community. This is done by:
- meeting with offenders during their prison sentences
- attending Integrated Case Management meetings (ICMs)
- keeping contact with the people in the community where the prisoner hopes to live on release
- preparing Home Background Reports to help the Parole Board decide on the issue of early release
- writing reports on the suitability of an address for an offender to be released on a Home Detention Curfew, which is used for short-term sentences.
- supervising offenders on a range of post-release Licences, including Parole Licences.
- providing a Voluntary Throughcare Service for prisoners serving sentences where statutory supervision is not required; such prisoners will be offered an interview in prison, and the option of continuing contact after release. This service is currently run by the West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service on behalf of West Lothian Council.
Who else is involved in monitoring ex-prisoners?
Some offenders are considered to be at a high risk of re-offending or of causing harm to other people, and these individuals will be subject to Risk Management procedures. The police have a particular responsibility for monitoring registered sex offenders, and staff from council and health services, particularly housing and addictions teams, will usually be involved in regular meetings with Social Workers and police officers.
What are the conditions of a licence?
The person on the licence must:
- report immediately to the local Criminal Justice office;
- be under the supervision of an officer nominated for the purpose;
- keep in touch with the supervising officer in accordance with that officer's instructions;
- inform the supervising officer if the person changes their place of residence, or gains or loses employment;
- be of good behaviour (not be arrested for any further offence) and keep the peace;
- not travel outside the United Kingdom without prior approval of the supervising officer (if placed on licence in Scotland; different arrangements apply to licences or orders made elsewhere in the UK).
Additional conditions may also be imposed. The most common are:
- that the offender resides only in accommodation that is approved by the supervising officer
- that the offender attends alcohol or drug counselling
- a condition banning contact with certain individuals or going to particular places
- that the offender works with an organisation that supports the person in finding work.
What happens if someone does not keep to the conditions of the order or licence?
As this supervision is following a prison sentence, failure to comply without very good reason is likely to be viewed most seriously. The Parole Board could decide that someone should be returned to prison.