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New research unit to cut reoffending in Kent, Surrey and Sussex

12 March 2018

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), the agency responsible for supervising low and medium risk offenders in the region, has announced the creation of a new research unit to test, trial and evaluate innovative approaches in a bid to cut reoffending and crime.

The unit is the only one of its kind in the UK to see serving probation officers work in the community with former academics to research the evidence of what works to reduce offending. Staffed by a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, who will take up her appointment in summer, and a former trainer of probation officers across the country, the unit is also tasked with providing KSS CRC employees with the latest examples of national and international best practice.

The first focus will be to analyse which community sentences are the most effective at breaking the cycle of crime committed by low and medium risk offenders to prevent an escalation of criminality and cut the number of future victims.

KSS CRC took responsibility for supervising the region’s low and medium risk offenders in 2015, of which there around 9,100 across the three counties at any time. This new investment is part of the company’s commitment to creating an evidence-based approach to rehabilitation.

At the end of 2017, KSS CRC was just one of two of the 21 private probation companies to be judged by national inspectors as having a “purposeful strategy” to developing in-house training and skills and one of just three assessed as “performing well” overall.

KSS CRC chief executive officer, Suki Binning, said:

“This research unit will allow us to test, trial and evaluate new interventions to help us cut re-offending and improve safety for communities across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

“It’s the first time in the UK that frontline probation officers will work with a permanent in-house research team and our initial focus will be on understanding which community sentences and interventions work best in rehabilitating low and medium risk offenders. The unit will also equip our probation officers with the most up-to-date analysis of national and international best practice.

“At a time of spending constraint elsewhere in the public sector, this kind of investment is unprecedented in my 22-year career as a probation officer and is a mark of our long-term

commitment to developing a rigorous, evidence-based approach to help offenders turn away from crime. We look forward to sharing the research and analysis we develop in the region with partners across the UK and internationally.”

 

Newly appointed probation practice researcher for KSS CRC and senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, Kerry Ellis-Devitt, said:

 

“This is a very different approach to policy and research in this area and I am delighted to be part of KSS CRC’s efforts to learn and continuously improve the service. I am looking forward to working with people under suGrayl1n6pervision, probation workers and partners across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to ensure that the programmes in place are sustainable long-term and have a positive impact for people at different stages of the criminal justice system.”

The unit is the only one of its kind in the UK to see serving probation officers work in the community with former academics to research the evidence of what works to reduce offending. Staffed by a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, who will take up her appointment in summer, and a former trainer of probation officers across the country, the unit is also tasked with providing KSS CRC employees with the latest examples of national and international best practice.

 

The first focus will be to analyse which community sentences are the most effective at breaking the cycle of crime committed by low and medium risk offenders to prevent an escalation of criminality and cut the number of future victims.

 

KSS CRC took responsibility for supervising the region’s low and medium risk offenders in 2015, of which there around 9,100 across the three counties at any time. This new investment is part of the company’s commitment to creating an evidence-based approach to rehabilitation.

 

At the end of 2017, KSS CRC was just one of two of the 21 private probation companies to be judged by national inspectors as having a “purposeful strategy” to developing in-house training and skills and one of just three assessed as “performing well” overall.

 

KSS CRC chief executive officer, Suki Binning, said:

 

“This research unit will allow us to test, trial and evaluate new interventions to help us cut re-offending and improve safety for communities across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

“It’s the first time in the UK that frontline probation officers will work with a permanent in-house research team and our initial focus will be on understanding which community sentences and interventions work best in rehabilitating low and medium risk offenders. The unit will also equip our probation officers with the most up-to-date analysis of national and international best practice.

 

“At a time of spending constraint elsewhere in the public sector, this kind of investment is unprecedented in my 22-year career as a probation officer and is a mark of our long-term

commitment to developing a rigorous, evidence-based approach to help offenders turn away from crime. We look forward to sharing the research and analysis we develop in the region with partners across the UK and internationally.”

 

Newly appointed probation practice researcher for KSS CRC and senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, Kerry Ellis-Devitt, said:

 

“This is a very different approach to policy and research in this area and I am delighted to be part of KSS CRC’s efforts to learn and continuously improve the service. I am looking forward to working with people under suGrayl1n6pervision, probation workers and partners across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to ensure that the programmes in place are sustainable long-term and have a positive impact for people at different stages of the criminal justice system.”

 

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