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Reducing reoffending and changing lives
The London Community Rehabilitation Company works with offenders to help them lead responsible and law abiding lives.
Our over-riding aim is to reduce reoffending and protect the public.
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Meet Jennifer – Drug Rehabilitation

Jennifer

Jennifer Strong has been a Probation Officer for five years.

In her role she manages offenders who have been sentenced by the courts to undertake a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR).

A DRR is given as part of a Community Sentence or Suspended Sentence Order and is given to offenders with a history of Class A drug-related offending.  Many of the offenders have committed acquisitive offences, such as theft, burglary, car crime and robbery, which is linked to their drug use.

 

Day to day

Once a court has issued a DRR the offender has to meet Jennifer within a day of sentence.  Within two days the offender has to attend the Bromley Drug and Alcohol Service (BDAS), where they will be assessed by health professionals.  They will also be given a programme of appointments as part of their drug treatment and rehabilitation.  In cases, for example where heroin is a problem, a substitute opiate such as methadone, can be prescribed with a view to reduce and eventually end the use of that prescription.

It’s then Jennifer’s job to provide weekly supervision to the offenders and during their meeting they will discuss factors linked to the offending. This may include, lifestyle, drug treatment, associations and relationships.  Supervision enables Probation to establish what further support the offender needs to reduce their risk of re-offending.

As part of the court order Jennifer provides information about partnership services, which offer support on financial management, housing, education, training and employment.  In her role Jennifer also works in partnership with agencies, such as the Police and Prisons, to monitor and manage risk, which may include Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

In addition to meeting Jennifer offenders also have to meet with Key Workers at BDAS, where they will be drug tested – this can be once or twice a week.  At BDAS they also attend group programmes and have Doctors’ appointments.

The biggest challenge

Jennifer, who has a BA (Hons) Criminology and History degree, says each offender is different and requires an individual supervision programme.

“To be considered for a DRR the offender will have had to prove to the courts they want to stop using drugs and are prepared to have treatment and regular tests.

“I work with a range of multi-agency partners, including BDAS and mental health and counselling services in order to provide the offender with the right support and treatment, which can help them change their lives for the better.

“On average a DRR is in place for between six and nine months and I have to constantly assess their risk of re-offending and their compliance with their drug treatment programme.”

In addition to her DRR responsibilities Jennifer manages offenders who have committed non-drug related offences, such as violent crime.

Jennifer is currently managing 43 offenders, of which 13 are on DRRs, and has to write a progress report on each offender for the courts every month.

“Many of the offenders I manage have complex backgrounds and some may have been taking drugs for a long time and have mental health issues.

The last word

“One of the hardest things for offenders is moving away from the people and influences, which have proven destructive to them.

“I try and provide a long-term plan, with of short-term goals, so as to give offenders easier to reach milestones.

“Of course I am also continually assessing their progress and if they miss appointments or fail to comply with their drug treatment, I can enforce a breach of the order and they can be put back before the courts and go back to prison.

“All cases are informed of the enforcement process and this alone can be a good motivation for individuals to engage with their orders.”

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