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CASE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS

PURPOSE
Probation
This circular provides new instructions governing the transfer of offenders
between probation areas; and includes a national checklist setting out the Circular
minimum acceptable information to be transferred on the case file.
REFERENCE NO:
ACTION 52/2004
Chief Officers are asked to bring this circular to the attention of all staff with
immediate effect. ISSUE DATE:
17 September 2004
SUMMARY
™ There is a clear expectation on the part of Ministers and the public that IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
the NPS should provide seamless supervision of offenders in the Immediate
community.
™ The overriding consideration in relation to case transfers should be the EXPIRY DATE:
protection of the public. September 2009, or until replaced
™ At all times, therefore, there should be absolute clarity about who is
responsible for an offender’s supervision and any victim related contact TO:
arrangements.
Chairs of Probation Boards
™ Henceforth, there will be no ‘informal’ transfers of cases between Areas.
Chief Officers of Probation
™ Negotiation between areas concerning the ‘acceptance’ of a case
transfer will no longer take place. Secretaries of Probation Boards
™ It is recommended that the principles outlined in this circular are applied
within, as well as between, Areas. CC:
Board Treasurers
RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS Regional Managers
This circular replaces Probation Circular 78/2000.
PC 52/1997, PC 20/2004 AUTHORISED BY:
Liz Hill, Head of Public Protection
CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES and Courts Unit
™ General questions about this circular should be directed to:
Matthew Bird ATTACHED:
020 7217 8058 matthewc.bird@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk N/A
™ Questions about high risk or MAPPA offenders should be directed to:
Jo Thompson
020 7217 8823 jo.thompson8@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
™ Questions about electronic monitoring requirements should be directed
to: Ray Smith
020 7217 8536 ray.smith1@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW General Enquiries: 020 7217 0659 Fax: 020 7217 0660

Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection


PURPOSE

1. This Circular sets out the circumstances in which the formal transfer of a case between Probation Areas will take
place and the procedures to be followed. Included at Annex A is a checklist setting out the minimum information which
should be passed from one area to another when an offender moves.

ACTION

2. This Circular has immediate effect. Recipients are asked to bring the Circular to the attention of all relevant staff
(including those working in Approved Premises and partner organisations). NPD will be monitoring implementation of the
circular and areas should therefore maintain a central record of the number of cases transferring into and out of the area.
These cases should be monitored using the special National Standards monitoring form for transferred cases which will
be circulated shortly.

APPLICATION

3. This Circular applies to all circumstances where an offender under the supervision of the probation service, whether on
licence or community order, changes address or otherwise moves between probation areas in England and Wales,
irrespective of whether:
™ ‘informal’ transfer arrangements are in place;
™ Approved Premises or other accommodation is being provided on a time-limited basis (including, for
example, residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation);
™ enforcement action is pending;
™ an appeal has been made against sentence;
™ a revocation hearing is pending;
™ little time remains to serve under supervision;
™ there are long periods of time between reporting periods.
The sole exception to this general rule is life sentence prisoners, to whom special arrangements apply. Please refer to
the Lifer Manual. Probation Circular 52/1997 sets out the procedures to be followed when an offender on post-release
supervision wishes to move to another jurisdiction. Probation Circular 20/2004 sets out the circumstances in which
MAPPP cases requiring national co-ordination/management will apply.

4. This Circular does not apply to transfers within an Area. It is, however, anticipated that Ministers, HM Inspectorate of
Probation and the public would expect the same principles in assuring clarity of responsibility for supervision to apply
within an area as those established in this circular for arrangements between Areas. It is therefore recommended that
Areas develop local policies and protocols governing transfers:
™ within an area;
™ between teams; and
™ in relation to sick absence and other leave cover
which are based on the principles of clarity of responsibility for supervision as outlined in this Circular.

TRANSFER OF CASES: GENERAL

5. This Circular has been drawn up in consultation with the NPD Intensive Interventions Unit. It also takes full account of
the development of the High Risk Offender Accommodation Strategy and the recommendations of HMIP’s forthcoming
report on the Inspection of Movement of Cases.

6. It has become clear that differing practices have arisen across Probation Areas as a result of differing interpretations of
the existing instructions in Probation Circular 78/2000, and the discretion allowed to Areas to negotiate transfer
arrangements. This discretion has meant that some Areas have been unclear about where responsibility for the
supervision of the offender rests. Negotiations between Areas have created delays in the timely implementation of
supervision plans, referrals to treatment facilities, and access to accredited programmes. These delays have contributed
to an increase in risks presented by certain offenders.

7. The overriding consideration in such matters should be the protection of the public. Protection of the public is most
likely to be achieved by ensuring, as far as possible, continuity of supervision. With the advent of the National Probation
Service, there is a clear expectation on the part of Ministers and the public that the NPS provide seamless supervision of
offenders in the interests of protecting the public. There is a clear expectation that NOMS will result in further
improvements.

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8. The overriding principle of this Circular is that at all times, there should be absolute clarity about who is responsible for
a case. Henceforth, therefore, there will be no ‘informal’ transfers of cases between Areas. ‘Informal’ transfer
arrangements include any circumstances when an offender is living in one area while his case is being held and
supervised by an officer in another area. Such arrangements may also be known as ‘care-taking’. This principle applies
whether the change of address is a part of a risk management/supervision plan formulated by the supervising officer and
any agencies involved, or is at the behest of the offender subject to supervision.

9. Any change of address or request for a change by an offender should trigger a reassessment of risk in light of:
™ the stated reasons for the move;
™ the appropriateness of the new locality;
™ victim issues; and
™ the progress of the current supervision.
Appropriate liaison with Victim Contact Staff can contribute to this assessment. Particular attention should be paid to
assuring the continuity of supervision and access to interventions, in particular accredited programmes and treatment /
facilities provided by other agencies. Where the change or request for a change of address alters the offender’s risk
profile, or where it appears that the motive for the change appears to be to subvert the aims of supervision, the
supervising officer should always consider enforcement / recall action, if possible with the offender. Supervising Officers
taking on a case that has been transferred should always update the OASys assessment.

TRANSFER OF CASES: CIRCUMSTANCES AND PROCEDURES

10. Offenders under the supervision of the probation service, whether subject to a licence or a community order, are
always subject to a requirement to notify the supervising officer of any change of address. Many offenders may be
subject to intensive requirements relating to their activities or to more stringent restrictions on where they can live (see
below for details of how such cases should be handled). Where no such requirements or restrictions exist, however, it
would normally be unreasonable to oppose a change of address without specific grounds. A request to change address
may highlight the need for restrictions where they do not already exist. It should be noted that the sole means of
preventing an offender changing address would be one or more of the following options, depending on the circumstances:
™ a refusal on the part of the supervising officer to support an application to the magistrates’ court to amend the
order;
™ commencement of enforcement proceedings with a view to revocation of the order;
™ commencement of enforcement proceedings with a view to adding a condition or restriction to the order; or
™ recall of the offender to prison.
Clearly, in many instances, these courses of action would be a relatively extreme response to notification of a change of
address and might have a significant impact on the rehabilitative process. Consideration must, therefore, be given to
whether attempting to prevent a move would be a reasonable course of action in the circumstances of the individual case.

11. In most circumstances, therefore, on grounds of reasonableness, notification of a change of address should not result
in action other than transfer of the case to the new probation area. The exceptions to this general rule are:
™ Where an offender is subject to MAPPA;
™ Where an offender has a conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons
Act 1933 (Schedule 1 Offenders);
™ Where an offender has a conviction for an offence Listed in Schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice and Court
Services Act 2000;
™ Where an offender is an identified Prolific or other Priority Offender (PPO) and subject to statutory
supervision
™ Where an offender is subject to electronic monitoring;
™ Where an offender is subject to a requirement of a court order or post-release licence to reside at a particular
address; whether an approved premises, residential rehabilitative project etc.;
™ Where an offender is subject to a requirement of a court order or post-release licence, which would require a
new assessment by a third party in the new area (e.g. DTTOs);
™ Where an offender is subject to a set of conditions not available in the new proposed area;
™ Where an offender is subject to victim-related restrictions or requirements which cannot be managed
effectively at the proposed new address; or
™ Where an offender is participating in a programme, accredited or otherwise (including DTTOs).
The existence of one or more of these factors does not mean that a change of address need necessarily be opposed;
however more careful consideration of the risk and other factors involved, and liaison with other agencies, will certainly be
needed.

12. Negotiation between areas concerning the acceptance of a case transfer will no longer take place. Four broad
categories of possible circumstances in which an offender may change address apply:
a) where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph
11 above applies;

PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions 3


b) where an offender requests permission to change address and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11
above applies;
c) where an offender requests permission to change address and one or more of the exceptions listed at
paragraph 11 above applies;
d) where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and one or more of the exceptions listed at
paragraph 11 above applies.
NB: where a place at, for example, an Approved Premises has been obtained for the offender in another area, since the
offender will have agreed to take up the place, this will be classified as a request to change address.

13. In either case where none of the exceptions listed in paragraph 11 applies (12A and 12B cases), it will not be
appropriate to attempt to prevent the offender moving. In other cases, serious consideration should be given to whether
the order or licence will continue to be tenable. The following paragraphs set out the procedures to be followed (but see
also paragraphs 16ff for details of the necessary applications to the courts for amendment of orders).

12A Cases: where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and none of the exceptions listed at
paragraph 11 applies:
The case should be deemed to have been transferred to the new area with immediate effect and the following actions
should take place:
™ The Area which is notified of the change of address will inform the other area on the same working day the
notification is made wherever possible but in any case within one working day of a notification;
™ The case will be allocated to a supervising officer in the new area on the day that the notification is received
wherever possible but in any case within one working day of notification being received;
™ The new supervising officer will notify the previous supervising officer of his or her contact details on the
same day the case is allocated;
™ The new supervising officer will notify the offender of his or her contact details on the same day the case is
allocated wherever possible but in any case within one working day of allocation;
™ Where relevant, the new supervising officer will notify the appropriate victim liaison officer of his or her
contact details on the same day the case is allocated;
™ The new supervising officer will, within one working day of the case being allocated, arrange an initial
appointment with the offender, in addition to the normal reporting requirements of National Standards;
™ The new supervising officer will make an assessment of the suitability of the new address (including checking
for any victim related issues and a home visit, where appropriate) within two working days of the case being
allocated;
™ The new supervising officer will complete a review of the offender’s risk assessment within one working day
of the first appointment;
™ The previous supervising officer will apply to the courts for amendment of the order or notify the ERRS of the
change of address and make arrangements for the case records (including as a minimum, the documents
specified in the checklist at Annex A) to be sent direct from the previous area to the new supervising officer.

12B Cases: where an offender requests permission to change address and none of the exceptions listed at
paragraph 11 applies:
Broadly similar procedures (as in 12A cases) should take place but responsibility for the case will not transfer until the
date of the offender’s move. The following actions should be taken:
™ The Area to which the request for a change of address is made will inform the other area within five working
days of the offender’s proposed move wherever possible (a request made five working days or less before
the offender’s proposed move should be counted as a notification under the previous paragraph);
™ The case will be allocated to a supervising officer in the new area within five working days of the offender’s
move;
™ The new supervising officer will notify the previous supervising officer of his or her contact details on the
same day the case is allocated;
™ The new supervising officer will notify the offender of his or her contact details on the same day the case is
allocated wherever possible but in any case within one working day of allocation;
™ Where relevant, the new supervising officer will notify the appropriate Victim Liaison Officer of his or her
contact details on the same day the case is allocated;
™ The new supervising officer will arrange an appointment with the offender within one working day of his or her
arrival in the new Area;
™ The new supervising officer will make an assessment of the suitability of the new or proposed address within
two working days of the offender’s arrival in the new Area (including a home visit and checking for any victim
related issues, where appropriate);
™ The new supervising officer will complete a review of the offender’s risk assessment within one working day
of the first appointment;

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™ The previous supervising officer will be responsible for applying to the courts for amendment of the order or
notifying the ERRS, and sending the case records (including as a minimum, the documents specified in the
checklist at Annex A) direct from the previous area to the new supervising officer prior to the offender’s arrival
in the new Area.

In either case where none of the exceptions listed in paragraph 11 applies and where the address to which an offender
wishes to relocate is considered unsuitable for reasons of protecting members of the public, either from re-offending in
general or re-offending against a particular member of the public, the new supervising officer should discuss with the
offender the reasons for this and specify what actions will be necessary to overcome such concerns and avoid
enforcement action / recall. Enforcement action / recall may need to be pursued without undertaking such an interview
depending on the level of risk demonstrated by the offender and the reasons for the address being considered unsuitable
(e.g. proximity to a previous victim).

12Ci Cases: where offenders request permission to change address and they:
™ are subject to MAPPA , or
™ Are Schedule One offenders, or
™ have a conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 4 of the CJ&CS Act 2000, or
™ are a ppo subject to statutory supervision
but are subject to no other exceptions
The principles and time limits outlined above for 12B cases will apply. However, since it is likely offenders in this category
will pose a higher level of risk, every effort should be made to exceed the targets set out above. Additionally, the previous
supervising officer will need to:
™ Transfer the case records to the new supervising officer at the earliest possible opportunity;
™ Fax a covering letter to the new supervising officer summarising what statutory requirements apply to the
offender which may require immediate attention;
™ Notify the appropriate professionals in both the transferring and receiving Responsible Authorities of the
move;
™ Notify the appropriate Victim Liaison Officer of the move;
™ Notify the Electronic Monitoring Co-ordinator of the move;
™ Notify the appropriate PPO manager of the move.

Where offenders subject to MAPPA are being managed at either level 2 or 3, any request for permission to change
address must be considered through the MAPPA procedures with a multi-agency risk assessment made. Transfer will
only be acceptable if the assessment concludes that the risk management plan already in place is not jeopardised by the
proposed move.

Probation Areas should have in place regional arrangements to accommodate and deliver services to high-risk offenders
who cannot return to their area of origin. Only where the regional scheme is insufficient and the criteria for referral to the
National Scheme for Transfer of Public Protection Cases are met (see PC20/2004) will the NPD facilitate placement of
the offender elsewhere. Transfers will be brokered by the Public Protection and Courts Unit (PPCU) through the National
MAPP Panel. All areas need to recognise their responsibility for receiving, as well as transferring, such offenders.
Responsibility for a case remains with the referring Responsible Authority (RA) until the receiving RA has formally
received the transfer. The PPCU will be the final arbiter of the resettlement arrangements. Where a transfer will require
exceptional expenses the RA can make representations to the PPCU for funding assistance.

Probation Areas should be participating in local multi-agency arrangements for managing PPOs. Any request for
permission to change address by an identified PPO managed by probation must be considered through locally
established offender management procedures and effective arrangements for their management and supervision must be
agreed with their new area, based on assessed risk against priorities in their new area.

12Cii Cases: where offenders request permission to change address and they fall into one of the other
exceptions
It is important for reasons of both effectiveness and efficiency that offenders should complete programmes they have
started. Research suggests that offenders who partially complete a programme may be more likely to re-offend. It is also
a waste of resources if offenders take a place on a programme which they must then restart (or which might have been
allocated to another offender).

Everything within reason should therefore be done to persuade offenders that it is in their best interests to delay any
change of address until they have completed the programme / treatment or arrangements can be put in place for them to
take up a place on a programme in the new area, or for electronic monitoring equipment to be installed. The supervising
officer should take into account, for example, offenders’ progress in a programme, or compliance with requirements, and
explore with them:
™ the stated reasons for the desired change of address;
™ their motivation to continue with the supervision plan;

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™ the impact of the proposed change on compliance with the requirements of the order and the broader
rehabilitative process;
™ the impact that a move would have on the existing risk assessment; and
™ the undertakings given to the courts and their expectations in passing a community sentence, set in the
context of possible enforcement proceedings should an insistence on a change of address be pursued.

Where offenders insist they must change address, the normal course of action should be to instigate immediate
enforcement action / recall on the grounds that the offender has stated his or her intention to breach a condition of the
order (though if all the appropriate arrangements can be put in place immediately, this may not be necessary). Offenders
should be informed that this will be the case.

This principle need not apply where an offender has yet to commence a programme but has undergone preliminary or
other assessment. (In a case where electronic monitoring is in place, enforcement / recall will be instigated automatically
by virtue of non-compliance with the condition). Where the offender proposes to move in order to take up employment,
the balance of benefit to the offender of taking up employment as opposed to completing or undertaking a programme will
need to be weighed carefully. From time to time genuinely exceptional compassionate circumstances may exist which
will justify departure from these general principles. In such circumstances, decisions should be clearly recorded on the
case file.

In the case of DTTOs where admission into a residential rehabilitation establishment is a planned element of a treatment
plan, arrangements will have been made for an offender’s admission. In such cases, funding will have been arranged by
the home area that will continue to fund the residential place even though the management of the order will be transferred
to the new area for the duration of the offender’s stay at the residential establishment. In cases where an offender on a
DTTO wants to move to a new area (but not to a residential rehabilitation establishment), and a move would be approved
by the supervising officer and treatment providers, contact must be made by the supervising officer with the new area to
make arrangements for the transfer of the treatment programme (this may involve an assessment by the new area).
Funding of a DTTO under these circumstances transfers to the new area. In both cases, these steps must be taken prior
to an application being made at a Review Hearing to amend the treatment provision (residential/non-residential), the
named treatment provider and petty sessions area. These arrangements are supported by the National Treatment
Agency.

Where a change of address is approved by the supervising officer, the principles and time limits outlined above for 12B
cases will apply.

12D Cases: Where Offenders Notify a Change of Address After the Event and They Fall into One of the Other
Exceptions
It will be necessary to consider within one working day what course of action should be pursued. Wherever possible, the
opportunity should be given to the offender to return to his previous address and continue with supervision as planned.
However, immediate enforcement action / recall is the most likely outcome. As soon as a decision has been taken
concerning how to proceed, which should be within a maximum of 24 hours; all relevant agencies should be notified
immediately.

Where a change of address is approved by the supervising officer, the principles and time limits outlined above for 12B
cases will apply.

PRACTICAL MATTERS

Where ‘Informal’ Transfer Arrangements Are Currently in Place


14. Where ‘informal’ transfer arrangements are currently in place, they will have to cease immediately. Any existing
informal arrangements will be formalised and the Area in which the offender is living will receive that offender onto its
caseload with immediate effect.

Holidays
15. Requests by offenders to go on holiday should be dealt with in line with normal practice concerning missed
appointments and will not count as a change of address.

Relations with the courts


16. It is as important to the courts as it is to the National Probation Service that Orders of the court are seen to be
authoritative, effective and are taken seriously by offenders and the broader public.

17. It should be clearly explained to offenders that the permission of the courts to change address is needed in every
case. Provisions concerning the amendment of community orders are currently contained in Schedule 3 to the Powers of
Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. At the time of publication of this circular, an application to amend an order must
be made to the magistrates’ courts in every case where a community order is in force. Where the offender is subject to

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an order (other than a DTTO) which contains no additional requirements and an application to change address is made
by the supervising officer on behalf of the offender, the court is bound to grant the application.

18. Where specific requirements exist or in the case of certain orders, such as DTTOs, the court is not bound to grant the
application. The court can chose to cancel or substitute requirements to facilitate transfer but if provision to undertake the
specified requirements in the new Area has not been arranged, or where the court does not consider the order should be
transferred, even if the move is supported by the supervising officer, the court may refuse the application. This could lead
to revocation of the order and re-sentence. In the case of DTTOs the court must obtain the consent of the offender to any
change in the provision of the order (in the case of a transfer - the treatment provision) before making an amendment.

19. Wherever possible, when


™ the circumstances outlined at (c) and (d) of paragraph 12 apply; and
™ a decision had been made to pursue enforcement action; and
™ an offender is considered to pose a significant risk,
an attempt should be made to persuade the courts of the importance of fast-tracking an enforcement hearing. Where
they exist, discussions should be pursued with the courts around amending local protocols so as to reflect this change of
emphasis.

Licence Revocation and Liaison with the Early Release and Recall Section
20. It is important that the consequences of any breach of licence conditions are explained to offenders upon release, and
re-enforced at appropriate points. If a change of address results in a revocation request it is important that the ERRS
have complete information about the consequences of such a breach in terms of heightened risk of re-offending and/or
risk of harm, and not just a factual account of the breach.

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Annex A

CASE TRANSFER CHECKLIST

Please note the items on this checklist comprise the minimum


which should be sent in every case.

This sheet should be completed and attached to the papers being transferred.

Contact Log YES1 NO

OASys assessment and review YES NO

Supervision plan YES NO

Breach documentation and supporting evidence YES NO

Basic Skills assessment YES NO

Copy of the order / licence YES NO

Accredited programme documentation YES NO

Victim information and documentation YES NO

1
Delete as necessary

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Annex B: CASE TRANSERS (Probation Circular 52/2004)

NO EXCEPTIONS (refers to Probation Circular 52/2004 – Section 12)

Allocated to new
New Area Supervising Officer
Notifies change of notified of
address after event - (SO) on day
12A change on the received Assessment of
no exceptions same day New SO to the suitability of
arrange to (a) the address
Previous
meet and (b) the
New SO to notify New SO to SO to
Offender offender decision, within
previous SO of his notify VLO of send case
within 24 2 working days
contact details on day their contact records to
hours of (including
the case is allocated details new SO
notification update of
receipt OASys)
Requests New Area
permission to notified of Allocated within 2
12B days of notification
change address - proposed change
no exceptions within 5 working receipt
days ALL EXISTING INFORMAL
ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE
FORMALISED AND THE AREA IN
WHICH THE OFFENDER IS RESIDING
WILL RECEIVE THE OFFENDER WITH
IMMEDIATE EFFECT

SO = Supervising Officer
VLO = Victim Liaison Officer
12a/12A = Refers to Circular Sub-section
WITH EXCEPTIONS (refers to Probation Circular 52/2004 – Section 12)
(MAPPA, SCHEDULE 1, CJ&CSA 2000, etc.)

Requests Follow the same steps as Previous SO FAX Cover letter to Notify
12Ci permission to (12b) above, making to transfer new SO professionals in Notify
change address - summarising Notify VLO electronic
every effort to exceed the case records both
with exceptions statutory of move monitoring
designated timeframes ASAP transferring and
requirements receiving areas co-ordinator

Offender SO to consider if SO to justify to


SO should it would benefit court decision
12Cii explore reasons offender to move, when licence
and consider or to stay and submitted for
OASys finish amendment
programmes
ALL EXISTING INFORMAL
ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE
SO should consider within All relevant FORMALISED AND THE AREA IN
12D Notified change of 24 hours of notification agencies to be WHICH THE OFFENDER IS RESIDING
address after event whether offender should be informed WILL RECEIVE THE OFFENDER WITH
returned to previous address immediately
or enforcement action/recall IMMEDIATE EFFECT

SO = Supervising Officer
VLO = Victim Liaison Officer
12Ci,Cii & D = Refers to Circular Sub-section