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KSS CRC praised for “innovative” work with offenders

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation today praised the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), the agency responsible for supervising low and medium risk offenders in the region for its innovative work to divert people away from crime.

The Inspectorate found that KSS CRC offers an “impressive” range of education, training and employment opportunities for people being supervised by probation officers. The CRC runs in-house training courses enabling offenders to qualify in a wide range of subjects such as construction and food hygiene and holds job fairs to help them transition to new careers.

In a foreword to the report, Justin Russell, Chief Inspector of Probation, said:

“There is much to commend KSS CRC on, including its impressive leadership, strong staff satisfaction scores and very positive reputation among partners and key stakeholders.”

He described KSS CRC’s commitment to innovation as “admirable”. Staff at the CRC have developed the first initiative to treat people convicted of stalking and harassment of its kind in England and Wales. Experts work with individuals on a one-to-one basis over 10 sessions to explore their past behaviour and arm them with techniques to avoid further crimes. The programme is similar to one in New York that successfully prevented reoffending.

The CRC supervises more than 8,500 individuals across the three counties.

The Inspectorate has given Kent, Surrey and Sussex CRC an overall rating of “Requires improvement” and made five recommendations.  They note that the rating was close to “Good” but pulled down by the quality of case supervision and work to resettle offenders shortly before and after release from prison, known as “Through The Gate”.

Work has already started to improve case management with new quality development officers (QDOs) in place across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to help probation teams to evaluate work and improve practice.

Responding to today’s report chief executive for KSS CRC, Suki Binning, said:

“Today’s encouraging report recognises our determination to try new approaches and offer a range of interventions that help the people we support to turn away from crime.

“Over the past four years colleagues have put the community rehabilitation company at the heart of efforts to reduce reoffending in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. That has delivered a responsive service that is more informed by research, allowing us to develop the UK’s first intervention to tackle stalking offences and which has seen us collaborate closely with partners, such as Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner to meet offenders’ complex housing needs.

“Last month the Government announced changes to probation services and like elsewhere in the country, responsibility for monitoring low and medium risk offenders in our region will be renationalised under the National Probation Service. Through that transition we will continue to work with partners and statutory agencies, protect the innovative work achieved by colleagues and deliver continued improvements that all probation professionals want to see.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  1. For more information please contact Michael Baker at Eterna Partners on michael.baker@eternapartners.com or +44 (0)7782 398418.
  2. The Kent Surrey & Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company Ltd (KSS CRC) works to reduce reoffending and in so doing, improve people’s lives – potential victims as well as perpetrators of crime. We work with people who have been sentenced by a court to either custody or community supervision and who are classed as low to medium risk.
  3. KSS CRC is part of the Seetec Group, a private limited company.  While the KSS CRC is a separate business in its own right, the management function within Seetec’s Justice Division takes an active role in working with the KSS CRC to deliver probation services in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
  4. The public sector National Probation Service works with high risk offenders.
  5. KSS CRC works across Kent, Surrey and Sussex’s 35 council areas through a network of 16 offices and serves a population of more than four million.
  6. KSS CRC’s ownership transferred from the Ministry of Justice to privately-owned Seetec Group on 1 February 2015 as part of the Government’s probation reforms in England and Wales.