Integrated Offender Management
Integrated Offender Management (IOM) is a partnership approach to managing offenders whose crimes cause damage and harm locally. The outcome is safer, more vibrant and thriving communities, achieved through reducing re-offending and supporting people to live healthier, crime free lives.
The Police and Crime Commissioner commissions an IOM outreach service in the Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council area and is the first in England to commission IOM Houses which provide support to people leaving prison at risk of homelessness and who are vulnerable to substance misuse.
Research suggests there are seven key areas which impact on crime, known as the seven pathways of offending:
- Attitudes, thinking and behaviour
- Education, training and employment
- Children and Family
- Substance Misuse
- Finance benefit and debt
The Society of St James coordinate a range of interventions designed to assist those within the IOM cohort to reduce offending and aid recovery from drug and alcohol dependency.
Hampshire Constabulary work alongside partners and have an awareness of all offenders registered on the IOM scheme. They understand who is engaging with support services, and who continues to offend. Police build a rapport with those registered and encourage engagement with support services, but carry out enforcement on those who continue to offend. This includes making arrests and seeking prosecutions which can result in prison sentences.
IOM Houses in Southampton, Portsmouth and Gosport
IOM accommodation is owned and managed by the Society of St James who take a trauma informed and public health approach to reducing re-offending.
There are three IOM houses in Gosport, Portsmouth and Southampton, with 20 bed-spaces in total offering specialised support housing to a maximum of 30 people per year. The IOM houses are primarily for offenders leaving prison with substance misuse needs. They encourage healthy lives free from crime and substance abuse. The IOM houses offer support to adhere to the ‘no drug and alcohol’ rules and a minimum standard of expected behaviour. Residents comply with a weekly timetable of meaningful activities and engage with peer mentors. Activities include sports and leisure, accredited courses and life skills. Residents are also offered group work, one to one and volunteering peer support.
Whilst there is a strong ethos around ongoing, intensive support, residents are sometimes regrettably evicted if they break house rules. This helps those residents who really want to change and facilitates a supportive peer environment.
The IOM House Workers support residents and encourage them to take part in meaningful activities and engage with peer mentors. IOM staff help residents tackle the underlying causes of offending and provide incentives to reward positive change.
Between January and March 2022, 20 residents were supported (65% aged over 35 years, 100% male, 95% White British, 10% with a disability). This was a highly vulnerable group: 50% were victims, perpetrators or grew up around domestic abuse, 85% were not in employment or education, 95% had self-reported mental health issues, and 55% grew up with family members with substance misuse. 51 referrals were made to support services, including 17 for physical health, 14 for drug and alcohol misuse, 8 for mental health. There was a significant impact on social outcomes, including engagement in life skills development (100%), sports activities (100%), voluntary work (80%), courses or training (50%), peer support sessions (40%), and paid employment (20%), All residents engaged in mandatory substance misuse treatment after one month. The average length of stay in the programme was four months and three residents successfully left the programme to live with family.
The IOM Houses successfully engaged a highly vulnerable population group. Providing holistic support across the wider determinants of health has the potential to support the reduction of crime and health inequalities. Due to the success of the programme, plans are in place to open a 4th IOM House in Basingstoke, in collaboration with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Probation and Society of St James.
The same early risk factors that may lead to crime, also increase the likelihood of other negative social and health outcomes. By working together we can reduce crime and also realise wider benefits across health and social care.
It is necessary to examine the issue through a shared lens across policing, health and social care. Without this shared approach the opportunities to improve health and public safety, and achieve individual and community growth and prosperity will be limited. The return on investment is not just about reducing crime but an opportunity to transform social, health and economic outcomes (young people staying in school, achieving good qualifications, creating wealth, attracting investment as communities grow, and living healthier for longer).
Demand on policing and health services is growing, and the complexity of need is increasingly recognised. Many calls to the police are not only about crime, but also relate to vulnerability and other complex social needs. By working together we can not only reduce crime, but also reduce vulnerability, build resilience, and help individuals, relationships, communities and society to enjoy happier, healthier, crime-free lives for generations to come.
Quotes from those supported in an IOM House
“The atmosphere is safe and friendly, and the house is clean.”
“I would have been back in jail if I didn’t have somewhere like this to come to when I was released.”
“Before I moved here I never worried about tomorrow or had goals.”
“I got over anxieties and was able to attend groups with support from the house.”
Before moving into the IOM house ‘Person X’ didn’t hold out much hope for their future. They were addicted to heroin and crack cocaine and would commit crime daily to fund their habit. Person X was eventually sent to prison, and was told about the IOM House by their probation worker.
Person X initially found the IOM House daunting as they hadn’t lived in a clean, safe environment for so long and weren’t sure how to cope. Person X found everyone helpful and supportive which made things easier, describing the house as being like a big extended family.
With support Person X started working voluntarily and completed several college courses before taking up full time paid employment. Person X is now living independently in their own flat and has regained access to their child. This is the longest Person X has ever been free from using drugs and not committing crimes. Person X was in the IOM House for 9 months.
Person X said:
“If someone had told me this time last year that this is where I would be now I would have never believed them! The IOM house in my eyes has saved my life and will do many others that are willing to put in the work for their recovery anything is possible you just have to believe!”