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Improving Offenders Skills and Opportunities in Leeds

Improving offenders' skills and opportunities in leeds 

At Interserve we provide a range of services to people on behalf of the UK government including probation, education, training and employability services and healthcare. One area where we provide all of these services is Leeds. 

Improving Offenders Skills and Opportunities in LeedsIn Leeds, we realised that we were seeing the same people in several different parts of our business, for example, those people who we supervise on probation are often the same people walking through the doors of our learning and employment business looking for support in getting into work.

We realised that offenders would benefit from a more tailored plan to help them reduce their offending behaviour, remove barriers to achieving personal goals and provide them with skills to help them get into employment. As such, we decided to take a different approach to try and join up our services so that one practitioner would deliver a personalised service based on the needs of the individual, so we ran a pilot scheme in Leeds.

The aims of the pilot were to:

• Simplify the rehabilitation journey
• Prevent individuals from being bounced between services
• Double the employment rates of the cohort
• Halve the re-offending rates of the cohort.


We also saw the need to link up the training requirements. Being on probation is clearly a punishment but at the same time, they need to rehabilitate in order to change their lives and break the cycle of re-offending.


Working with the group, it was clear that there were many challenges for them to overcome. They are often ‘double sanctioned’ which means they may be required to carry out community payback at the same time as being required to actively look for work. Clearly they cannot be in two places at once. This can be difficult for both the service user because they cannot comply with conflicting orders and challenging for the case managers who are trying to support them through the process.


By bringing together the experience of our in-house training experts and our probation professionals, we were able to provide an intensive, personalised service focused on the needs and aspirations of the offenders.

We looked beyond commissioned contractual boundaries to an approach that places the service user at the heart of the service.

By working in this way, it enabled the service users to focus on their strengths, set achievable goals, access the necessary resources and support and get access to jobs and training.

This approach is also more efficient in terms of resources, without compromising on service quality, as it offers a ‘one stop shop’ approach which is also less stressful and more achievable for the service user.

For a more detailed case study on the Leeds pilot, please download it here.


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