9.3 Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
- The MAPPA Framework
- The Role of the Area MAPPA Coordinator
- Inter-Relationship between the Child Protection Procedures and the MAPPA Framework Appendix 1: Assessment Considerations for MAPPA Cases Appendix 2: Risk Assessment and Release on Temporary Licence
Work with convicted offenders who pose a risk to children is a crucial part of safeguarding children.
Multi-agency work with offenders convicted of violent or sexual offences is provided through the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
Lead responsibility to co-ordinate this work is held by the Police and Probation Provider, together with the Prison Service as the Responsible Authority. Other agencies, including Children’s Specialist Services and Health, are subject to a statutory duty to co-operate.
Whilst most offenders covered by MAPPA are adults, the arrangements also include young people convicted of relevant offences. The lead agency in cases involving young offenders will usually be the Youth Offending Service (YOS).
Where young people have not been convicted, but exhibit sexually abusive behaviour, the risks should be managed on a multi-agency basis – see Children and Young People who Display Sexually Inappropriate and Harmful Behaviour Procedure.
Child protection procedures – as set out in Part 3 of this Manual, Managing Individual Cases Where there are Concerns about a Child’s Safety and Welfare – Procedures – provide a framework for identifying, assessing, managing risk and monitoring children whose carers either themselves pose a risk to them, or who are unable to safeguard their children from the risk posed by others.
MAPPA covers convicted offenders identified as posing a risk of harm to other people and provides a framework for identifying, assessing, managing risk and monitoring this group.
It is important to keep in mind that many MAPPA offenders will not present a risk to their own or anyone else’s child. However, where the offences do include child protection issues, there can be considerable overlap between the child protection and MAPPA systems, as convicted offenders subject to MAPPA may include those convicted of:
- Violent or sexual offences against a child;
- Domestic violence offences;
- Sexual or violent offences which whilst not directly involving a child raise issues about their parenting capacity;
- Violent or sexual offences such that there is need to consider the safety of staff working with a family.
This list is not exhaustive but is indicative of the potential overlap.
It is important that, where there is overlap, there are explicit links between the risk management plans within each system, and that there is good understanding of how the risk management available via MAPPA can be best harnessed within child protection planning and vice versa.
Where concerns arise about the safety of a specific identified child, the first priority is to instigate child protection procedures. The MAPPA framework must not be used as an alternative to following child protection procedures. This is to ensure that the individual child is safeguarded without delay by the lead agencies for child protection work.
- The MAPPA Framework
There are three types of offenders who are subject to MAPPA procedures.
This category includes offenders required to comply with the notification requirements set out in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These offenders are often referred to as being on the ‘Sexual Offenders Register’. Registered sex offenders (RSO’s) will be subject to MAPPA until their period of registration expires. In most serious cases, registration is for life.
This category is more complex and is categorised as ‘Violent and other sexual offenders’. To clarify, Category 2 includes the following offenders who convicted of a relevant offence (Schedule 15 CJA) who receive the following sentences:
- Imprisonment 12 months or more;
- Detention for public protection under sec 226 CJA regardless tariff;
- Detention under sec 227 and 228 CJ Act;
- Hospital order;
- Subject to disqualification order i.e. due to violent or sexual nature of offence or may have disqualification order for supply of drugs to children.
There will be a small number of sex offenders registered under Category 2, where either:
- Offence does not attract registration;
- Sentence does not pass threshold to register – but there is a Disqualification order.
Those whose registration has finished or sentenced prior to registration coming in should not be registered as Category 2 case on that basis – if there are concerns about behaviour then registration will be under category 3 and police can apply for a SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) if appropriate.
They cease to be category 2 when their licence expires or discharged from hospital order.
Includes offenders that don’t meet the above requirements for Category 1 or 2, but are considered to pose a risk of serious harm to the public which requires active inter-agency management. It could also include those offenders on a community order.
To be registered as Category 3 Offender, the individual must have:
- Establish they have committed an offence which indicates that they are capable of causing serious harm to the public;
- Reasonably consider the offender may cause serious harm to the public which will require Level 2 or 3 management based on OASys assessment (tend to be mostly DV and mental health cases).
Category 3 cases can only ever be managed at Level 2 or Level 3 never Level 1, due to the significant harm posed.
Determining the MAPPA Management Level
The Responsible Authority that being the Probation Provider, is required to threshold cases to ensure they are managed at the correct level for the necessary length of time. Once this has been initially set, it will be reviewed at the first and subsequent MAPPA meetings.
The three different levels enable resources to be deployed to manage identified risks in the most efficient and effective manner. The central question in determining the correct MAPPA level is, what is the lowest level that a case can be managed at which provides a defensible Risk management Plan?
Level 1 (Ordinary Agency Management – Single Agency Management)
- Level 1 management is the level used in cases where the risks posed by the offender can be managed by the agency responsible for supervision/case management; this is usually the Probation Provider or police;
- This does not mean that other agencies will not be involved; only that it is not considered necessary to refer the case to a Level 2 or 3 meeting, although this can change at any time as risk is dynamic;
- Level 1 management can only be used for Category 1 or 2 cases because Category 3 offenders by definition require multi-agency management;
- Offenders managed at Level 1 will often be assessed as low or medium risk of harm, but high risk offenders with a robust risk management plans can also be managed at this level;
- The responsible agency must make arrangements to review Level 1 cases at least once every four months.
The Level 1 review must:
- Identify any new information relating to the case which has an effect upon the risk assessment and risk management plan;
- Review the risk management plan and revise it as necessary. This includes recording whether the case now requires referral to Level 2 or 3; and
- Set the date for the next review.
Level 2 – (Active Multi Agency Management)
Cases should be managed at Level 2 where the offender:
- Is assessed as posing a significant risk of serious harm but this does not mean all cases assessed as high or very high risk automatically require Level 2 management;
- Requires active involvement and co-ordination of interventions from other agencies to manage the presenting risks of harm; or
- Has previously been managed at Level 3 and seriousness has reduced, and/or the complexity of the multi-agency management of the risks have been brokered and a risk management plan for Level 2 has been firmly established.
Potential Level 2 cases could include:
- Sexual offender who are resistant to addressing their offending behaviour;
- Violent offenders (possibly with additional risks of mental health problems and substance misuse);
- Domestic violence offenders (as above);
- Unsuitable or unstable family/ home circumstances;
- Likely to re-offend and cause high levels of serious harm to others;
- There is currently a lack of effective multi-agency working and this needs to be co-ordinated to provide an effective MAPPA RMP.
Level 3 – Active Multi-Agency Management, with Senior Management Involvement
Level 3 management should be used where it is determined that the issues require active conferencing and senior representation from the responsible authority and the duty to cooperate agencies.
The criteria for referring to Level 3 is where the offender:
- Is assessed under OASys (or other risk assessment tool) as high or very high risk of serious harm but not all high or very high cases will require Level 3 management;
- Presents risk that can only be managed by a plan which requires close co-operation at a senior level due to the complexity of the case and/or because of the unusual resource commitments it requires; or
- Although not assessed as high or very high risk there is likelihood of media scrutiny and/or public interest and a need to maintain public confidence in the Criminal Justice Service.
Potential Level 3 cases could include:
- Complex cases;
- Imminence of re-offending, the offender is more likely than not to re-offend at any time with very serious consequences for others;
- Sexual offenders who have an additional risk of generic violence;
- Unwillingness to address offending behaviour thereby increasing risk of harm;
- Additional police or prison intelligence suggesting ongoing offending behaviour/increased risk;
- Threats to kill, kidnap and harm to known child or adult;
- Mental illness, psychological disorders and / or self-harm;
- Distorted beliefs and thought patterns towards particular groups and or individuals;
- Need for additional / unusual use of resources to effectively manage the case;
- Potential media interest in the case or notoriety of the case;
- The offender is assessed as very high risk of serious harm where the risk (on release from prison) is imminent. The potential event is more likely than not to happen imminently and the impact would be serious; and/or
- The case attracts, or is likely to attract significant national media interest.
MAPPA Level 2 meetings are normally chaired by middle managers and MAPPA Level 3 meetings by the Assistant Chief Officer Practitioners from any agency working with the offender will be invited to attend. Often attendance is required from other agencies that may be working with those who could potentially be at risk from the offender, such as Children’s Services, where they are working with the offender’s family or the other victims of the offence(s). Initial meetings will normally be convened at least 6 months prior to release where the offender is in custody and within 15 working days of the offender being assessed as high risk.
Subsequently, regular review meetings will be held, every 4-6 weeks for a Level 3 case and every 8-12 weeks for a Level 2. On each occasion a review of the risk assessment must be undertaken. This is necessary in order to decide whether the case should continue to be managed at this level or, if the risks have decreased, whether the case can revert to Level 1 management, or if they have significantly increased, whether the case should be referred to MAPPA Level 3. It vital that all agencies regularly attend the meeting to contribute to this risk assessment and share information as to the risk factors that may be present in relation to agencies working with the offender or risks the offender may present to individuals in the community.
Frontline practitioners from key involved agencies are invited to MAPPP meetings and contribute to the discussions; the key decision as to whether the offender meets the threshold for ongoing MAPPP oversight and management is taken by the core panel members.
Duty to Co-operate Agencies:
Section 325(3) of the Criminal Justice Act (2003) imposes a “Duty to Cooperate” with the MAPPA Responsible Authority (RA) on various organisations providing public services. The agencies that have this duty are wide ranging and will vary from case to case.
The purpose of the Duty to Co-operate:
- To co-ordinate the involvement of different agencies in assessing and managing risk; and
- To enable every agency, which has a legitimate interest, to contribute as fully as its existing statutory role and functions requires in a way that complements the work of other agencies;
- Enabling joint working is fundamentally what the MAPPA duty to co-operate is about and experience has shown that it works best when the agencies also look for synergies to be gained from making services complementary.
Meeting time should be regarded as a scarce and expensive resource. It is therefore essential that pre-meeting preparation is as thorough as possible, given the time and resources available. The referral will have identified which are the relevant agencies to attend the MAPP meeting and it is vital that the most appropriate individual is consistently available to attend the meetings and that the preparation made prior to the meeting includes details of up to date agency involvement, any interactions with the offender or their family and any changes in the relationship, dynamics or risk factors in relation to the offender or their family.
If any agency representative is unable to attend the meeting for any reason, it is vital that they send a written report to provide the above updated information. It is imperative for risk management that all agencies provide regular updates on the work their agency is undertaking in relation to the offender and his/her family/victim(s).
If any agency ceases to work with an offender, their family or victim(s) they must inform the MAPP as to the reasons why this is the case and prove a closing summary for the meeting. Dependent upon the case, it still may be relevant for them to attend the meeting.
Any agency that fails to send representation to the meeting or is unable to provide regular updates in relation to their agencies work concerning the case will be reported to the SMB.
- The Role of the Area MAPPA Coordinator
The role of the MAPPA Co-ordinator is:
- To provide staff of partner agencies with information on MAPPA offenders – their MAPPA category, the level of MAPPA risk management, the managing agency and contact details of the Offender Manager/Keyworker;
- To provide advice and consultancy in relation to offenders;
- To process and approve referrals to the MAPPP (MAPPA Level 3);
- To oversee the risk management arrangements of all offenders managed under MAPPA;
- To maintain a detailed database in relation to all offenders referred to and those managed by the MAPPP.
- Inter-Relationship between the Child Protection Procedures and the MAPPA Framework
Collaboration between MAPPA and child protection processes is vital in order to:
- Ensure that information exchange enhances assessment of risk in individual cases;
- Ensure that the two different procedures, each of which will properly have a different focus, do not act in ways which are contradictory or are in conflict with each other;
- Ensure that plans for individual children use the tools for risk management of adult offenders available through legislation;
- Discharge duties to co-operate with MAPPA.
Where there are concerns for a child and reason to consider that a significant person in the situation may be subject to the MAPPA framework, the MAPPA Coordinator can be contacted for information or advice on who to contact.
Contact should always then be made with the appropriate Offender Managers, both to seek information about the assessment of the offender and to communicate information to the person co-ordinating work with the offender.
There are established links between the MAPPP Unit and the Safeguarding Unit. Information on (Level 3) MAPPP-managed individuals is held by the Safeguarding Unit and alerted to social workers making checks of the Record of Children subject to a Child Protection Plan.
The Safeguarding Unit is also available for consultation on the inter-relationship between the MAPPA and child protection processes, and acts as a single point of contact for enquiries from other agencies regarding MAPPA offenders.
As previously stated, where concerns arise about the safety of a specific identified child, the first priority is to instigate child protection procedures. When the immediate protection of the child has been addressed, consideration should be given as to whether the perpetrator(s) poses a more general, non-specific risk to other children. If so, consideration must be given as to whether to refer to MAPPP.
Where a known or suspected child abuser is identified, but there are no current concerns about specific children, the MAPPA framework should be used:
- The MAPPA Co-ordinator should be contacted to establish whether the offender is currently being managed by another agency;
- If so, the Offender Manager should be contacted and made aware of any information which may be of relevance to risk assessment or management;
- Where there is no current contact with a MAPPA agency there should be discussion with the MAPPA Co-ordinator to decide how to proceed;
- Advice can also be sought from the Safeguarding Unit.
In some instances, there will be Child Protection Plans in place, which manage the risk of an offender in respect of an individual child, and parallel risk management processes as a part of the MAPPA framework.
The functions and focus of each process overlap but have distinct aspects. It is vital that the exchange of information is maintained in order to ensure that the focus of work and intervention is complementary and does not diverge over time.
The child’s Lead Social Worker and the Offender Manager should each attend the review meetings within the other process whenever possible, and, if not possible, should submit written information about the progress of the plan on which he/she is leading.
There can also be tensions between strategies to manage the risks to a child and other public protection aims. Keeping an adult offender in touch with their family may reduce the risks the adult poses generally because he/she has much needed support, but places a child in greater potential risk than ending the contact. In circumstances where there is potential conflict, it is even more important that communication is maintained and differences in approach discussed.
An additional advantage of a fully collaborative approach is that other forms of intervention may be available through statutory and legislative adult focused provision to manage risk, and this may be more effective in safeguarding the child than the intervention available under child protection procedures.
Appendix 1: Assessment Considerations for MAPPA Cases
It is important to identify all risk behaviour(s) causing concern which need to be assessed. There may be one specific risk behaviour or a combination. Identify those you believe are present:
- Verbal abuse and aggression;
- Physical abuse and aggression;
- Sexual abuse;
- Emotional abuse;
Past History of Risk Behaviour(s)
Here you are considering the person’s history of previous occasions when risk behaviour or offending has occurred:
- Is there a past history of the risk behaviour(s) you have identified?
- What are the specific details of this, e.g. frequency, duration and intensity of the risk behaviour? Where, when and how has it happened in the past?
- Who was involved, e.g. victims and accomplices?
- What form did the risk behaviour take?
- Background / cultural factors that might cause behaviour to be more accepted?
- Was the risk behaviour or offence planned, impulsive or opportunistic? Give details.
General Background Information
- What are the details of the person’s background and upbringing, e.g. family background, education, employment, sexual development and relationships, psychiatric history, significant life-events, alcohol and drug use;
- Has the person any history of emotional, sexual or physical abuse, emotional or behavioural difficulties?
This section only applies to cases where there is a previous history of offending:
- What are the specific details of any previous offences?
- What was the result of any previous convictions, e.g. prison sentences, probation?
- If there is a history of offending behaviour, how is it connected with the risk behaviour?
Current Offence, Incident or Risk Behaviour
This section considers the current offence, incident or risk behaviour causing concern:
- What are the details of the current offence, incident or risk behaviour, e.g. what happened, how, where, when and who was involved?
- What was the person’s mood and mental state at the time?
- Was the person under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time?
- Was the behaviour impulsive and opportunistic or is there evidence of planning and preparation? How much thought went in to the risk behaviour / incident / offence?
- How aware is the person of his/her actions and events leading up to the incident/offence?
- What are the person’s current circumstances, e.g. accommodation, occupation, associates?
Antecedents to Risk Behaviour
This section considers the person’s past and current risk behaviour or offences and looks at the possible causes, and any pattern, to the behaviour or offending.
- Can you identify any causes or precipitating circumstances leading up to the person’s risk behaviour or offending? Are any of these still present, or likely to occur?
- How often do they, or are they likely to, occur?
- Any changes in the person, or their circumstances, prior to the risk behaviour occurring?
- Is there any particular pattern to the behaviour, e.g. planning or preparation?
- Does the person have any violent or sexual fantasies? If ‘yes’, what are the details and how do these relate to the risk behaviour?
Attitude towards Risk Behaviour
- What is the person’s attitude towards the risk behaviour or offences?
- Has the person shown concern about their behaviour and possible risks to others?
- What awareness and insight does the person have with regards to the risk behaviour?
- Is there any awareness of the consequences of the risk behaviour, for self or others?
- Does the person try to rationalise or justify their actions?
- Is there any evidence of distorted thinking, denial and minimisation?
- What are the person’s beliefs with regards to any aggressive behaviour?
- What are the person’s beliefs with regards to sex and sexual relationships?
- Does the person expect the behaviour to occur again?
- Has the person made comments or threats that the behaviour will occur again?
Emotions and Impulsivity
- How does the person deal with feelings, e.g. expressed, kept bottled up?
- Is the person prone to emotional outbursts, e.g. anger?
- Is the person impulsive with regards to his / her emotions?
- Does the person become easily frustrated or distressed?
- Does the person find it difficult to cope with problems?
- Is the person able to recognise their own feelings and those of others?
- Can the person acknowledge and empathise with the feelings of others?
- Does the person become disinhibited under the influence of either alcohol or drugs?
- Is there evidence of any mental illness or other mental disorder?
- What are the symptoms of this?
- Is there any physical illness or disability?
- Are there any organic or neurological problems, e.g. dementia, brain damage?
- Is there evidence of any learning disability?
- What is the person’s level of intellectual / cognitive functioning?
- Is there any evidence of substance misuse, e.g. alcohol, drugs, solvents?
- What are the details of the person’s victim(s), e.g. who was involved, age, relationship to person, gender?
- Was the victim(s) targeted and groomed by the person? If ‘yes’, how was this done?
- What, in detail, was actually done to the victim(s) and what have been the effects of this?
- How able is the victim(s) to protect her or himself? Does the victim(s) understand what has happened and know who is responsible?
- What is the degree of access to past, current or potential victims?
- Did the person abuse adult power and responsibility, use physical force, coercion, threats or bribes with the victim(s)?
- Did the person take advantage of the victim(s) sexual and emotional immaturity?
- What was done to break down boundaries with the victim(s) to gain trust and confidence?
Victim Empathy and Awareness
- Is the person able to empathise with the feelings of his / her victim(s) and is there any awareness of the consequences that his / her behaviour has for victim(s)?
- Is the person able to genuinely acknowledge the potential effects that the risk behaviour may have had on the victim(s)?
- During the assessment, has the person expressed any feelings of guilt or shame in connection with the risk behaviour, offence or victim(s)?
Appendix 2: Risk Assessment and Release on Temporary Licence
The guidance, contained in IG 54/94, ‘Release of prisoners convicted of offences against children or young persons under the age of 18’ must be followed before any person convicted of an offence of violence against children or young persons is granted release on temporary licence. Whilst this was issued to the criminal justice agencies, it offers a useful template for social workers when considering the risk factors that should be covered in this and similar situations in which they are involved.
This guidance notes that release on temporary licence is not an entitlement, but a privilege under Rule 6 for which prisoners must apply. All prisoners eligible to be considered for release on temporary licence should be assessed individually in the full knowledge of all the circumstances of their offence and their offending behaviour. Public confidence could be damaged if clear risks are not identified and acted upon, either by refusing an application or taking precautions to prevent breaches of the licence.
The main considerations to be borne in mind when considering applications are:
- The risk that the prisoner would present to public safety;
- The risk of further offending by a prisoner when released on temporary licence;
- The likelihood of the prisoner failing to comply with any conditions attached to the licence;
- The propensity to abscond;
- The availability of suitable accommodation where an overnight stay is contemplated.
The level of risk must therefore be assessed, taking into account as a minimum, the following factors:
- Offence Analysis
- Does the prisoner’s criminal history suggest any particular risks, such as a history of violent response to confrontation, violence when drunk, drug abuse, sexual offences in the home, offences against children etc? Is there any information which ought to be obtained about previous convictions? Does his criminal history suggest any pattern or trends? Does his criminal history indicate a likelihood of recidivism?
- The prisoner’s home circumstances, (where relevant) / proposed address
- What issues, including financial pressure, will the prisoner and the prisoner’s family face during the release and how well are they likely to cope with them? How realistic is the prisoner about being able to deal with these family problems? How realistic are the family?
- Are there particular events or dates which need to be avoided e.g. the anniversary of an offence, or which should be included e.g. a family occasion?
- Do the prisoner’s family want the prisoner to return home, and will the family need any counselling?
- Is the proposed address for an overnight release acceptable, and have appropriate arrangements been made?
No prisoner should be allowed resettlement leave without suitable accommodation to go to. If the release on temporary licence board considers that a prisoner in this position should nevertheless be granted resettlement leave, the Offender Manager may be asked to arrange hostel accommodation, where possible.
- The position of known victim(s) and the community, where relevant
- “Is the Probation Provider in contact with the victim in accordance with the National Standard for Supervision Before and After Release (which requires contact to be made with victims of serious sexual and other violent offences within two months of sentence)? If so, does the victim have concerns which should be taken into account? Consideration should be given to making it a condition of release on temporary licence that the prisoner avoids certain areas or individuals;
- If the Probation Provider is not in contact with the victim, is any other information available which should be taken into account? Is it known whether the victim lives near the prisoner? Has the victim contacted the Victim Helpline?”
- Is the victim(s) in the home? If so, what is his or her attitude to the leave? Is the victim in any danger? The wishes of a victim in the home who does not wish the prisoner to go there on resettlement leave must be respected;
- Will the prisoner suffer antagonism or provocation from members of the local community? What information is available about the attitude of the community? Ill-feeling towards the prisoner should not of itself prevent the granting of release on temporary licence, unless it is foreseeable that it may lead to a breach of public order or undue stress for victims or for the prisoner.
- Previous Temporary Releases, Home Leaves and Releases on Temporary Licence
- Has the prisoner broken a temporary release licence in the past?
- Has the prisoner shown any violent temper or loss of control?
- Has the prisoner tackled his offending behaviour in a positive and successful way, e.g. by participating in sex offender or anger management courses? If not is it because the opportunity was not available? If it was offered and refused what reasons were given by the prisoner? Were they credible?
- Is the prisoner denying a sex offence? If so this should normally be taken as an indication of un quantifiable risk;
- Is the prisoner denying a non-sexual offence? If so this will normally make it more difficult to assess risk, although past events may give useful indications;
- How does the prisoner respond to stressful and confrontational situations?
- How does the prisoner respond to positions of trust?
- Is the prisoner likely to bring back contraband, e.g. drugs into the prison or is the prisoner believed to be under pressure from other prisoners to bring illicit items into the prison?
- Specific Areas of Concern Does the prisoner’s history indicate factors that might increase risk, such as:
- Drug abuse;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Mental disorder;
- Stress related illness;
- Institutional behaviour i.e. normally a “good prisoner” inside but quickly breaks down after release;
- Has the prisoner succeeded to a significant degree in addressing any of these factors;
- If a prisoner has fallen ill on a previous temporary release, home leave or release on temporary licence has the condition now cleared, and is there any reason to expect a recurrence? Were there doubts about the genuineness of the illness?
Consideration should be given to allowing prisoners, where possible, to take resettlement leave to fit in with family celebrations and religious holidays of particular significance. Resettlement leave around Christmas or other bank holiday times may be sanctioned but particular care should be given to the fact that some prisoners might be less likely to return on times, or more likely to breach their licence conditions due to potentially higher stress levels and the likelihood of greater than normal consumption of alcohol etc.
It should be noted that some releases on temporary licence, particularly release on resettlement licence can be a stressful experience both for prisoners and their families. There may be difficult readjustments to be made both financially and emotionally particularly after a long period of imprisonment. Governors should be sensitive to the need for counselling both before and after the period of release, particularly where there may be a risk of potential self-harm. The medical examination which should take place before and after an overnight release (see Appendix 1: Assessment Considerations for MAPPA Cases of Part I of this I.G.) may provide a suitable opportunity to assess this need. Prisoners should be made aware of sources of support e.g. the local Samaritans, Probation Office, Citizens’ Advice Bureau or a contact at the prison itself.