Thank you for sending us your comments.
The debate is now closed but a selection of your views are published below.
Panorama: Freed to Offend Again was broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday, 26 October 2009.
Although monitoring and assessing the risk of dangerous offenders can be challenging, Harry Fletcher's response that failings within MAPPA and the probation service are due to a lack of resources seems to be a standardised press response he consistently utilises. I don't think I have heard him come out with any other explanation in response to cases where offenders have gone on to commit serious offences whilst under supervision! Having worked within the probation service myself I believe that the issues are far more complex and wide ranging than simply just a lack of resources.
Like all public services, public protection is constrained by resources. MAPPA is not independently resourced so when it considers these dangerous offenders MAPPA relies upon the capacity of its constituent agencies to deliver the actual risk management Plans. There are only so many resources to go around, and there are always many more dangerous offenders than the resources available to fully manage them. The consequence is that the various agencies (within the framework of MAPPA) have to prioritise the most significant interventions on those cases for whom the risk is considered greatest. Resource follows risk. To do otherwise would be indefensible. Sadly there are always some Serious Further Offences committed by these highest risk offenders, no matter how robust the risk management plan. Mistakes also sometimes happen and that is always utterly heartbreaking, but no-one sets out with the intention of managing risk badly and creating further victims. The risk management plans for these lower risk offenders could really only be 'beefed-up' if significant amounts of additional money were made available to both MAPPA and all its component agencies.
I'm an ex-prisoner myself and have been out of prison for about three years now and just been watching the programme on tonight and must say that although there are some ex-offenders who do go on and repeat offend, there are the ones who actually want to get on with their lives and put there wrong doings behind them. Yes at time this can be hard especially when you go for job interviews, etc but myself I keep thinking positive about life and always will. There are people who re-offend as they don't see anything to keep them going when they get out of prison and that's the main reason why they end up re-offending as they see prison life as easier than living in society.
As a criminology student studying at Sunderland University, I found this information to be very useful. It's interesting to see that the Criminal Justice system is severely under-funded that there are mistakes being made, for example some offenders have been put into low risk level one categories, instead they should be put into higher level 2 or 3 categories. I also found the statistics interesting as level one offenders are shown to be the ones who re-offend more, and their crimes seem to get more serious, also the fact that only 50% of the police asked about the statistics of re-offenders did not respond indicates to me that there must be high rates that could be worrying and this could indicate some kind of problem in the criminal justice system. Furthermore conclusions drawn from statistics are not very valid or generalise as they only go by crimes that have been recorded by the police, and a lot of crime goes unreported.
-- Anita Fullarton
As someone who works for the Probation Service, I watched tonight's programme with great interest. I felt that some interesting points were made, most notably about the amount of supervision available to an offender who is managed at MAPPA Level 1. However, greater perspective was needed - the programme did not report the Serious Fruther Offences as a percentage of MAPPA managed cases (0.6%) or as a percentage of total offending. The lack of resources available to criminal justice agencies remains low and will be even lower with the projected cuts to current budgets.
-- Gary Burns