Presentation on theme: "London Councils Implementation of the Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 Remands to Youth Detention Accommodation 11 th March 2013."— Presentation transcript:
London Councils Implementation of the Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 Remands to Youth Detention Accommodation 11 th March 2013 Sean Dunkling Assistant Director, Young People and Learning Wandsworth Council
– Numbers of children and young people on secure remand are not reducing at the same rate as those serving custodial sentences. – In 2010/11, 26% of all young people in custody were on remand however 61% of those on secure remand were acquitted or did not go on to receive a custodial sentence from trial. This suggests that many secure remands may be unnecessary – Secure remands are expensive. – Currently the MoJ/YJB pays for: Two thirds of Court-ordered Secure Remands (COSR) (c £15m for MoJ versus c £8m from LAs across England and Wales); All the costs of remands to custody; Future TRANSFER OF FUNDS will be made for YOI placements only.
Transfer of financial responsibilities
Greater financial responsibility & incentives for local authorities (LAs) – From April 2013, greater financial responsibility for secure and custodial remands will be devolved to LAs; – Current cost recovery arrangements will continue to April 2013 for children remanded to STCs and SCHs; – Only the budget for YOI placement costs will be transferred in April 2013, the current two thirds funding of STC / SCH placements by YJB will cease; – The incentive for LAs is to reduce unnecessary secure remands, and reinvest any savings achieved;
Allocation of the remands pot Allocation to be based on areas historic use of secure remand (Average over last 3 years); – The option is simple and easy to understand. – It is transparent and defensible when comparing budget allocations to likely costs for individual local authorities. – There is little negative impact on the incentive to reduce unnecessary remands. – Averaging helps to address concerns about volatility in the use of remand bed night. – Averaging helps to soften the impact on those areas which have already reduced unnecessary remands in the last couple of years. – It takes account of factors such as local variations in sentencers behaviour that might not be picked up by other approaches. – Data discrepancy exercise may have some impact on the proportion of the funding individual local authorities will receive. – This is the proposed method for the remainder of this spending review period. The method of allocation may change in future years.
Spike events No proposal to establish a central budget to be accessed by local authorities should a spike event occur. – Rationale- There has been a downward trend in the use of secure remands over the past few years; There is no definition of a spike event in general use and difficult to maintain a small central reserve of funding and at the same time use it to respond to a wide variety of potential demands; Such a budget could reduce incentives; A budget could only be established by top slicing from the funding to be transfer. There would be less funding to distribute to local authorities, which could limit potential to invest in alternatives.
Secure transport – Single contract for remanded and sentenced young people placed in STC and SCH awarded to Serco from the commencement of LASPO Act; – The single contract was instigated due to a number of policy changes including the repeal of s.23 of the CYPA 1969; – The intention of the legislation is to streamline transportation practices ensuring both sentenced and remand young people receive equal service provision and to ensure that there is more safeguarding rigour than previously; – Costs for those young people remanded to STC or SCH accommodation will be met by the YJB December-April 2013; – Post this date, costs will be deducted from the main budget for transfer
Placement of children and young people – YOTs will still inform placement decisions via the sharing of assessments of risk and need and NOT COSTS; – YOTs will have a statutory responsibility to consult with the designated authority (if not their own); – Placement decisions are underpinned by the Placement Information Form (PIF); – Clarity of data sharing with the placements team is vital: - To underpin information sharing and risk and safeguarding decisions; - An incomplete overview = inappropriate placements decisions; - Future impact upon correct invoicing. – THE YJB PLACEMENT TEAM MUST CONSULT WITH THE DESIGNATED LOCAL AUTHORITY BEFORE PLACEMENT.
What is a designated local authority? In the case of each child remanded to YDA the court must designate a local authority;- – if the child is already looked after by a local authority then the court MUST designate this authority; – if the child in not already looked after then the court MUST designate either the authority in which the child habitually resides or the authority in which the offence was committed. – in respect of those children that are remanded to LAA, (not YDA) the local authority will be responsible for placing them and looking after them as is the case now.
Financial LAPSO Implications for London The cost to YOI remands was subject to an immediate cut of 15. MOJ have dropped this cut and with a new cut of 26%! This covers a reduction in the number of young people on remand in YOIs, calculated by comparing figures from April 2011 – March 2012 with figures from April 2012 – November There is no area adjustment for this. Our initial calculations suggested that the proposed 15% cut would leave London with a shortfall of at least £1.5m, and the new proposals will clearly be significantly worse. The extension of looked after children status to all young people on remand would lead to substantial costs to local authorities, which had been significantly underestimated in the MOJs funding proposals. Total budget for LAC costs has increased from £2.7m to £3.5m. This is will not fully meet local authority costs, and still represents a significant underestimate. The MOJ have still not clarified the formula they are using to calculate these figures. Overall, the result of the consultation period appears to be a reduction in total devolved funding from £21.9m to £20.2m. In London, the reduction is almost £1m.
Financial Implications for Wandsworth Remand Funding LAC FundingLAC Travel (Cost of visit) Total Indicative Figures November 2012 £375,298£40,890-£416,188 Indicative figures February 2013 £281,697£56,025£3,054£340,776 Difference- £93,601£15,135£3,504- £75,412 The changes to the funding regime and the introduction of LAC status for remanded young people will have serious consequences for Wandsworth. These changes could result in Wandsworth having to find an additional £255k to fund court-ordered secure remands, as no funding is forthcoming for this element. Since 1999, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) has contributed two-thirds towards the costs of these remands. The budget being transferred for remands into Custody is being reduced by 15%, based on MoJ projections of decreasing remands due to legislative changes. Wandsworth has been allocated (provisional) £375,300. This is calculated to represent a shortfall of approximately £66,000 (based on historical remand data). The total estimated funding shortfall for Wandsworth Council is around £321,000. Indicative Remand Budget for 2013/14 There is a top slice of £19,285 for young people being taken to their placements. Final figure is therefore £321,491. Total shortfall on remands now in the region of £349,697
Looked After Children
Legislation Main areas for change:- -Simplified remand framework; year olds and 17 year olds are now subject to the same secure remand framework" as year olds, they can therefore be remanded to LAA and will have LAC status; -New condition to be met for remanding young people to youth detention accommodation (YDA); -Greater financial responsibility for local authorities (from April 2013); -Commencement from 3 December 2012
LAC on remand in practice The decision to remand a child will be made by a Court. oBut YOTs and local authorities should be engaged from the earliest opportunity, and can offer alternatives to remand LAs may have very short-term relationships with remanded looked after children, oHowever, taking proactive steps to engage with a vulnerable child will improve overall outcomes Where a child is remanded into YDA they will not be placed by the responsible LA, rather by YJB Placements (on behalf of the Secretary of State) oChildren will thus be placed according needs/risks, but gives LAs the opportunity work with children and families proactively
LAC: Implementation – From the implementation of LASPO Act children and young people remanded to youth detention accommodation to be treated as looked after; – They will be eligible for leaving care services if they are looked after beyond 13 weeks; – Local authorities have been notified of the indicative budget that will be transferred for this new responsibility (December-April 2013).
Estimating the cost of extending LAC The following is a schedule of actions required while a young person is on remand which we have applied in order to estimate the total cost: Care planning - initial meeting within the 1st week of remand, followed by a 2nd meeting after the first Statutory Review Meeting (4 Weeks +) Statutory Review Meeting – meetings held after 1 month, 3 months, every 3 months thereafter Maintaining the placement – Meetings held after 1,4 and 7 weeks, every 6 weeks thereafter Transition to leaving care – meetings held after a young person has been on remand for 13 weeks.
LASPO Act: LAC policy All remanded children will be treated as looked after by the local authority designated by the court when remanded securely. provides equitable treatment for all children remanded to youth detention accommodation – no more distinction because of age/gender consistent services for all remanded children are ensured– including resettlement support, if appropriate incentive for LA childrens services to oversee services for a vulnerable group of children – remanded young people may not have offended, but, if sent to youth detention accommodation will be uprooted from their home for a period of time (average length of stay 42 days).
LAC Status Implications for Wandsworth All young people remanded into the secure establishment (including custodial remands) will receive LAC status from 3 rd December Of the 46 young people remanded into the secure estate in , 13 were already LAC; this indicates that Wandsworth could potentially see a threefold increase in the numbers of LAC from this client group. The additional financial burden of this legal change is difficult to estimate given the differing circumstances of each case. Based on the fact that the current cost of a care placement ranges from approximately £1,000 to £3,000 weekly (excluding social work costs), the additional burden is likely to be substantial. Using the number of young people remanded into the secure estate during as an example, if, when the remand period has ended, they were each to remain in care for a week (which is unlikely as some of these young people would not want to be treated as in care and others would want care support for more than one week). The additional annual cost would range from £46,000 to £138,000. If a young person spends more than 13 weeks on remand (including custodial remand), they would also qualify for leaving care support (i.e. they would be entitled to, for example, leaving care accommodation, social worker support, personal adviser support, and general financial support such as Higher Education). Again, the financial implications could be significant, but are extremely difficult to quantify with any accuracy.