The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue March 2010

The role of OASys

From Gerald Nelson – HMP Garth

I have concerns reference the OASys and how the scoring system works to establish one’s risk factor.

How exactly is the score calculated between minimum and maximum rating? Which department determines that rating for the index offence?

What grounds is it based on ... the seriousness of the offence?

Response from: The Ministry of Justice

The Offender Assessment System (OASys) was introduced in 2001. It provides a standardised, structured approach to assessing offenders’ risks and needs, as well as linking these risks and needs to individualised sentence plans and risk management plans to reduce the probability of re-offending.

The role of OASys is to help assessors in understanding the “why” of offending, comprehending the dynamic risk factors that need to be addressed in order to reduce the risk of re-offending and identifying motivation and any obstacles to engagement that may exist. This aim is achieved by developing joint working and common standards on offender assessment between the National Probation Service and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The IT based OASys system helps to provide a common standard and facilitate the effective transfer of electronic information between prison establishments and probation offices to enable practitioners to build on each other’s work rather than duplicating it. OASys is a living document and assessment continues throughout the sentence.

Mr Nelson also raises concern about his own OASys scoring. Briefing and Casework Unit no longer deals with personal issues concerning individual prisoners, but only general matters in regards to correspondence from Inside Time. Mr Nelson should therefore raise his concerns locally in accordance with the complaints system, detailed in Prison Service Order (PSO) 2510 Requests and Complaints. This also allows him the option of contacting the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s office for further investigation of his complaint.

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Summary of letters in the Mailbag for March 2010
Access to digital system
Whining prisoners
Dying in prison – who pays?
Veterans in prison
One rule for all
Restriction on complaints
Just a rumour?
The right to vote
Deaf prisoners
Cash transfers
Current page: The role of OASys
Prisoners’ pay
Clogging up the system
Retaining enhanced
Only one truth
Anonymity for defendants in sex offence cases
Inside Time ‘on the out’
A recipe for discontent
Correct procedure?
Institutionalised child abuse
Access to artificial insemination
The healing process
Accept British law
Safer prisons
Surname culture
Female officers are brilliant


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