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Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) form an important part of the UK justice system, and Agencia has been pleased to be able to offer support to its local teams.
Service Level Agreements
For the Hull Youth Offending Team Agencia prepared a series of service level agreements with partner agencies to reflect the financial, human resources and service implications for each party of their work with the YOT.
The Hull Youth Offending Team commissioned Agencia to develop an implementation plan for their proposed Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme. The plan was submitted to the Youth Justice Board and was approved in its entirety for implementation.
Agencia continued to support the YOT in the implementation of the plan, including the preparation of job descriptions, development of procedures and protocols, and the development and delivery of training and education material for use by stakeholder agencies.
East Riding Away Day
As part of their on-going staff development programme, the East Riding of Yorkshire Youth Offending Team (YOT) asked Agencia to design and deliver an away day for all YOT staff. The purpose was to provide scope for reflection and celebration of recent achievements, and begin to consider the challenges for the future. Using a mix of presentations, team activities and exercises, the day aimed to increase motivation and awareness, and develop their readiness to embrace future challenges.
In November 2006 the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, announced ten new areas taking part in the next phase of community justice in England and Wales. Lord Falconer also outlined key principles that the new areas would follow in delivering community justice.
Agencia has provided consultancy and management support to two of those ten new areas – Bradford and Hull.
The community justice initiatives in Bradford and Hull built on the achievements of the North Liverpool and Salford projects. They demonstrated further how the courts, the wider criminal justice system and the public could be brought closer together to foster new relationships that work to make justice better for everyone.
Agencia worked with court staff in Bradford and Hull to plan the implementation of the two new community justice courts, and provided project management support to both projects. In addition, Agencia managed the process of community engagement that lies at the heart of the community justice initiative.
Agencia has had a productive relationship with the English Magistrates’ Courts for a number of years, and was involved in planning and supporting the transition of these organisations from their former MCCs into Her Majesty’s Courts Service.
Devon & Cornwall MCC
As the implications of the Auld report for the Criminal Justice System became apparent, the Devon & Cornwall MCC established a need to review its strategic plan to incorporate transition plans for the move towards the unified court administration. Working closely with the MCC and the Department for Constitutional Affairs Court Unification Programme Team, Agencia continued their support to the MCC in the production of this review, and produced a planning template for use on a nationwide basis.
Department for Constitutional Affairs
Following the successful creation of the transition planning template for Magistrates’ Courts Committees, we were retained by the Department for Constitutional Affairs to provide consultancy support for MCCs across the country in preparing their local plans.
Her Majesty’s Courts Service in the Humber Area
For Her Majesty’s Courts Service in the Humber Area, Agencia assisted with the preparation of Business Plans for 2005 and 2006, facilitating day workshops and reviewing draft business plans in the light of the template based on modelling by Agencia under the DCA’s UCAP programme.
Testing witness and juror experience
One of the strategic objectives of Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) is “to put the public at the heart of what we do, so victims, witnesses and jurors feel confident in the system.”
Agencia was commissioned by HMCS – Humber Area to undertake a series of focus groups with witnesses to consider their experiences of the service. We facilitated focus groups, and identified a number of key themes concerning the quality of services for witnesses, which was then fed back to the organisation to investigate critical changes.
Alongside our work on witness experiences, we were also asked to conduct a similar series of focus groups for jurors for the Hull Crown Court.
Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) North and West Yorkshire embarked on a major initiative to increase community engagement, and commissioned Agencia to act as Project Manager for the first year of the programme.
The aims of the initiative were to increase awareness and involvement among local people in the work of the Magistrates’ Court, and to increase the understanding among judges and magistrates of the views and issues in local communities and take account of these in the work on sentencing and punishments as appropriate.
The Agencia team took day to day responsibility for developing community engagement across 13 Benches in North and West Yorkshire, and delivered a programme to gain stakeholder support and commitment, and disseminate learning about lessons from previous pilot projects, as well as undertaking the overall project administration roles of budgetary control, public relations co-ordination and meeting administration.