How Does MAPPA Work?
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ("MAPPA") in each of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales. MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. MAPPA allows agencies to assess and manage offenders on a multi-agency basis by working together, sharing information and meeting to ensure that effective plans are put in place. Agencies retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations at all times. All MAPPA offenders are assessed to establish the level of risk of harm they pose to the public. Risk management plans are then worked out for each offender to manage those risks. These set out the action that needs to be taken to minimise the risk. Some measures that can be considered are:
- Ensuring offenders have suitable accommodation, which can include requiring the offender to reside at a probation run Approved Premises on release.
- Placing controls on the offender's behaviour through strict licence conditions which can include not to have contact with a named individual or not to enter a defined exclusion zone
- Intensive supervision by a probation officer offender manager and/or community public protection police
- Ensure the offender attends identified accredited programmes and other interventions (such as drug and alcohol programmes) aimed at reducing further offending.
Registered sexual offenders who do not comply with the notification requirements can be taken to court by the police and could face a fine and/or up to five years in prison.
All offenders supervised by probation must comply with the conditions of their order or licence. Any failure to do so will result in action being taken. For those on licence, this could mean a return to prison, which can happen within two hours in emergency situations. A failure to comply does not necessarily mean that an offence has been committed; it could be a missed appointment or any behaviour which gives cause for concern.