Offenders with prison sentences of 12 months or longer will receive a sentence plan via the Offender Assessment System – an IT system known as OASys.
A sentence plan is designed to help prisoners achieve certain goals towards their rehabilitation while in prison – and the OASys Report is the basis for the sentence plan.
The sentence plan will influence most decisions about the management of a prisoner – and will be reviewed annually during the sentence and after the prisoner is released.
The OASys report is used to assess why a prisoner offends, how likely it is they will re-offend, and what can be done to stop them offending. It may cover issues such as a history of alcohol abuse, drugs misuse, mental health issues or other health issues. The purpose of OASys is also to assess risk of self-harming in a prisoner – or the risk that they may harm others.
The Probation Service administers OASys and the sentence plan – and a prisoner will be allocated an offender manager from the Probation Service to manage the sentence plan and put it into action. The offender manager will work with a prisoner’s offender supervisor and other prison staff.
In cases where a prisoner may have committed violent crime, a MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) assessment will be carried out to assess the risk to the public.
Education and rehabilitation courses form a major part of a sentence plan – it is important that a prisoner has access to courses and activities that will help them stick to their sentence plan and work towards rehabilitation and release.
However, in some cases a prisoner may feel they have been unfairly assessed or their sentence plan does not offer them the chance to address important issues or work towards parole.
In prisons where there may be restrictions on activities – or a prisoner cannot follow a course or activity that would be helpful, such as literacy classes, vocational training or cognitive behavioural therapy – it may be necessary to seek legal advice from a prison law solicitor on challenging a sentence plan or OASys Report, or applying to be transferred to a prison where an activity or course is offered.
Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors have extensive experience in reviewing OASys Reports and advising prisoners who may feel there are inaccuracies in a report.
OASys Reports can cover a wide range of details about an offender’s life – and even remarks made in court by a judge, or information about previous convictions. It is crucial to understand that inaccuracies, unfairness or bias in a report might affect categorisation, resettlement and a Parole Review.
The Duncan Lewis prison law department can also advise on challenging sentence plans if there are inaccuracies in the OASys report – or if a prisoner is not able to access activities, course or therapies recommended for their rehabilitation or wellbeing.
Call Duncan Lewis as soon as possible for legal advice on OASys and sentence planning matters, or any other prison law matter.
Duncan Lewis can advise at all stages of a sentence and while a prisoner is in custody, including while on remand, after categorisation and from the induction process onwards.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – and our prison law solicitors regularly visit police stations, prisons and courts to advise on criminal law and prison law.
For expert legal advice on OASys and sentence planning matters, call Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors on 020 7923 4020.
For urgent prison law advice or 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Under reforms to Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis is no longer able to offer public funding for legal advice on OASys Reports and sentence planning matters.
However, Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors are usually able to offer competitively priced fixed fees to our clients, with notice of legal costs in advance whenever possible.
To speak to one of our prison law experts about OASys Reports and Sentence Plans, call Duncan Lewis prison law solicitors now on 020 7923 4020.