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CRC sets up in-house research unit

Probation company to have own team tasked with looking at what can reduce offending

A probation company has created a new research unit in a bid to reduce re-offending.

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company’s initiative will see serving probation officers work with former academics to research evidence of what works to reduce offending.

Staffed by a senior lecturer in criminology from the University of Portsmouth and a former trainer of probation officers, the unit is also tasked with providing KSS CRC employees with the latest examples of national and international best practice.

Chief executive Suki Binning said: “This research unit will allow us to test, trial and evaluate new interventions to help us cut re-offending and improve safety for communities across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

“It’s the first time in the UK that frontline probation officers will work with a permanent in-house research team and our initial focus will be on understanding which community sentences and interventions work best in rehabilitating low and medium risk offenders. The unit will also equip our probation officers with the most up-to-date analysis of national and international best practice.”

Senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, Kerry Ellis-Devitt, said: “This is a very different approach to policy and research in this area and I am delighted to be part of KSS CRC’s efforts to learn and continuously improve the service.”

The CRC took over responsibility for low and medium risk offenders in 2015.