28 June 2012

Introducing IRiS

Integrated Response: Integrated Services - IRiS - an innovative approach to managing high risk offenders in Bristol, was launched on Thursday 28 June.

Introducing IRiSOver the last 10 years rates of violence in Bristol and rates of crime generally have been reduced though innovations in policing and multi-agency working. In Bristol there are a number of initiatives across agencies that have been national examples of good practice in crime reduction. AWP is already involved in some of these and IRiS is the latest collaboration we are embarking on.

In a continuing move to lead nationally on the management of high risk offenders, the IRiS team is another example of an evidence-based innovation designed to make Bristol the safest city in Britain.

Julian Walker, AWP's director of research and development and consultant forensic clinical psychologist, is senior clinical and managerial lead for IRiS. Julian explained, "There is a small number of offenders with particularly complex and challenging issues and needs, further complicated by a personality disorder, who pose a greater likelihood of serious reoffending than others. They are often socially excluded, hard for clinicians to work with and have difficulty making use of services; they need a more in-depth, specialised and intensive level of case management and support than is normally required in the lead-up to and on release from prison. IRiS will work with this small but high priority group of offenders to address those challenges and minimise risk of reoffending.

"IRiS will also work to manage high risk offenders who are already in the community but where offender management challenges and engagement can make reducing their risk of reoffending more difficult. AWP's Pathfinder personality disorder service has been contracted to provide expert consultation and advice, supervision and support to staff, specialist assessment and treatment as well as significant work on training the offender management workforce to work with personality disorder. We will also be involved in research and evaluation activity being conducted as part of the project."

Julian continued, "We will be drawing on the work and expertise of the Pathfinder service which, since it was set up by Dr Arden Tomison in 2007, has been helping people with personality disorders to understand and change their relationship difficulties, emotional problems and their harmful behaviour toward others. Helping them to learn skills to cope with their emotions and make changes to the way they think and behave, coupled with a more intensive level of support from other agencies, can help with a range of factors associated with reoffending and thereby reduce the likelihood of future offences."

IRiS partners include Avon and Somerset Probation Trust, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, AWP and HMP Bristol. The launch was hosted by Safer Bristol.

Cookies on our website

Cookies are used to ensure you get the best browsing experience. No personally identifiable information is collected.
By using our site you agree to these cookies being used. For more information please see our Cookie Policy.