Pathfinder reducing reoffending


Pathfinder unlocking futures

What is the Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is voluntary intervention programme. Pathfinder is an evidence based intervention that reduces harm and reoffending and can hold offenders to account for their actions.  Similar schemes run in other Police Forces and have evidenced a significant reduction in reoffending rates and increased victim satisfaction. The programme holds offenders to account for their behaviour whilst addressing needs that are directly linked to their offending.

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The Pathfinder Manager, Keyworkers and Support Officers work across Devon and Cornwall and in partnership with a wide range of Agencies and Organisations to tackle the root causes of offending .   Pathfinder does provide an alternative route away from prosecution but is not a soft option. The offender must comply with the contract and the conditions set. Information on what happens if someone complies or does not comply with the contract is set out below.

Who is eligible for Pathfinder?

There are a number of eligibility criteria which have to be met:

  • The offence is an eligible offence for Pathfinder consideration
  • The participant consents to referral to the scheme
  • The participant admits guilt/accepts responsibility for the offence
  • Initial the scheme will work with 18-30 year olds but will expand to cover all ages
  • The participant lives in Devon/Cornwall
  • The offence was committed in Devon or Cornwall

How does it work?

There are two routes into Pathfinder, based on the seriousness of the offence:

Deferred Caution: This is an Out of Court Disposal.  Compliance is monitored through a contract.

There are mandatory conditions and some rehabilitate conditions can also be set:

  • Repairing harm through reparation. An example of this could be paying for any damage caused as reparation to the victim.  
  • Engaging with interventions to address underlying issues linked to their offending
  • If the victim requests, the offender must have an initial conversation with Restorative Justice services to explore if they want to engage in Restorative Justice.

 Deferred Charge:  This is an intervention as an alternative to Court.

  • A Keyworker will contact the offender and ensure a full needs assessment is completed. The first appointment will be held at a Police Station
  • Female offenders will be offered the option of a female worker.
  • A contract will be agreed that will be bespoke to the individual and will include conditions designed to support changes in behaviour and reduce their risk of reoffending. 
  • Subsequent meetings and interventions might be out on the community for example meeting in community centres.

How long does it last?

The contract period is for four months for both Deferred Caution and Deferred Charge; however, the intensity of the intervention and support is different. The standard intervention under deferred caution will be at the beginning, middle and end of the contract. This will largely be by telephone and not face to face.

Under Deferred Charge, the contract will be agreed only after a need’s assessment has been completed and many individuals will find they require more support to make positive changes that will stop them getting into trouble or causing harm to others.  

How do you monitor the contract has been fulfilled?

Both Deferred Caution and Deferred Charge are based on contracts.

If the conditions are met under either deferred caution or deferred charge, no further action will be taken by the Police.

If the conditions of the contract are not met, the caution will be reinstated. This means there will be a criminal record that can hinder future work prospects or limit travel options. Under deferred charge, non- compliance will mean that the individual will be postal requisitioned to appear in Court.

Information for victims  

The Pathfinder workers will try hard to ensure the needs of victims are met. We will offer regular updates as to the progress and compliance with the contract to victims. We will ensure that they are informed of and offered a referral into Restorative Justice Services. We will ensure that victims are directed to the Victim Care Unit where they can access support. If victims want to ask questions in relation to the investigation they will be directed to contact the Officer that has investigated the crime.

For more information email Pathfinder

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