The Pros and Cons of Community Hubs
- 15 April 2020
- Posted by: Helen Nicol
- Category: News
This article summarises the findings of the 10th in the series of HMI research and analysis bulletins looking at the role of community hubs in helping to deliver probation services and support desistance (the cessation of offending or other antisocial behavior).
‘While there are many different definitions and forms of community hubs, they tend to provide offenders with services to address drug and alcohol use, housing, mental health, education and employment with the overarching rationale being that people who use the hub can benefit from a multiagency approach while meeting the requirements of their court order or prison licence.’
Many positive impacts of community hubs are noted in the report which also highlights challenges in delivering enforcement alongside care and support. Four key recommendations are made to probation organisations considering operating via a community hub model:
- Adopting a broad approach to service provision by forging partnerships with all key local agencies.
- Being responsive to the organisational and cultural differences between partners and ensuring mutual understanding and buy-in from the outset.
- Putting individual service users at the centre of service provision and delivery by involving them in planning and developing community hubs.
- Considering how the physical layout and location of the hub will affect service users in terms of avoiding stigmatisation and being as supportive as possible.
The National Probation Service may or may not, under the current redesign of the probation system, decide to adopt a community hub approach when responsibility for all offender management services are transferred back to them.