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Essex Probation

Approved Premises

Approved Premises will be managed by the National Probation Service from June 1st 2014


“The alternative to offenders living in Approved Premises is not that they stay in prison. These are people who have been released from prison because they have served their custodial terms and have to be accommodated somewhere in the community. If they were not in Approved Premises, they would be somewhere else – somewhere less controlled and less suitable. The result would not be that there were no sex offenders in the community. It would be that there were still sex offenders in the community, but not so obviously. And it would be much more difficult to provide effective supervision for them.” Crispin Blunt, Prisons and Probation Minister, House of Commons adjournment debate June 7 2011

Approved Premises – protecting the public

Felmores is one of 104 Approved Premises (APs) in England and Wales. Approved Premises used to be known as Probation and Bail Hostels. ‘Approved’ means that they are approved by the Secretary of State for Justice to manage offenders. They ensure that potentially high-risk offenders are not dispersed straight away into communities on release from prison, but instead are monitored and managed to reduce the risk to the public. This produces a higher level of supervision than is possible in alternative accommodation, like local B&Bs, for instance. Different regimes apply to different offenders, depending on how we have assessed them and their needs.

Felmores AP is doing a good job

The AP provides an enhanced level of supervision for male offenders placed there by the courts or released on licence from prison. Felmores can accommodate up to 26 male offenders aged 18 and over. Occasionally there will be men placed there who are on bail awaiting trial or sentence, or subject to a community sentence (‘on probation’ as it used to be called).

A range of work

Felmores provides its residents with opportunities to change their behaviour and rehabilitate themselves. A range of interventions is available, designed to reduce their risk of further offending. These can include:

  • group treatment programmes on offending behaviour
  • substance misuse treatment packages
  • mental health assessment
  • employment, learning and skills advice and assistance

Click here to read the Approved Premises Rules.

What is ‘an enhanced level of supervision’?
How do we ensure public protection?
Drug and alcohol checks
Enforcement and police involvement
What happens if a resident breaks the rules?
How does an offender get a place at Felmores?
Does Felmores only take sex offenders?
Where does the local community come in?
Common myths about Felmores Approved Premises?


Assessing Risk

The numbers of residents who have passed through Felmores hostel safely over many years are testament to correct assessments made of offenders during that time. The risk assessment process is recognised as a very specialised piece of probation work to which Probation Services in other countries aspire.

Probation’s assessment systems take a few hours to do for each offender, depending on the nature of their offending. The main assessment is done through a system called OASys (Offender Assessment System). The assessments are regularly reviewed and updated. Risk assessments are checked and revised regularly.