Objective and Outcome
This objective is to produce a series of research to better understand the pattern, nature and seriousness of OLR offending behaviour at the point of sentencing. This collection of research projects will target a number of key areas –
- Improving understanding of OLR offending behaviour at the point of assessment for the sentence. Including exploring index offending, previous offending and allegations.
- Enhancing understanding of the characteristics of the victims of offences committed by individuals who received an OLR
- Contributing to thinking around the prevalence of psychopathy and personality disorder within the OLR population
- Exploring the profile of those under the age of 25 at the point of receiving an OLR. Including considering offence characteristics, childhood factors and learning and education.
The aim of these research projects are to provide a balanced observation of the OLR as a sentence and will primarily inform discussions around policy approach and service provision.
For those under the age of 25, this research will inform advice to Ministers on the OLR for young people. In 2018 the RMA provided Ministerial advice in relation to the presumption against a consideration of an OLR for young people under the age of 21. The RMA are currently reviewing our initial advice coinciding with the work of justice partners including the Scottish Sentencing Council.
Additionally this research will contribute to RMA’s understanding regarding the evaluation of Risk Management Plans and Annual Implementation Reports. These processes are designed to ensure measures taken to manage and minimise the risk of the individual with an OLR are being implemented effectively, and to allow the lead authority to recognise progression of the individual. Gaining a better understanding of the profile of individuals receiving an OLR will begin to enhance understanding of the types of service provision that are necessary to meet the needs of this population. It will form the foundation of the future research projects that follow these needs through the OLR sentence.
It is hoped that these significant research papers on OLR Behaviour will raise the profile of RMA research activities within the justice sector. At the RMA we advocate and ethical and evidence-based approach to risk assessment and management. We undertake and publish research such as this to ensure our Standards and Guidelines remain evidence-based, and to ensure current risk practice is in line with the latest research.