10 weeks to release and still don't know what is happening can anyone help?

By Dave50 - 3 Mar 12 12:50 PM



I have been asked by my fiance Dave who is due to be released in just under 10 weeks time.  He has been trying to get transferred from his convicted probation area to the one I am currently in now.  He has been trying to do this since 2009.  I finally got a letter from my MP to say that they approve the transfer.  The next snag I had is that probation have now said that my accomodation has not been approved.  Probation have not visited or contacted me in any way to find out anything about my accomodation and they have not given me the reason why my accomodation is not acceptable.  I live in a flat.  I have been writing letters and getting no where.  Dave has also tried to have a meeting (but up to now without success) with his offender manager as they said he will now have to go back to his convicted probation area which leaves him with no support network or forwarding address either.  He has also had a job offer in my area and can start 3 weeks after release.  These factors dont seem to make any difference whatsoever. 


Has anyone any suggestions as to how either Dave or I can find things out.  They are making it nearly impossible for him and myself to sort things before we run out of time.


I would be grateful for any suggestions


By Anonymous - 5 Nov 11 12:09 PM

Hi Hanna, I havnt been through this myself but whilst I was staying at a hostel one of the guys there had a very similar problem finding approved accomodation. He kept getting turned down by the PPU for unsuitable premises, 1 if there is another offender living in close proximity then the address will be declined, 2 for some bizarre reason I dont understand they also declined properties that did not have their own front door???   this may be why your flat has been turned down.3 proximity to schools/pubs etc.. In the end he asked his PPU officer to accompany him to inspect some properties and that seemed to work. It can be difficult to change probation areas. Your best bet is a sitdown meeting with the Offender Manager concerned to try and work out a way forward. It is better for you both to be together and I would stress this to the O,M, but do it face to face.. hope this helps
By Dave50 - 3 Mar 12 12:50 PM

Hi C2,

Many thanks for your reply.  It could be that there is a communal front door but I never was told of the reason.  We have been fighting since 2009 to get him moved from one probation area to another and it was approved but because of my address being not acceptable he has been told he may have to go back to the original area.  I have been asking constantly for probation to let me know what the problem is so I can move to approved premises but this is not forthcoming.  There is also a job ready and waiting for him after he is released but probation seem hell bent on having him recalled before he is even out the gate.  I am his only support network and have even went to the Chief Exec Officer of NOMS but am still getting no where so I have written again but this time sending the letter by email as well as recorded delivery.  The probation officer he has at present is known for her sloping shoulders and has a high rate of recalls. She has only had one telephone conference with him in all the 3 and half years he has been inside and in that time she recategorised him from low to high risk.  We have both asked how she could come to that result and am waiting on a reply.  If he was a low risk his offender manager told him that he would have had a good chance of coming straight home. 

We are getting really desperate as I need time to give notice and to find approved accomodation but with not knowing what I am looking for it is so difficult to move forward.  His probation officer does not seem keen to help in any way.  I dont know how else to tackle this. 

Thanks for your reply though


By Newton - 6 Sep 10 12:30 PM

Hi Hannah

I don't know of this is going to be any help but this is what happened to me.

My wife moved house whilst I was still inside. She just wrote to me and told me of my new address and I asked her to write to my local probation officer and tell him whilst I changed everything from the inside. This was about 5 months before I was due home. My probation officer could not know where we were moving to as it was about 150 miles away from my previous address.

about 6 weeks before I was due out I had a telephone conference with him to set things in motion for my case to be transferred. Then about 2/3 weeks later my wife had a quite unpleasant visit from probation officers from the new area. Apparently they 'approved' of my new address and I was allowed to go straight to my new address. Great we both thought. That's that! NO!

5 days after I came home we got a letter from our landlord telling us that he was not renewing our contract. (it was up for renewal anyway). So we had 2 months to find somewhere else to live! Frantic phone calls to the PPU and probation followed over the next couple of days getting advice as to the type of accommodation we should be looking for. Then the search began in earnest.

I have to say that we were one of the 'lucky' few. We made the decision not to rent again and be at a landlord's mercy so we brought our own place. This was about 300 miles away from where we were currently living. The only time there was a slight query was from the PPU, she was there at the same time as probation, when he said that I had no restrictions on my license as to where I could live. So we packed up and off we went again. (Wife very hacked off - third move in 2 years!).

So from where I am coming from is that if there are no prohibitions on your fiance's license then there is not a lot they can do about it. I think you should push to know why your place has not been approved. I think you have a right to know. If they don't tell you then they should tell your fiance. Once he comes out then hopefully the worst that will happen is he may have to 'live' in a hostel for a few weeks before he can move in with you.

Finally, have you spoken to a senior probation officer in his current area? Also get him to write to the senior officer. You could also go to the NOMS main office (you can find this on the website) this may help. This is all I could find in a hurry:John White
Offender Management and Public Protection Group Caseworker. My wife took up issues with him whist I was inside and some of them he got sorted out. Make sure you send him all the details with dates and make sure he appreciates the urgency of the matter. A reminder mail every so often will be needed.

Good Luck. Hope this is of some help.
By Dave50 - 3 Mar 12 12:50 PM

Hi Newton,

Thanks for your reply.  I have been in contact with the probation officer from his last area as she is the one said to be his probation officer as he has had no confirmation of anyone else.  I have asked what the problem is with my accomodation from the Chief Executive Officer of NOMS who is Michael Spurr.  I cannot get anything out of him and have wrote again but sent it recorded delivery as well as by email.  I have also sent a letter by recorded delivery to his probation officer and also my MP.  Its like banging my head off a brick wall but thanks so much for your reply it puts a little more light on the situation.  I am not sure if he will have any restrictions on his licence or not.  I will try the chap you gave me though as it cant hurt.  We are not in a position to buy a property so I need to give notice on mine and then rent somewhere else.  He has been told he will have to go to a hostel before coming back to me he has been told but that doesnt really help either as I need a forwarding address to give them. I am going to try phoning them as well to see if I can get a meeting with someone who can advise on the type of accomodtion they would accept as I will get a few addresses for them to have a look at for approval and see if that helps.  I might even go to the council and tell them the problem I am having as they will not be impressed if they have to rehouse him when they know I have an address he can come to. 

Thanks again for your reply

By Anonymous - 25 Jan 12 11:38 AM

dave i was in a simalar situation to you, becase of the nature of my offence i faced serious danger to myself and partner if i moved back to my home town, so while i was in prison my partner got acouncil flat 20 miles away, this is where the problms started i wrote to my ppu asking could i be transfered to that probation but she was having none of it so on realese i had to live in a hostel near said probation this caused us untold stress as everytime i went to probation i literally feared for my life i was recognised on two ocasions and had to move hostels twice this carried on for 4 mounths until i was allowed to move in with my partner and move probation ithink i was origanally to soft with probation and should have went through a solicitor to have my probation hostels etc moved on release i think i had aparticually obtuse officer and maybe yours may show more compassion you have to be prepared for him to spend some time in a hostel as this is usally what happens, me and my partner are now together and feel safe so there is light at the end of the tunnel i suggest you reatain the services of a solicitor to help you in this matter good luck to you both you have stood by him as my partner has and that means so much good luck and stay strong love concuers all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,love action,,,,,,,,,,,
By Newton - 6 Sep 10 12:30 PM

Hi Hannah

I knew I was 'lucky' as we could buy our house and move. I wasn't surprised that Micheal Spurr was no help, he probably didn't even read your letter. He is far to high up the food chain to want to deal with you (a member of the public). Hopefully the person I gave you will be more help, although I still wouldn't hold my breath!

Hopefully once your man gets out of the hostel system everything will sort itself out.

Best of luck. Keep us posted.
By Dave50 - 3 Mar 12 12:50 PM

Hi Newton and everyone else,

I had a reply yesterday from Michael Spurr's office (hurray).  I was told that I will have a full response by the end of this month.  The matter is going to be investigated.  I just hope that it will be a good outcome so fingers crossed. 

I also telephoned PPU and the local probation office only to find that even though he was told he was to be transferred in January that he is still with his old probation area.  I telephoned his probation officer there and low and behold she has still not come back to me (surprise surprise).  The PPU where I am now have not done any checks on my property so I think this woman has a personal vendetta against Dave.  I have laid it on the line for her though in no uncertain terms.  If he gets recalled I will find a solicitor and have her up in Court with all the information I have as she is setting him up to be recalled.  My next step will be the ombudsman as it doesn't make any difference who you are everyone is accountable. 

Thanks for all your support it is much appreciated.


By Anonymous - 25 Jan 12 11:38 AM

Dave he will be able to come and live in your new address but only when the ppu decide, also if he has been reclasified as high risk there will be restrictions in place, you need to find out what these will be i do not no if his offence was of a sexual nature but if it was while still on licence the ppu will have the power to check if your adress is suitable ie near a school ect i hope things work out for you both but have you have seen the ppu do not make it easy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,they observe us all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,