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ISS - Intensive Supervision & Surveillance Programme

ISS (formerly ISSP) works with the 3% of persistent and prolific young offenders who commit 25% of youth crime. The Programme seeks lasting change for young people and their families, in the belief that reduction of offending will be more successful if opportunities to overcome existing disadvantages are offered and supported.

ISS’s innovative Youth Advocate approach uses ‘ordinary people with extraordinary skills’, drawn from local communities, who provide support to young people and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As part of ISS young people undertake reparative activities, restoring the costs of crime and reintegrating them back into the community.


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ISS - National Model

The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISS) is the most rigorous non-custodial intervention available for young offenders. As its name suggests, it combines unprecedented levels of community-based surveillance with a comprehensive and sustained focus on tackling the factors that contribute to the young person's offending behaviour. (from the YJB Website)

The scheme targets the most active repeat young offenders and also those who commit the most serious crimes. The main aims of the programme are to:

  • reduce the frequency and seriousness of offending in the target groups;
  • tackle the underlying needs of offenders which give rise to offending, with a particular emphasis on education and training;
  • provide reassurance to communities through close surveillance backed up by rigorous enforcement.

ISSP Cookery Project

In May 2008, the ISSP ‘Skills for Life’ project received national recognition from the Howard League for Penal Reform.

ISSP Cookery ProjectThe Howard League recognise outstanding community programmes that help reduce the seriousness and frequency of offending. The ‘skills for life’ cooking project won one of the top three awards as a ‘scheme of outstanding merit’. Young people on the programme build up a portfolio of evidence, demonstrating academic and practical evidence of their work, which includes selecting a recipe, researching the culture of the country of origin of the meal, purchasing the food and cooking the meal, which is usually taken home to their family. Young people are encouraged to buy their food from the most economic source including local markets. The project started in South Tyneside but now runs across the 3 areas. Food made is either taken home to the family or distributed to local community centres.

Jim Sexton the current ISSP manager said “We are delighted that the project has been recognised with this award, it’s a tremendous project and all the credit must go to the hard work and dedication of the staff involved. Besides gaining practical skills, young people learn about budgeting, hygiene and health and safety and gain confidence and self-esteem, family relationships have been much improved. The project co-ordinator, Claire Amans was presented with the Award by Baroness Linklatter at the House of Lords, Claire has been involved in the Skills for Life project for 5 years, studied Home Economics and has completed relevant Health and Hygiene and Risk Assessment training to enable her to develop the project. The project has succeeded in engaging some of the most challenging young offenders and Claire’s work has had a really positive effect. This all contributes to reducing their offending.


ISSP Moving On Programme

In 2006 ISSP and Helix Arts developed a partnership to deliver the Moving On Programme, the pilot programme focused on new media art, producing a number of paintings, some of which are displayed in a Community Cottage in Doxford Park, to compliment re-decoration work also undertaken by Young Offenders.

See the details of this years Moving On Programme here >> ( pdf 99kb)



ISSP New Direction Project

Youth Advocate Andy Lamb is presented with the 'New Directions' Howard League Award by Baroness Linklatter at the House of Lords, also present is Programme Manager Jim Sexton.In 2007, the ISSP ‘New Direction’ project received national recognition from the Howard League for Penal Reform, winning one of their top three awards as a ‘scheme of outstanding merit’. This Project has succeeded in engaging some of the most challenging young offenders in developing work skills (Painting Decorating, Plastering and Tiling), many of the young people on ISSP have little or no education training or employment in place and have often been excluded from or truanted from school. The project coordinator, Andy Lamb, is a time-served qualified Painter and Decorator by trade This project was an introduction to the world of Vocational Education, Training and Employment (ETE). Opportunities were sought to deliver Community based work and Andy and the Young offenders embarked on a series of large-scale decorating projects, some extending up to six months.

As well as delivering high quality work benefiting the community and teaching the Young People skills to secure employment, the project has enabled Andy to build effective working relationships with the Young People, develop their interpersonal skills, build confidence, enhance self-esteem and introduce concepts of victim awareness. Young people on the project are accredited with their work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The project goes from strength to strength. A woman’s centre, including crèche and a number of community buildings have been re-decorated, both internally and externally.


ISSP Decorating ProjectAs part of the New Direction Project, between September 2006 and March 2007, young people on ISSP decorated a house in Jarrow that was in need of major internal cosmetic work. This involved them stripping, repapering and painting walls, painting ceilings, doors, doorframes and skirting boards. The house was completed to a first class standard!

The house belonged to a family who were going to pass it on to their daughter, Louise, when she came out of hospital following treatment for liver cancer for the second time in her life. Louise was also coping with the daily struggle of using a synthetic limb as a result of losing a leg to meningitis when she was three years old.

Sadly, Louise died of liver cancer at the age of 27 before she could enjoy the newly decorated house and the family decided to sell it. However, they were extremely appreciative of the work that had been done and in recognition gave a donation to a hospice in Jarrow. The Youth Offending Service passes on deepest sympathies to the family and thanks them wholeheartedly for helping us to help them.


© 2012 Sunderland City Council Published : 02/09/2010 Contact email