We investigated how decisions regarding disclosure of an offender's history to a third party without the offender's consent are made at Multi-Agency Public Protection (MAPP) meetings. Ten questionnaires were sent to a level 2 MAPP meeting in each of the 33 police and probation areas in London, with a request that the MAPP meeting administrator hand them out to up to 10 regular attendees.
Of 321 questionnaires handed out, 196 were returned, giving a response rate of 61.1%. Seventy-six participants (37%) had made a disclosure without a MAPP meeting discussion in the past 12 months. A total of 109 participants (55.9%) reported that in their experience it had always been possible to reach a consensus on disclosure at MAPP meetings, but participants' responses to five hypothetical scenarios indicated a wide spread of opinions about when a disclosure should be made. Significant proportions of participants endorsed statements suggesting that people have a right to know offenders' histories.
Training on the evidence base, law and guidance relevant to disclosure decisions is necessary, and a governance system to monitor and improve decision-making should be considered. Advocacy for offenders may also improve practice.
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