We run Senior Attendance Centres in Greater Manchester that are aimed at addressing offending behaviour.
The centres run on a Saturday and are for people aged from 18 to 24 who have committed a crime that passes the custody threshold. Magistrates and judges can make the requirement as part of a Community Order, and orders last a minimum of 12 hours to a maximum of 36.
Each Senior Attendance Centre (SAC) involves two hours of teaching and an hour of gym work. Most attendees are first or second time offenders, and cover the whole spectrum of low and medium offences.
Partner agencies work together to ensure that offenders receive a range of information and also get the chance to learn new skills. The fire brigade provides a gym instructor, and staff from probation, the Youth Offending Team, and the prison service deliver lectures to the attendees.
The subjects on offer at SACs include: drug and alcohol awareness, victim awareness, health and safety, first aid and support writing CVs and gaining employment.
Attendance centres are a punishment through the restriction of liberty in a controlled environment.
The regime also aims to:
- increase employability
- maintain physical and mental health – including a focus on the effects of alcohol and drugs
- encourage attendees to develop better relationships
- help attendees learn how to deal effectively with risky situations
Attendance Centres were first launched in the 1960s to combat football hooliganism. They ran from 3pm on Saturday so that people sentenced to attend them couldn’t go to a match and operated like boot camps.