||To address the problem of repeat offenders, the Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General launched the Priority Prolific Offender Program (PPOP) in 2008. PPOP is a focused and integrated strategy to improve coordination between courts, law enforcement, probation officers and analysts.
The PPOP unit includes police officers representing the Calgary Police Service, the Edmonton Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), criminal intelligence analysts, program support analysts and probation officers. PPOP receives referrals from law enforcement on repeat offenders who primarily commit low-complexity crimes (e.g., break and enters or property crimes). PPOP works to ensure that the courts have the most comprehensive information available on these offenders so that the most appropriate sentences are imposed and rehabilitation opportunities are realized. The PPOP unit monitors court procedures, makes recommendations to the Crown or probation officer regarding support services that could promote rehabilitation, and facilitates access to services upon the offender's release.
||PPOP has three key objectives:
- ensure that Crown prosecutors have complete, accurate, up-to-date information when prosecuting priority prolific offenders through a comprehensive offender management package;
- promote rehabilitation via the provision of support services for the offender; and
- promote meaningful consequences for offenders.
The program ultimately aims to decrease the criminal activities of the offender.
||An external PPOP process evaluation completed in 2011 concluded that PPOP offers a promising and beneficial approach to the issue of prolific offenders in Alberta. The evaluation made a number of recommendations, all of which have been implemented. The second phase of the evaluation is expected to be complete in March 2013, with the final evaluation to be completed in 2014.
||Program costs are significant, including salaries for one police member and one criminal analyst each from the Edmonton Police Service and the Calgary Police Service, and two constables from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (seconded to the Government of Alberta). The start-up costs of the program were approximately $1.3 million and included the costs of the secondments, travel, equipment rental, communication devices, maintenance and office supplies.
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