Becoming a criminal profiler was Adam Mooney’s childhood dream.
He’s not there yet but, having spent recent years working on youth
offender projects, he is getting closer.
“I’m getting the skills and knowledge base here,” says Mooney,
interim strategic Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme
(ISSP) manager at the East London ISSP Consortia, a partnership of
four London boroughs. “It is very hard to get into the profiling
arena. People generally come to it from the police force, or
sometimes they’re a renowned psychologist or psychiatrist.”
Not that Mooney wants to move on from his job just yet. It’s simply
too interesting. Based in Barking and Dagenham’s youth offending
team, he also thinks he is not ready for the cultural change of
leaving social services to join the police. “I really enjoy working
with young offenders and trying to get them to change. If I were to
join the police I would be arresting these people and I’m not ready
Mooney thinks ISSP practitioners need to be flexible and creative
in interacting with young offenders. They must also engage on a
personal level to help their charges take control of their destiny
– intensive work indeed.
“A lot of offenders have told me they would rather be in prison
than on the programme because it is so hard,” he says. “They have
more choices by going through the programme but they are choices
they have struggled with in the past. You have to help them see
Most ISSP projects last only six months, but Mooney’s team is one
of 11 to have been given a 12-month pilot extension. As a result,
six more staff have joined the 30-strong team. It is Mooney’s first
experience of management and one that he is enjoying. “I like being
the one who people come to for advice,” he says.
Since starting his interim role in August last year when his
manager left, he has undergone project, people and performance
management training. Although he is still involved in some
face-to-face work and report writing, most of his time is now spent
in meetings or on the telephone.
Managing the media and public’s perception of the programme and its
offenders also demands his attention because it is such a
high-profile and politicised area and at times offenders on the
programme have made the news. As a result, the Consortia
occasionally holds community forums to educate the public about
what ISSP programmes do and how they help young offenders.
Involvement in this kind of work is part of Mooney’s new
August 2004-present: Interim strategic manager, East
London ISSP Consortia, based in Barking & Dagenham youth
October 2002-4: Senior practitioner, East London
May-October 2002: Advocate, Newham ISSP.
2001-2: Supervising officer, Newham youth
2000-1: Assessment officer, asylum seekers team,
Sutton social services.
2000: Management information officer, quality
assurance team, Barking and Dagenham social services.