Profile: Adam Mooney, ISSP manager

    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
    for that.”

    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
    their potential.”

    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
    offending team.
    October 2002-4: Senior practitioner, East London
    ISSP Consortia.
    May-October 2002: Advocate, Newham ISSP.
    2001-2: Supervising officer, Newham youth
    offending team.
    2000-1: Assessment officer, asylum seekers team,
    Sutton social services.
    2000: Management information officer, quality
    assurance team, Barking and Dagenham social services.

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