HMPPS replaces NOMS
This afternoon (8 February 2017) Justice Secretary Liz Truss announced a major re-structure of the MoJ; here are the main details from the press release:
- Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) to replace National Offender Management Service (NOMS) on 1 April 2017
- new service will be responsible for rolling out government’s reform programme to reduce reoffending and protect the public
- Michael Spurr to keep his job and become the first head of HMPPS
- the service will launch new leadership programme and new promotion opportunities for staff
- changes backed by additional £100 million to boost frontline by an extra 2,500 staff
HMPPS will have full responsibility for the operational management of offenders in custody and the community, including strengthening security in prisons, tackling extremism and building intelligence about criminal gangs.
Supported by work to recruit an extra 2,500 officers, the new service will launch leadership and promotion programmes for prison and probation officers to further professionalise and build pride in the service.
The new operationally focused service will be supported by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) taking on responsibility for overall future policy direction, setting standards, scrutinising prison performance and commissioning services.
Justice Secretary Liz Truss said:
This new and operationally focused frontline service will implement the reforms we have announced to make our prisons safe and cut reoffending.
Our prison and probation officers do a vital job and they deserve to work in a world-class organisation which supports them in reforming offenders and keeping the public safe.
Creating HMPPS will bring clarity to managing our prisons and probation services while further professionalising staff and building pride in their work.
The move follows the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper which outlined an overhaul of the prisons estate with the forthcoming Prison and Courts Bill due to make reforming offenders a key duty of prisons for the first time.
For the first time, there will also be a Board Director with specific responsibility for women across the whole system, reporting into HMPPS Chief Executive, Michael Spurr.
Michael Spurr said:
The launch of HMPPS provides a great opportunity to focus on and improve operational performance in prisons and probation.
There is a great deal to do but I am confident that with the additional resources the government are providing, we can transform the system and deliver the high quality of service the public deserve.
The service will be dedicated to professionalising the prison and probation workforce. New schemes to improve promotion opportunities have been launched, including:
- enhanced qualifications for probation officers
- a new leadership programme
- an apprenticeship scheme (to launch in April 2017)
- higher pay and recognition for specialist skilled officers dealing with complex issues such as counter-terrorism, suicide and self-harm support
This wholescale, organisational reform will be supported by measures within the Prisons and Courts Bill, which will set out a new framework and clear system of accountability for prisons, building on the wide-ranging reforms set out in the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.
HMPPS will be responsible for:
Public Sector Prisons, National Probation Service, Contract Management Services, Public Protection, Offender Casework, Operational Assurance, Security Order Counter Terrorism, Business Change and Programme Delivery, and direct support to the operational line.
It will be responsible for managing CRCs, Private Prisons, Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS), Electronic Monitoring (EM) and Facilities Management (FM).
The Ministry of Justice will be in charge of commissioning services, future policy development and be accountable for setting standards and scrutinising prison and probation performance.
The written statement to parliament states that probation services will also offer improved training and learning opportunities for offenders to ensure they do not return to a life of crime, working hand in glove with prisons to ensure a more integrated approach. More details are promised in spring.
As part of these changes, Public Sector prisons are also be restructured to better meet the needs of offenders:
- The long term high security estate will be expanded to consist of High Security and long term Category B prisons
- Prisons that specialise in managing sex offenders will be brought together in one group
- A number of geographical clusters will be established in order to achieve better rehabilitation and resettlement
To start this process, the existing Reform Prison Clusters will be expanded. Durham and Deerbolt will join Holme House and Kirkevington; Ford and Lewes will join High Down and Coldingley; and Stocken and Sudbury will join Ranby to create a new Cluster.