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Tags are what WordPress calls is keywords. I attach a small number of tags to every post to help people navigate between content with the same keywords. Tags may be people (David Gauke say), organisations (The Howard League, Revolving Doors Agency), themes (women offenders, homelessness) or specific items (heroin, cocaine, ROTL). If you’re looking to research a particular issue, they can be invaluable.

On Probation

Developing a probation mutual: from theory to practice

Saleha Wadee, CEO of Laurus Development, with her second post on setting up the first mutual to spin out of the probation service. “One of our values is “acting with a sense of urgency” and this has been the main contributor to our development in the world of probation. Freed from institutional constraints we have reacted swiftly scaling up our ambition to become a national provider capable of attracting and securing business with both the retained public service and the new providers of adult offender services.”

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Commissioning

When Police Commissioners rule the world…

I’ve never really understood why right-wing think tanks have been such strong advocates of Police and Crime Commissioners expanding their powers at such an early stage in their existence. Reform published a report before PCCs were even elected which advocated that they should be in control not only of local police and criminal justice agencies but the fire and rescue and ambulance services too. Yesterday, Policy Exchange published Power Down: A plan for a cheaper, more effective justice system which again placed PCCs at the centre of change.

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Commissioning

What is the state of the reducing reoffending market?

The IfG makes two very critical findings of the current commissioning of reducing reoffending services. Firstly, local commissioning is ineffective in most areas. Seondly, neither NOMS nor Probation Trusts has a systematic way of knowing whether commissioned services are effective.

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Payment by Results

The 9th Commandment of Payment by Results: Thou shalt join up commissioning

If successful recovery from addiction can only be achieved by a coordinated approach across the health, drug treatment, criminal justice, housing, social care and ETE (employment, training and education) sectors, which government departments should pay for which outcomes? Ideally the Ministry of Justice, Department of Health, DWP and Supporting People should all contribute to a pooled budget. But of course that’s not the way that departmental budgets work – indeed, there’s evidence that, despite the Community Budgets initiative – departmentalitis has actually got worse over recent years in the face of largescale and repeated cuts in expenditure.

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Why I Tweet

Probation Hostel @SWMPTrustAPLive on why they tweet (WIT#16)

An anonymous tweeter based in a West Midlands Probation Hostel, @SWMPTrustAPLive, writes about why s/he tweets. Tweets by @SWMPTrustAPLive First steps When I first dipped my toe into the twittersphere as @SWMPTrustAPLive it is fair to say I caused a few ripples. In fact ripples might be understating it slightly. Panic is perhaps a more accurate description. Well, in the ivory towers of Staffordshire West Midlands Trust’s headquarters anyway. “Who is this mysterious loose cannon, carrying

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Payment by Results

Probation Trust open-minded about payment by results (PbRVideo#1)

Welcome to the first in a new series of short video interviews with key figures involved in PbR which will be running every Monday through September and October. Mike Maiden is Chief Executive of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust. SWMPT is one of two probation trusts (the other one is the Wales Probation Trust) operating Ministry of Justice PbR pilots aimed at improving re-offending outcomes with offenders on community orders through partnership work with the private

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On Probation

The Probation Mutual Appreciation Society

This is @ZoeStaffsGMPT eighth and final post in a series about her life and learning as a probation officer.   This is my final blog folks, and is a tribute to the wonderful probation officers I work with, exemplified by people on twitter such as @poOfficer @officerbazza and @probation_pract As previously mentioned, I have been fortunate enough to be in gainful employment with the Probation Service for nearly a decade now. Not quite long enough that it’s the only

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Why I Tweet

@probation_pract, frontline probation officer, on why he Tweets (WIT#12)

@probation_pract is a frontline probation officer who loves Twitter for the chance to engage in country-wide professional debate.   Tweets by @probation_pract Why I Tweet? I am pretty new to the phenomenon that is Twitter although I have been a user of Facebook for a number of years so I’m somewhat familiar to the world of social networking. However, when I was asked to write a small piece on why I tweet I was initially stumped. For me,

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Why I Tweet

Anonymous probation Tweeter @poofficer on why he tweets (WIT#8)

@POofficer is a frontline probation officer who Tweets anonymously, mainly about the work he does with the offenders/clients he manages. He uses a Twitter profile picture of Zorro, the masked avenger.   Tweets by @PoOfficer Why I tweet I started tweeting around the time of the Public Enemies drama on BBC1 after being horrified that the public may actually believe this was realistic in terms of our engagement with offenders.  I wanted to get across

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Finally Friday

Advise, Assist and Unfriend

Probation officers use social media for many different reasons. Promoting the work of the service. Building alliances with local commissioners and other stakeholders. Discussing best practice around desistance etc. Keeping up to date with criminal justice policy and research. Recently, they’ve also started to monitor high risk offenders via their use of Facebook in particular. In fact, in the US, probation officers have even used Facebook to track down offenders who have breached their orders.

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Alcohol & Drugs

An end-to-end approach to tackle drug-related offending

From 2013/14 newly elected Police & Crime Commissioners will have responsibility for community safety and Drugs Intervention Programme budgets and will be looking for new and effective ways to tackle drug-related problems. I’m hosting a series of posts from organisations who feel they have a successful model.   This week, Charlotte Talbot from Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust describes an integrated model.   Groundhog Day Imagine this….you are a heroin user, arrested for a string

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On Probation

Probation Firsts

This is @ZoeStaffsGMPT 5th post in an ongoing series about her life and learning as a probation officer.   Firsts There’s a first time for everything – especially when you’re working as a probation officer. Here are a few of mine… My first… child protection referral No one likes doing a child protection referral. The mere words cause fear in many people you’re working with, who’ve often had poor experiences and for whatever reason, have negative views of social

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Digital Engagement

Probation, Innovation & Geovation

The government is currently undertaking a review of the probation service and is encouraging probation trusts to be innovative in responding to fundamental change. Jason Davies’s  (@b00tstrapper) post shows that there’s plenty of innovation in the current probation service.   SWM Probation Trust’s adventures in mapping, phone apps and pecha kucha. It’s Wednesday afternoon, mid-June and we’re back in Southampton. It’s the final of the Geovation Challenge. The judges have retired to their chambers. We’ve made our case and

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