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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

What does Worboys mean for parole?

Judicial review upheld and Worboys case sent back for the parole board to reconsider. Court says there must be some transparency to parole board decisions. Justice Secretary sacks respected chair Nick Hardwick and rushes ahead with parole review.

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Prison

Spotlight on Parole

Parole Board Chief Exec Martin Jones says it’s not fair to complain about public attitudes to parole decisions while the decision making process remains shrouded in secrecy.

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Policing

How often do police user tasers?

Police use of tasers We can be rightly proud of the very low number of police shootings in England compared to most other countries. In recent years, the taser has become a key element in the way police defuse potentially violent situations without resorting to firearms, although the rapid growth in the use of tasers over the last few years has attracted considerable criticism. Earlier this month (9 July 2015) the Home Office published the

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On Probation

If Mike Maiden was Justice Secretary…

I want a public sector provider that sits at the heart of the process. I can’t turn the clock back but I can make sure that one part of the system takes overall responsibility. It’s got to be the public sector because I can’t see that justice and transparency are served by any other sector playing the role.

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Digital Engagement

Police, Camera, Action!

Police all over the world are currently trialling wearable body cameras. Typically, cameras are worn on patrol and record high definition footage which is transmitted wirelessly to a central database. Currently, the video cameras are worn openly and are attached to uniforms, sunglasses or even hats. They have a number of possible benefits…

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Payment by Results

Complexity and transparency: Thoughts on the MoJ Straw Man Payment Mechanism

It’s great to be able to engage in the development of the MoJ’s proposed payment mechanism. However, the first thing that struck me was its complexity. Clearly a great effort has been made to design a mechanism that creates the right incentives to develop innovative ways to reduce reoffending. Will it be sufficiently transparent to stimulate the wide range of providers needed achieve real innovation or does it favour those with the deepest pockets, who can afford to do the detailed analysis necessary to truly understand the risks inherent in such rehabilitation contracts?

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Commissioning

Drug Treatment in 2012

It’s nice to celebrate good news sometimes. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse published their annual figures this week. The headlines make good reading: There has been a 4% drop in the total number of treatment in for drug use (with no drop in treatment capacity). The number of young adults needing treatment for heroin is down almost two-thirds compared with 2005/6. The average waiting time for treatment is down to five days from

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On Probation

How to be a good probation officer

This is @ZoeStaffsGMPT sixth post in an ongoing series about her life and learning as a probation officer.   What is a good probation officer? Now that’s a million dollar question. When I was training, my knowledge of criminology theories was constantly tested. Did I know my desistance from my cognitive distortion? Could I spot a pre-contemplative person from one hundred paces? Had I shaken my head with disgust ENOUGH when criticising Lombroso’s theory of criminality (FYI he said

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Payment by Results

It’s possible to take payment by results too far

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, wrote an interesting essay for @Reformthinktank’s new publication, the Next Ten Years, on targets and transparency. An edited version appeared in Tuesday’s Guardian. He traces the development of the target culture under the last Labour administration and how it led to Public Service Agreements before going on to discuss the “new religion” of transparency. Sir Suma summarises that the principle behind transparency is simple

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