Justice Committee to focus on probation as well as prison
The House of Commons Justice Committee yesterday (12 October 2017) launched an inquiry into the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. The inquiry will focus on how current Government measures are effectively addressing the challenges facing the probation services and what more needs to be done in the short-term to improve the probation system.
Terms of reference
The Committee published its terms of reference which identifies the seven areas on which it encourages interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence. The seven areas are divided into three sections: government measures; short-term changes & the the future of probation services.
1. To what extent do the steps taken by the Government address the issues facing probation services?
(a) What contractual, financial and administrative changes did the Government introduce for CRCs in July 2017 as a result of their internal review of Transforming Rehabilitation? What has been the effect of these changes on the delivery of probation services?
(b) Are strengthening inspection standards and creating joint performance measures (between probation services and prisons) the best ways of improving performance?
(c) What should be the Government’s priorities to improve work between departments on the delivery of services needed for effective rehabilitation?
2. What impact have the reforms had on: i) sentencing behaviour, ii) recalls to prison, and iii) serious further offences?
3. How effective have Government measures been in addressing issues arising from the division of responsibility between the NPS and CRCs in the delivery of probation services?
4. What else should the Government do to address the issues facing probation services?
5. How can the Through-the-Gate provision be improved so that prisoners get the right help before their release from prison and afterwards?
6. What can be done to increase voluntary sector involvement in the delivery of probation services?
The future of probation services
7. When should there be a review of the future of the Transforming Rehabilitation model and the long-term plan for delivering probation services?
Submitting written evidence
The deadline for written submissions to be made is Friday 17 November 2017.
Written submissions should be made via the web portal.
Submissions need not address every aspect of the terms of reference and should be no longer than 3,000 words.
The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible, it encourages members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.
If you would like more information about Transforming Rehabilitation, please check out my TR resource pack.
If you would like to see how the new probation system has been performing so far, please see my infographic which summarises the first 13 area inspections by HMI Probation.
Follow the inquiry
You can keep up with the Inquiry via the official parliament web-page