Last week the government launched its Transforming Rehabilitation project in earnest.
TR will see 60% of the current work undertaken by Probation Trusts outsourced and a new service for short term prisoners.
The new “Community Rehabilitation Companies” will start operating in April 2015 on long term (7-10 year) contracts.
TR provokes strong feelings with some seeing it as an opportunity to improve the quality and effectiveness of work done to reduce reoffending and others maintaining that it is mainly about privatisation and will result in a poorer service.
Energising the debate
This fundamental difference of opinion has led to a somewhat stagnant debate in recent months with little dialogue and direct exchange of views between people with different views.
So, I decided to try to liven up the debate, and widen its scope by engaging some new participants.
I’m doing this by recording a series of short (5 minute) video interviews with key figures in the criminal justice field and will be posting them on the blog once a week in a new series starting next Monday 30th September.
I have set out to explore a wide range of perspectives, interviewing both supporters and critics of TR.
- Probation Sector organisations
- NAPO, Probation Association, Probation Chiefs, Probation Board Chair Joe Kuipers
- Would be providers
- G4S, A4e, Probation Mutuals
- Criminal Justice Organisations
- The Howard League, Clinks
- Rob Allen
- Paul Senior
- Drugscope, Alcohol Concern, Sitra, Bromford Housing, Institute for Government
The format is straightforward.
After giving participants the opportunity to introduce themselves, they all respond to the same five questions:
- What are the potential advantages of Transforming Rehabilitation?
- What are the potential disadvantages of Transforming Rehabilitation?
- What are the main opportunities and risks for offenders/service users?
- Is Transforming Rehabilitation a real opportunity for small/local voluntary sector organisations to do more work with offenders?
- In what way do you think offender rehabilitation services will be different in 2020?