All the latest on TR:
This Transforming Rehabilitation Resource Pack is continuously updated with key policy announcements, results, inspections etc. It started in 2014 and was radically overhauled in July 2018 when TRexit or TR Mark II was launched. All feedback gratefully received.
Transforming Rehabilitation was the MoJ’s project for the biggest overhaul of probation since its origins in 1907. The MoJ published the original consultation paper: “Transforming Rehabilitation: A revolution in the way we manage offenders” in January 2013 before setting out a strategy in May of that year, describing the key components of TR as:
- A new public sector National Probation Service will be created, working to protect the public and building upon the expertise and professionalism which are already in place.
- For the first time in recent history, every offender released from custody will receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community. We are legislating to extend this statutory supervision and rehabilitation to all 50,000 of the most prolific group of offenders – those sentenced to less than 12 months in custody.
- A nationwide ‘through the prison gate’ resettlement service will be put in place, meaning most offenders are given continuous support by one provider from custody into the community. We will support this by ensuring that most offenders are held in a prison designated to their area for at least three months before release.
- The market will be opened up to a diverse range of new rehabilitation providers, so that we get the best out of the public, voluntary and private sectors, at the local as well as national level.
- New payment incentives for market providers to focus relentlessly on reforming offenders will be introduced, giving providers flexibility to do what works and freedom from bureaucracy, but only paying them in full for real reductions in reoffending.
As a result the probation service was split into the National Probation Service which serviced the courts and supervised all high risk offenders and 21 new, private Community Rehabilitation Companies who supervised medium and low risk offenders. The new providers started work in February 2015.
You can see a full timeline below which details a number of critical reports; the final blow was probably the Chief Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey’s annual report published in December 2017 which concluded that:
- TR was not working.
- The Community Rehabilitation Companies in particular were under-funded.
- Any probation system which does not guarantee consistency in offender manager-offender relationships is unlikely to work
- Any model which abandons specialist interventions for offenders which have been proved to be effective is flawed.
On 15 February 2019, Working Links which operated three CRCs in the South-West and Wales went into administration, the same day that Probation Inspectors rated the service in Dorset, Devon & Cornwall as inadequate. Seetec, the company which runs the CRC in Kent, Surrey & Sussex took over responsibility.
On 15 March 2019, Interserve, which operated five CRCs under the Purple Futures brand, also went into administration. The company will be sold to its lenders and change name with the CRCs (and other businesses) continuing to operate, at least in the short term.
You can see an excellent short animated history of TR prepared to by National Audit Office to accompany their extremely critical progress review of TR published on 1 March 2019 below.
Chief Probation Inspector Dame Glenys Stacey annual report published on 28 March 2019 described TR as irredeemably flawed. Here is the summary of her main points.
— HMI Probation (@HMIProbation) March 28, 2019
Justice Secretary David Gauke acknowledged these failings on 27 July 2018 and announced major changes:
- Offender management on low and medium risk offenders to be transferred to the National Probation Service in Wales.
- The CRC contracts are being cut short with the end date being brought forwards from 2022 to 2020.
- CRCs will now be aligned with the NPS areas (making 10 English probation regions) and a new procurement exercise will shortly be launched with the expectation that more voluntary sector organisations will be involved in delivering interventions and unpaid work – an ambition unrealised in the original TR procurement exercise.
- Recognising current under-performance, the MoJ will put additional money into contracts for through-the-gate work in particular.
On the same day, the MoJ published a public consultation into the future of probation which ended on 21 September 2018.
On 20 September 2018, the long-standing (9 years) head of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services was asked to resign by Justice Secretary David Gauke, although he will remain in post until the end of the financial year. It is understood that this change of leadership may result in a change in strategic direction which may include the future structure of probation.
You can read a detailed summary of the consultation document entitled Strengthening probation, building confidence here and read my blog series discussing the 17 key issues which the MoJ is consulting on here. Below is the full list of 17 questions in the consultation (the document also includes separate questions about the Welsh arrangements):
- Question 1: What steps could we take to improve the continuity of supervision throughout an offender’s sentence?
- Question 2: What frequency of contact between offenders and offender managers is most effective to promote purposeful engagement? How should this vary during a period of supervision, and in which circumstances are alternatives to face-to-face meetings appropriate? Do you have evidence to support your views?
- Question 3: How can we promote unpaid work schemes which both make reparation to communities and equip offenders with employment-related skills and experience?
- Question 4: What changes should we make to post-sentence supervision arrangements to make them more proportionate and improve rehabilitative outcomes? (You may wish to refer to your answer to question 2.)
- Question 5: What further steps could we take to improve the effectiveness of pre-sentence advice and ensure it contains information on probation providers’ services?
- Question 6: What steps could we take to improve engagement between courts and CRCs?
- Question 7: How else might we strengthen confidence in community sentences?
- Question 8: How can we ensure that the particular needs and vulnerabilities of different cohorts of offenders are better met by probation? Do you have evidence to support your proposals?
- Question 9: How could future resettlement services better meets the needs of offenders serving short custodial sentences?
- Question 10: Which skills, training or competencies do you think are essential for responsible officers authorised to deliver probation services, and how do you think these differ depending on the types of offenders staff are working with?
- Question 11: How would you see a national professional register operating across all providers – both public and private sector, and including agency staff – and what information should it capture?
- Question 12: Do you agree that changes to the structure and leadership of probation areas are sufficient to achieve integration across all providers of probation services?
- Question 13: How can probation providers effectively secure access to the range of rehabilitation services they require for offenders, and how can key local partners contribute to achieving this?
- Question 14: How can we better engage voluntary sector providers in the design and delivery of rehabilitation and resettlement services for offenders in the community?
- Question 15: How can we support greater engagement between PCCs and probation providers, including increased co-commissioning of services?
- Question 16: How can we ensure that arrangements for commissioning rehabilitation and resettlement services in Wales involve key partners, complement existing arrangements and reflect providers’ skills and capabilities?
- Question 17: What should our key measures of success be for probation providers, and how can we effectively encourage the right focus on those outcomes and on the quality of services?
The MoJ has published all the presentations from its first round of engagement events. Click on the links below to access them:
The MoJ has set out the procurement timeline for the re-tendering of the ten Community Rehabilitation Companies in England which I have summarised in the graphic above. Key milestones are described below; more detail on the dates of the competition (ITT etc.) will be added when available.
August – October 2018
Consultation & Market engagement
November 2018 – January 2019
Market warming with the tender officially announced in the Official Journal of the European Union (the prior information notice can be viewed here)
February 2019 – Spring 2020
Procurement process with contracts signed by “early Spring”.
March – December 2020
Transition process; 21 CRCs moving over to 10 CRC areas with some or all having new owners.
Transforming Rehabilitation Timeline
You can read my blog posts summarising the main milestones and reports on Transforming Rehabilitation by clicking in the grid below. The reports are in reverse chronological order, the most recent first.
Dame Glenys Stacey’s final report as Chief Probation Inspector is highly critical of the current split probation system.
National Audit Office progress review of Transforming Rehabilitation warns MoJ may be about to repeat initial mistakes.
Today’s report is very critical of the Ministry of Justice and the new private providers of probation services.
NAO finds a total of £342 additional payments promised to Community Rehabilitation Contracts but thinks they may fail to hit payment by results targets.
Probation inspectors’ very critical assessment of new flexible rehabilitation activity requirements, saying less rehabilitation is being done under new system.
Current CRC providers
The formal contract notice was published on 19 September 2013; England and Wales were divided into 21 Contract Package Areas.
35 organisations entered the TR competition and 30 of these were adjudged by the MoJ to meet the PQQ criteria.
On 29 October 2014, the MoJ announced its preferred bidders to run the Community Rehabilitation Companies in these areas. The eight new providers of probation were confirmed when the contracts were signed on 18 December. as shown in the map below.
As you can see, the big winners are:
- Sodexo and NACRO have been successful in six CRCs
- Interserve who are leading partnerships in five CRCs
- MTCNovo, a Joint Venture between MTC and a number of other organisations, have won London and Thames Valley.
- Working Links are the preferred bidders in three CRCs (but went into administration on 15 Feb 2019, with Seetec taking over).
- The Reducing Reoffending Partnership (a Joint Venture between Ingeus, St Giles Trust and CRI) will run the two large Midlands CRCs (Staffs & West Mids and Derby, Leicester, Notts & Rutland).
A probation staff mutual was part of the winning bid with Working Links although the mutual’s primary service delivery function will be in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall only. Two probation staff Community Interest Companies are part of the winning partnerships in Durham Tees Valley and London respectively.
The 10 new CRC areas (+ Wales)
The (totally unofficial) league table I’ve constructed below enables three types of comparisons:
- How National Probation Service divisions and Community Rehabilitation Companies compare with their peers.
- How NPS divisions are performing compared with the CRCs in their area.
- How probation organisations compare in different areas of performance: leadership, case assessment, court reports, unpaid work etc.
The league table benefits from the robust new scoring methodology adopted by Her Majesty’s Inspection of Probation earlier this year. The new system involves inspecting a single organisation (either a CRC or an NPS division) and giving that organisation one of four overall ratings: outstanding; good; requires improvement or poor.
Inspectors give individual ratings for ten different domains set out in detail in the infographic below but covering three main headings:
- Organisational delivery
- Case supervision
- NPS/CRC specific work
The league table is updated on the publication of every new area inspection report.
You can find further information and keep up with all the latest news and developments in the world of probation via the three main sections below.
HM Inspectorate of Probation Reports
Probation practice & Research
This page was last updated on 17 April 2019.