Transforming Rehabilitation was the Ministry of Justice’s project for the biggest overhaul of probation in the service’s 100+ year history. The central component of Transforming Rehabilitation was the split of the former probation service into two with a new National Probation Service managing high risk offenders and servicing the courts with the other, larger share of functions – interventions and the management of low and medium risk offenders – being outsourced to 21 new providers who are known as Community Rehabilitation Companies.
The TR project has attracted considerable criticism on three main grounds:
- Ideological — the split was apparently driven, at least in part, by the political desire to privatise the probation service.
- Conceptual — most commentators expressed the fear that the new system would inevitably be fragmented since offenders would now be supervised by, in effect, two local probation services with the consequent need for additional procedures and bureaucracy to organise the repeated transfer of responsibilities between them.
- Financial — the overall funding pot was reduced significantly while at the same time requiring the new CRCs to supervise an extra 50,000 short term prisoners per year.
A number of bodies, including the National Audit Office and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee have expressed serious concerns about the performance of the new system, albeit it remains early days with CRCs only taking up the reins in February 2015.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation undertook a series of five inspections on the implementation of TR which identified a number of difficulties with the new system. Since August 2016, HMIP has published Quality and Impact inspection reports on the performance of the new TR system in 14 different localities.
The infographic below is my summary of these reports; please bear in mind that the star ratings are not official rankings from the Inspectorate but my judgments based on the inspection reports. [But see here for HMIP’s proposed new rating system.]
You can click on my summaries of each of the area reports from within the infographic.
The Justice Secretary David Lidington has asked civil servants at the MoJ to come up with a range of options for improving the performance of the probation service.
[Infographic last updated 9 November 2017.]
If you’d like a copy of the infographic in interactive pdf format, please: Email me.
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