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All the latest news: TR/Reunification Policy Practice Innovation Inspections

Here you can find more than 500 posts tracking every major development in probation since 2011. You can trace the rise and fall of Transforming Rehabilitation, see the latest performance figures and explore new practice developments. If you’re looking for something in particular, try the search box below.

Probation reforms start in earnest today

19 September 2013 may prove to a momentous date in probation history. Minister of Justice Chris Grayling announced the formal launch of the competition for the 40% of the probation service which is being outsourced/privatised. Today is also the day that probation staff are told about their (limited) options of moving into the new National Probation Service or…

Developing a probation mutual: from theory to practice

Saleha Wadee, CEO of Laurus Development, with her second post on setting up the first mutual to spin out of the probation service. “One of our values is “acting with a sense of urgency” and this has been the main contributor to our development in the world of probation. Freed from institutional constraints we have reacted swiftly scaling up our ambition to become a national provider capable of attracting and securing business with both the retained public service and the new providers of adult offender services.”

Energising the debate on Transforming Rehabilitation – UPDATE

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. This fundamental difference of opinion has led to a somewhat stagnant debate in recent months. So, I decided to try to liven up the debate, and widen its scope by engaging some new participants…

Latest probation reducing reoffending rates

The latest MoJ reoffending rates show that probation trusts continue to reduce reoffending even under the pressure of the proposed wholescale changes under the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. This overall good progress does, however, conceal a considerable variation between trusts.

Dear Mr Grayling… My Transforming Rehabilitation wish list

Like a young child writing to Santa, I don’t quite know where to begin with my wish list of all the things I’d like to know from NOMS before the Transforming Rehabilitation procurement process starts in earnest. Perhaps the obvious first request is to know when the PQQ process is going to start and end? And will it be the rumoured “light touch” process to ensure that most new entrants, including probation mutuals, will have a good chance of getting through? Or will it be the (also rumoured)…

Five stages to spinning out a probation mutual

Employee engagement was central to driving forward plans to transform ourselves from a service-based and passive organisation to a dynamic commercially focused one. We had to recognise that our future careers depended on us developing products, delivering great service, attracting and motivating the best staff and persuading potential customers that we are the best option for all their training needs in the sector. We wanted to turn ourselves into a mutual where employees have a stake…

Paying for the wrong results?

The MoJ published their initial payment mechanism for the Transforming Rehabilitation contracts back on 3rd June and asked for feedback. They are currently developing a final version which should be published before the procurement process starts – scheduled for 23rd August. Last week, the Social Market Foundation published a paper by its director Ian Mulheirn which analysed the payment mechanism in forensic detail and came up with the devastating conclusion that : The payment mechanism encourages providers to cut spending on services and allow reoffending to drift marginally upwards.

Relationships and ongoing assessment are key to reducing reoffending

The authors noted that assessment of some needs (particularly “Attitudes” and education and training) tended to be more accurate later in the community sentence, when the Offender Manager had developed a relationship with the person they were supervising. Similarly, offenders’ feedback on their Community Order was particularly positive when they perceived that the Offender Manager understood their needs. There seem to be two key lessons to be drawn from this research for those planning new models of service delivery…

What can Transforming Rehabilitation learn from the Work Programme?

Once again, the intensely party political shaping of public policy makes for uncomfortable results. It takes a politician with the drive and uncompromising approach of Chris Grayling to effect change within a five year cycle. But there is not sufficient time to establish a properly thought-through model which has a decent chance of delivering improved public services. In some ways Transforming Rehabilitation crystallises this problem – the payment by results pilots were cancelled in order to focus on a rapid roll-out of a completely untested model.

The latest on re-offending rates

Last week the MoJ published the latest data on re-offending rates. These figures will be scrutinised more closely than ever given the upcoming privatisation of the probation service via the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation project.
Proponents and critics of TR will seek to find ammunition for their cause. And those seeking to win the new reoffending contracts will be delving into the small print. I’ve done some very basic analysis to try to identify key trends…

Will the new Transforming Rehabilitation market work?

The Institute for Government identifies four key challenges to Transforming Rehabiliation – the probation outsourcing project. It argues that the MoJ needs to improve its stewardship of the market and slow down the pace of change. There are major concerns that the outsourcing of prisons, probation, electronic tagging and court enforcement services simultaneously means that none of these will be well managed in the public interest.

What is the state of the reducing reoffending market?

The IfG makes two very critical findings of the current commissioning of reducing reoffending services. Firstly, local commissioning is ineffective in most areas. Seondly, neither NOMS nor Probation Trusts has a systematic way of knowing whether commissioned services are effective.

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