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Probation Posts

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

Here you can find more than 700 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.

12 things TOM2 taught me about TR

On 7 February, the MoJ issued an updated version of the Target Operating Model (TOM) for the new probation system. TOM2 is 74 pages long and gives a very detailed description of the current MoJ vision of how reducing reoffending will work from 2015 onwards.
The key words emphasised in the introduction are: Quality; Efficiency; Flexibility; Public Protection; Partnership and Standards.

Who is bidding for your probation area?

The MoJ announced the names of the 30 organisations who passed the requirements of the PQQ stage of the Transforming Rehabilitation competition for new probation contracts just before Christmas (19 December 2013). It then asked these 30 bidders to confirm which of the 21 Contract Package Areas they wished to bid for by 22nd January this year.

Justice Committee on payment by results

There was also concern that there would be insufficient investment in TR to enable providers to reduce reoffending – particularly with the extension of probation to short term prisoners. Ideally, the payment mechanism should incentivise providers to take risks and develop new approaches to reducing reoffending. If these approaches are successful, society (through less crime), the taxpayer (less demand on services) and the new providers (PbR bonus payments) all benefit.

A celebration of Probation Achievement

At its annual conference last week (23-24 January 2014), the Probation Chiefs Association launched a publication to celebrate its past achievements and to capture key aspects of its 107 years of history before the radical changes of the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda which will see most of the probation service’s work outsourced with new providers delivering services from April 2015.

How many people will be in prison in 2019?

However, one key component which seems to be excluded from these calculations is the likely impact of the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. Many expert witnesses who contributed to the recent House of Commons Justice Select Committee report expressed their concerns that TR would increase prison numbers through two main causes:

Justice Committee on TR Transition

Many witnesses who gave evidence to the Committee highlighted the inherent difficulties about the division of offender management between high risk and low-medium risk offenders, making the point that risk is dynamic and that there will need to be excellent communication across the two bodies to manage effectively those offenders whose risk levels rise and fall.

The future of probation is unclear and uncertain

Charlie says there is potential for the resettlement prisons to be a major factor in helping prisoners maintain contact with families. However, she questions whether more offenders might end up in prison because of TR and is particularly concerned about the fate of long term prisoners – will they lose services and interventions to help fund the new resettlement work?

The Justice Committee questions the rationale for TR

One of the driving forces of TR is the desire to improve reoffending rates and cut costs. The Committee was particularly interested to get a sound cost benefit analysis of the proposed changes. The Committee criticises the MoJ for being “less than forthcoming” with information about the costs of TR and highlights two key points…

The Justice Committee interim report on Transforming Rehabilitation

The report maintains a balanced approach throughout although concerns and criticisms are pretty constant. The Committee acknowledges that although Transforming Rehabilitation appears to be a very risky initiative, “there are risks involved in not taking action to deal with the gaps and weaknesses in the present system.”

Vicky Pryce’s cost benefit analysis of women’s imprisonment

On reflection, I probably had unrealistic expectations for what is a mainstream book. Vicky Pryce has been a positive voice for reform of women’s prisons since her release and is donating the royalties from Prisonomics to Working Chance, an excellent organisation which helps women with criminal convictions find work.

Transforming Rehabilitation could be a dream – or nightmare

Frank Curran, Senior Consultant at RedQuadrant (which has been helping probation mutuals to establish themselves and bid for Transforming Rehabilitation contracts) is the latest contributor in a series of interviews about the MoJ’s probation reform programmes.

10 things I learnt from reading Prisonomics

I was given Prisonomics, Vicky Pryce’s account of her short prison sentence served in Holloway and East Sutton Park prisons last year, as a Christmas present from my ever-loving. I’m only half way through, so will reserve my comments on her cost benefit analysis of women’s imprisonment until I’ve finished the book.


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