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How good is your probation service?
Russell Webster's unofficial probation league table (based on HMI Probation inspection reports).

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Probation League Table

Yesterday (17 May 2022), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation published two new reports on the performance of probation delivery units (in Essex North and Northamptonshire). Although Northamptonshire was ranked the best performing of all six PDUs to be inspected since reunification, it was still rated as “requiring improvement”. 

The Chief Inspector, Justin Russell is so concerned about performance levels, many of them closely linked to dire and worsening staff shortages, that he told the Justice Select Committee that the probation service is currently “in survival mode”.

Although I’m not an instinctive supporter of league tables for public services, I think there is real value in comparing the performance of probation services, given the scrutiny and criticism of Community Rehabilitation Companies during the Transforming Rehabilitation years.

The (totally unofficial) league table I’ve constructed below enables two main types of comparisons:

How Probation Service Delivery Units compare with each other.

How PDUs compare in different areas of performance: leadership, case assessment, court reports etc.

The league table benefits from the robust new scoring methodology adopted by Her Majesty’s Inspection of Probation in 2018 which involves inspecting a single PDU and giving that organisation one of four overall ratings: outstanding; good; requires improvement or poor.

Inspectors give individual ratings for nine different domains under two different areas: organisational delivery and court work and case supervision. You can see the details in the infographic below:

The league table is continuously updated with the publication of new inspection reports.


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