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Russell Webster's unofficial probation league table (based on HMI Probation inspection reports). Updated 22 December 2022.

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Probation League Table

Update: 22 December 2022

There are now seventeen reports on the performance of probation delivery units undertaken since the reunification of probation in June 2021. Of the 17 PDUs to be inspected since reunification, ten have been rated “inadequate” (the lowest possible ranking) and six as “requiring improvement”. A new low was recorded in the inspection of Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster with every single aspect of performance rated as inadequate. However, the most recent inspection of South Tyneside and Gateshead rated the service as good. In addition to the commitment of staff, reasonable levels of staffing plus the fact that staff had almost entirely returned to delivering an office-based (rather than remote) service appeared to be the main factors.

Overall, the Chief Inspector, Justin Russell remains 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. If you click on the name of the area inspected in the list below the table, it will link you to the full report.

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

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