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How good is your probation service?
Russell Webster's unofficial probation league table (based on HMI Probation inspection reports). Updated 18 August 2023.

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Probation League Table

Update: 18 August 2023

A total of 35 PDUs have been inspected since reunification, seventeen of these have been rated “inadequate” (the lowest possible ranking) and seventeen as “requiring improvement”. Just one PDU, South Tyneside & Gateshead was rated “good”.  The positive news is that staffing levels are improving in most areas, however this has not yet translated into improved supervision and support of people on probation. The most recent inspection of Bristol & South Gloucestershire PDU noted that the court team was under-resource, reducing sentencer confidence in the probation service.

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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