There have been better times to be a probation officer. It’s not the easiest job in the world at the best of times and, like every other public service, probation trusts have had to implement year-on-year financial cuts for the last few years. But 2013 is the toughest year yet. 70% of probation’s work is being outsourced and a wide range of large private and voluntary sector organisations are seeking to take over the work. Recently the MoJ has acknowledged that probation trusts could spin out public service mutuals and bid for their “own” work.