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On Probation

Staff suffer brunt of probation reforms

New research from Professor Gill Kirton examines the highly negative impact on a mainly female workforce of Transforming Rehabilitation, the privatisation of the probation service.

On Probation

10 things I learnt from MoJ strategic plan

MoJ commits itself to prison reform: “We will change the way we run prisons so there is an unremitting emphasis on rehabilitation and redemption.”

On Probation

New probation still undermined by information sharing problems

Although this is a coherent strategy, many remain disappointed that there has yet been little focus on the quality of work being delivered or on the progress of the new Through the Gate (TTG) resettlement services to short-term prisoners.


New probation still a cause for concern

The Inspectorate’s overall conclusion reflects their continuing concerns about the new system; particularly around risk, and, most seriously, around risk to children:


What did failed prime bidders think of the probation TR competition?

However, it may be that many of these voluntary sector providers would have been neither able nor willing to deliver probation services at the prices eventually set by the MoJ. Indeed, some of the successful private firms may already ruing their good fortune as they wrestle with the “winner’s curse”.

On Probation

The true test of transforming rehabilitation

Annual Probation Inspectorate report The recent (11 August 2015) annual report from the Probation Inspectorate did not generate the same level of media attention as

On Probation

The identity of new probation

Interviewees often described a sense of loss, talking about the experience of being forced to transfer to the CRC as a bereavement or divorce. Many staff were extremely angry and upset at being forced out of the public sector whose values they explicitly espoused. There was also a strong sense of loss from long-time colleagues who were being transferred to the National Probation Service.


Tackling drug-related crime

Changes in probation and substance misuse commissioning, combined with the very significant cuts to the prison system, have made it much more difficult for drug and/or alcohol dependent offenders to get the treatment which they need to achieve recovery, in which society needs to tackle crime.

On Probation

What do you think of Transforming Rehabilitation?

The extent of voluntary sector participation in the new privatised probation service introduced by the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme is very unclear. The recent Clinks State of the Sector report found that many organisations were unsure about whether there would be opportunities for them to be involved in delivering TR.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice voluntary sector under threat

Perhaps the most depressing finding of the survey, was that the majority of the sector has had to make redundancies with 50 organisations expecting to make 131 redundancies in the current financial year. Some of these job losses are being offset by the recruitment of more volunteers. In fact, the voluntary sector is again starting to resemble the volunteering sector with organisations having on average 1.7 volunteers for every member of paid staff.

Disappointing outcomes for Peterborough and Doncaster prison PbR pilots

These are very disappointing results for the MoJ. Normally, there would be an expectation of a high level of performance from pilots with such public exposure where the partners had chosen to participate and, indeed, had championed and driven the initiative from the outset. Therefore, it is an extremely worrying sign for the new private providers of probation whose revenue will be, to an increasing extent, dependent on reducing reoffending rates, that these high-profile pilots are performing so poorly.


The Prison Governors’ Association justice priorities

We cannot go on thinking we can imprison our way to a safer society, not only is it poor value for money for the taxpayer, it also fails to recognise the evidence already available that there are better and more cost effective ways to protect the public and reduce reoffending.


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