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On Probation

The Justice Committee interim report on Transforming Rehabilitation

The report maintains a balanced approach throughout although concerns and criticisms are pretty constant. The Committee acknowledges that although Transforming Rehabilitation appears to be a very risky initiative, “there are risks involved in not taking action to deal with the gaps and weaknesses in the present system.”

On Probation

Transforming Rehabilitation could be a dream – or nightmare

Frank Curran, Senior Consultant at RedQuadrant (which has been helping probation mutuals to establish themselves and bid for Transforming Rehabilitation contracts) is the latest contributor in a series of interviews about the MoJ’s probation reform programmes.

On Probation

The Probation Association on Transforming Rehabilitation

He points out the dangers that many skilled professional staff are leaving the probation service and expresses the hope that the new Probation Institute will be a cohesive force to ensure that the same levels of dedication and professionalism are found in future versions of the probation service.

On Probation

Damning inspection of offender management in prisons

“This lack of progress is of particular concern as it casts doubt about the Prison Service’s capacity to implement the changes required under the Transforming Rehabilitation Strategy designed to reduce reoffending rates, especially for short-term prisoners.”

Commissioning

How well is NOMS managing our prisons?

The NAO chooses to highlight a key challenge in managing the prison estate in the future. Many of the cost savings are due to commissioning larger prisons – the Titan Prison planned for Wrexham will be Britain’s largest with about 2,000 prisoners). Smaller prisons tend to perform better and, although, there is no evidence base, many criminal justice commentators hold the view that it is easier to help prisoners address their problems and plan for successful release at smaller jails.

On Probation

What do we know about the new probation providers?

There are a mix of aspiring large private companies (15), probation mutuals (11), voluntary organisations (10), County and Borough Councils (3) and a further education college (1) – these add up to more than 30 since many organisations are in partnerships or Joint Ventures.

On Probation

Alcohol Concern: Transforming Rehabilitation risks losing probation expertise

Eric sees the potential that TR brings to providing help to alcohol using prisoners, many of whom serve short sentences and relapse as soon as they leave the prison gates.
However, he has serious concerns that TR may not work in practice and that probation expertise at working with offenders with complex needs could be lost.

On Probation

Chiefs say no need to reinvent probation

While welcoming the acknowledgement that rehabilitation is key to reducing reoffending, Savas argues that there is no need to reinvent probation, especially when probation trusts have been performing at such a high level. He points out the risks of moving away from a local system to a national one and sees the new Institute of Probation as being key to ensuring that probation staff remain a highly skilled workforce.

Payment by Results

The Latest on Justice Reinvestment

A proper assessment will have to wait until we have more details but these figures do suggest that Payment by Results may be a more successful approach when savings are shared between government and providers with an explicit understanding that providers will reinvest their success payments rather than merely pass them on to shareholders.

On Probation

Ex-Probation Chief Christine Lawrie: Transforming Rehabilitation is cumbersome

Christine applauds the fact that TR makes rehabilitation as important as punishment in the criminal justice system but is disappointed that the public sector was not allowed to compete. She is concerned that there will in effect be two probation services (the National Probation Service and the new Community Rehabilitation Company) in each every area, leading to a cumbersome system.

On Probation

New Probation: Statutory Responsibilities under Transforming Rehabilitation

he MoJ will write into the new contracts for CRCs exactly which statutory bodies they will be expected to work with and what duties they will be required to perform. The paper doesn’t cover non-statutory partnerships such as Integrated Offender Management although the TR strategy makes it clear that CRCs will be expected to maintain, and indeed take the lead, on IOM.

On Probation

Institute for Government on stewarding the Transforming Rehabilitation market

Tom is concerned about the pace and scale of the TR reforms and the danger that new providers may “park” offenders who are assessed as difficult/expensive to help change, not providing them with the services they need. He advocates that the MoJ must be careful to protect its knowledge about what works in reducing reoffending; it will need to steward the market to prevent domination by a small number of players and ensure access to new providers.

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