Monday, 16 December 2013

More Weather : More News

Tailgunner has posted the latest weather report, Pat Waterman has further news and Effie Perine is all dressed up, but has nowhere to go. A typical Monday under this TR omnishambles:-

The unions, the employers and the MoJ are meeting with ACAS today with a view to resolving the "failure to agree" over the draft National Agreement - aka The National Framework (as imposed). What is the point of this? Well probably not much in respect of the Assignment Process which is now rather much an unpleasant fact of life with which we have to deal. But if it is possible to convert the Framework into an Agreement, there are some significant advantages. The Framework/Agreement does contain some significant benefits for all existing staff going into an uncertain future, not least of which is a commitment to ongoing national collective bargaining. These benefits are best enshrined in an Agreement which, under the NNC would thus effectively become an adjunct to the National Terms & Conditions. Otherwise there is the danger that they will get lost down the line. Word is that they would be incorporated, as a letter of comfort from the Secretary of State, in the eventual Statutory Instrument making the Staff Transfer Scheme a matter of law. This is not the appropriate place for such things to be lodged. And who wants a letter of comfort from the Secretary of State - his letters to date have been less than comforting.

Additionally, if agreement can be reached, then a national enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme can be incorporated - it isn't there at the moment. This could be available to various grades of staff down the line in the event that voluntary redundancy was offered by either the NPS or CRCs - such as when offices are closed/re-located.

The unions are also still seeking continuity of service in perpetuity for all existing staff and this will be part of the negotiation. Without it there is a clear detriment suffered by Probation employees which contravenes the principles of COSOP (Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers)

Membership of the LGPS is supposedly guaranteed on transfer to either the NPS or CRC. It will be if the arrangements necessary are in place and without them any split seems very doubtful. What is in doubt is the portability of LGPS in the event that an employee subsequently seeks a move from one CRC to another or from the NPS to a CRC. The unions are seeking to ensure this protection although, since pensions are not negotiated through the NNC this may have to be a separate discussion and not one incorporated in any Agreement (as above).

Last week there was the second meeting between the unions and NOMS to discuss 'measures' - essentially things that need to be done both before and after April in the event of the split. These are already outlined in Appendix A of the Framework. The unions have been pressing for such a meeting for months. It becomes more and more apparent that there are many measures which do need to be addressed as a matter of urgency and time is rapidly running out. So what was originally going to be one meeting, then four meetings is now a scheduled meeting pretty much every week between now and April. These meetings will be for consultation purposes only. Some matters will require negotiation, but negotiation will have to be with a new, as yet unformed, set of employers .

It is rumoured that a revised MoJ Risk Register on the Programme shows significant ongoing high risk that Probation performance will dip as the chaos and uncertainty of the Programme bites deeper. Equally it would appear that deliverability of the Programme on time and in the planned format remains very doubtful. Whether or not the MoJ press ahead with the split in April will become clearer next month when the MoJ will need to serve notice on Trusts that their contracts for the supply of Probation services will be terminated on March 31st. Minimum notice period has been agreed at 10 weeks - so no later than 20th January.


You say yes we say no

On 5th December NAPO & UNISON registered a local dispute with LPT following their decision to implement the Secretary of State's Staff Transfer Scheme in readiness for the closure of London Probation Trust. 

I have today received a response from Caroline Corby, Chair of the Board of London Probation Trust, which I attach below. She states that: 

"The position of NOMS has been made clear to Trusts in a letter dated 22 November 2013 from Michael Spurr concerning the model constitution for the Joint Negotiation and Consultative Committee (JNCC).  It is clear from our local constitution, that the local disputes procedure remit is to consider any failure to agree on a matter subject to negotiation where a failure is registered in the JNCC.  The letter of 22 November advised Trusts that there is no requirement to negotiate under COSOP, or indeed under the terms of the JNCC consultative committee constitution, on the matters relating to the transfer of staff.   The fact that the MoJ has been prepared to consult with a view to reaching agreement with the unions is due to a genuine commitment to ensure that the transformation programme includes what is in the best interest of the staff as well as the need to make the changes to the structure of the delivery of probation services.  However, the matters which the MoJ consulted on are not matters subject to negotiation which is the basis of the grounds that you seek to rely on when raising a dispute under the JNC process."

"In the light of the above, LPT has no choice but to reject your dispute on the ground that it exceeds the remit of the local dispute procedure."

So there we have it. Not only does LPT say that it has no choice but to implement the MOJ's Staff Transfer Process  but also that our dispute is not within the remit of the local dispute procedure.

I have referred this matter to our national officers and officials for further advice. 

LPT is of the opinion that staff have sufficient information to make an informed decision about future options. If you disagree make your concerns known to your employers by registering a grievance. 

Caroline Corby ends her letter by saying that:

"This is not a situation either the employer or the trade unions would wish to be in but hope we can continue working constructively together to the conclusion of the assignment and subsequently transfer process." 

Well she is partly right. We do not wish to be in this situation. But I fail to understand how we can work constructively on such destructive plans. 

Pat Waterman
Branch Chair

Finally, to conclude this Monday special news update, Effie Perine is moved to write some thoughts and reflections on the subject of 'that letter'........ 

So I got home from a thoroughly enjoyable office Christmas do on Friday (at one point we sang Sophie Ellis Bextor songs. Let us never speak of it.) to find the long-awaited white envelope on my doormat. You can always tell the ones from HR because the words PERSONAL and RESTRICTED and ADDRESSEE ONLY etc always show in the window, just to tell everyone there’s something that might be worth nicking inside. Imagine the disappointment when it turns out to be a blank diversity monitoring form or something rather than bank details or some juicy blackmail material.

Read the full post 'All Dressed Up, No Place To Go' here.


  1. Caroline Corbys letter is a further demonstration of her desire to please only her master Grayling, and hope that more then a few crumbs drop into her lap from his over laden table. I say further because I remember this from march this year:-

    Keep quiet, shut up because master knows best. His policies are important- your lives are not!

  2. If it is the case that Spurr is right in saying that the transfer of staff is not subject to JNCC negotiation, then it's not. I wonder if Napo has sought legal opinion on Spurr's stance. In general the leadership in the Trusts have shown themselves to be Grayling's obedient servants. I don't quite understand why individuals would wish to be part of the governance of a probation service and yet not think for themselves. I don't understand the mentality of such persons. What was/is their motivation? Do they just get a kick/kudos out of their titles? I can only regard them as apparatchiks.
    They will do anything they are told to do. Sure, they will experience qualms of conscience and will seek to hide their misgivings - they will seek your constructive understanding as they perpetrate their dirty work. Pity that at the top there always seems to be more scum than cream.

  3. ..that history sneers at. Damn touchscreens.

  4. I was only acting under orders...... it is the kind of justification that history sneers at.

  5. Given that the world now knows the risks involved with TR, I find it astounding that those at the top of an excellently performing service would choose to champion an alternative with reduced service performance and higher risks to the public.
    When it all goes wrong they should be named and shamed.

  6. I heard today that the PCA is assembling a legacy book, and we have been asked for contributions to add to those already supplied by numerous other Trusts. Is it just me, or does this sound like the PCA has already decided probation (as we knew it) is dead and so have buried us; now they are at the wake and requesting we contribute to the book of condolences?

  7. There appears to be a void between napo & unison advice; case administartion staff in our area seem to be under the impression that unison are advising AGAINST lodging a grievance. I've offered to help them draft letters if they choose, using any and all templates/guidance/etc available. I'm indebted to any/all colleagues who are allowing their grievance letters to be widely read - it helps.

    I was intrigued by John Davies' post yesterday about Ian Poree; for many years I have been convinced that there are cliques of powerful christian men in public office who present as very reasonable, very benign - yet who are extremely aggressive and dominant once that veneer of acceptability has been peeled back and the true nature of the rough carcass is revealed. They seem to rise quickly in the more modern, evangelical churches, are often charismatic (especially to younger church-goers) and hold roles that give them power and influence. Their presentation (sales) skills are impressive and they rise equally quickly through the ranks of public organisations. Their networking skills are second-to-none and they soon come to the attention of their brethren in more senior national and political positions. I would guess that if they break the 'rules' by which they play there is swift ex-communication to keep others safe & maintain the status quo. This, I decided, was the new 'gentleman's club' - a club where women have their place... These guys like power, and like wielding their power even more; some even wield it outwith the sanctity of marriage, which is ok until you get careless.

    I recall in years past that colleagues from a service 'up north' used to express concerns about a sudden and noticeable rise in the numbers of openly evangelical christians into their probation service following the appointment of a new chief officer. Their concerns were not about christianity per se but about the nepotism that came with it. There was an anecdote of one new appointee who seemingly arrived from nowhere (no advert, no job description, no interviews) until he happily announced (without any awareness as to the nature of his comment) that he had "discussed the job at church a couple of Sundays back with [the new chief officer]".

    I think (hope) that John Davies' point was not anti-christian, but against the hypocrisy that seems to be screaming from the jaws of TR, i.e. the 'not-very-christian' message, attitudes or behaviour that accompany TR and the behaviour of MoJ/NOMS staff.

    Hope John doesn't mind my reinterpretation?

    1. Totally agree with your interpretation. I was not commenting on a religious belief as such but on the zealotry and certainty held by those of a evangelical persuasion. Lets be straight about this the people who supervise offenders every day their job are completely clear that TR is a bad thing in all sorts of ways. Why would you not listen to them? Surely anyone who was reasonable in a position of power would reflect on this? Has zealotry (whether religious or political) blinded the decision makers and girded them with a faux and dangerous conviction over their 'rightness' Blair and Iraq!

  8. In response as to the UNISON advice. I'm a unison rep and am encouraging people to register grievances and am assisting both unison and napo colleagues in doing so. I will feed that back up in case the position needs to be made clearer.

  9. Off topic but should be read as its more evidence of Graylings refusal to listen to anyone. Surely David and George need to sit him down for a little chat soon?

    1. Ministers 'ignored advice on inhumane fit-for-work tests'
      Welfare adviser says he wanted a delay to work capability tests but government pressed ahead with reassessments.
      Professor Malcolm Harrington said he made clear to the then work and pensions minister, Chris Grayling, above, in 2010 that he believed that the work capability assessment was not robust enough to be quickly extended to reassess existing incapacity benefit claimants.
      A government welfare adviser has suggested thousands of ill and disabled people were subjected to "inhumane and mechanistic" fit-for-work tests after ministers ignored his advice not to push ahead immediately with plans to reassess 1.5 million claimants on incapacity benefit.
      Professor Malcolm Harrington told the Guardian he believed the work capability assessment (WCA) was "not working very well" when the coalition took power in 2010, and he told ministers a big expansion of the scheme should be delayed for a year to enable the tests to be improved.
      Harrington, an occupational health specialist who carried out three official reviews of the WCA between 2010 and 2012, said: "If they had changed the system to make it more humane I would suggest that some of the people who went through it would have had a less traumatic experience."
      Ministers pressed ahead with the reassessment of long-term incapacity benefit (IB) claimants in May 2011, despite Harrington's warnings and campaigners' concerns that the system was flawed. The test has since become politically controversial. Critics say it is crude, inaccurate, discriminates against mentally ill claimants, and causes widespread stress, anxiety and even suicidal feelings among claimants.
      About 600,000 reassessments were carried out in 2011 alone. Roughly one in four test decisions have been overturned on appeal after the claimants were wrongly found to be fit for work. Earlier this year a committee of MPs said there were serious weaknesses in the WCA, which is administered by the private Healthcare firm Atos, and that it was "failing far too many people".
      The Department for Work and Pensions said there was no record that Harrington had formally issued the warning to ministers, and he had not raised the speed of rollout as an issue in his interim report to ministers in May 2011.
      A spokesman said: "Professor Harrington's remit was to assess the effectiveness of the work capability assessment, not whether to reassess incapacity benefit claimants. He did this and concluded that the assessment was the right one but needed improving." The spokesman added that the DWP has implemented the overwhelming majority of Harrington's recommendations and was "continuing to improve the assessment process".
      Harrington, who was hired to advise ministers on how to make the WCA work more effectively, said he made clear to the work and pensions minister, Chris Grayling, at a meeting in summer 2010 that he believed that the WCA was not robust enough to be quickly extended to reassess existing IB claimants.
      He said: "I said [to Grayling] 'left to my own devices I would prefer to leave it for a year and let's see what changes we can make for new claimants'. He said 'well, we're going to do it'. I said 'Ok, that's a political decision. I would have preferred to do a roll-out in the second year [2012]'"
      Harrington's claim appears to conflict with comments made to parliament by Chris Grayling in February 2012 that Harrington had given his backing to the early "migration" of long term claimants to the WCA. Grayling told MPs Harrington had said in November 2010 that "the system is in sufficient shape for you to proceed with incapacity benefit reassessment."

    2. Harrington said in a Guardian interview in September 2011 that he had "deliberately avoided having an opinion" on whether the roll-out should have gone ahead. But a year later in an email conversation with disability campaigner Sue Marsh he admitted that he "never – repeat never – agreed to the IB migration" and that he would "have preferred it to have been delayed".

      Asked why he had wanted to delay the migration of IB claimants, Harrington said he wanted more time to see how the test – which at the time he considered to be "inhumane and mechanistic" – worked on new claimants before introducing it to long-term IB claimants who he said would understandably be "upset, angry and negative" about a test which "questioned their identity".

      Harrington, who stood down from his role in July this year, said ministers had been very supportive of his work, and while he believed he had genuinely made improvements over the past three years he felt progress had been too slow. "When you finish you wonder: 'have I made any difference at all?' Only time will tell."

      Marsh, who revealed Harrington's opposition to roll out in her blog last week, said: "If this government had taken Professor Harrington's advice, we may have saved over a million people from going through a test that is unfit for purpose and has caused great suffering and distress. Yet again it seems that all they care about is saving money, never mind the human cost. They must now pause the transfer of existing claimants until assessments can be made safe".

    3. It will be the very same report for probation in two years time!

  10. Can someone have a quiet word with Pat Waterman about maybe not using coloured text, block capitals and underlining important words. The overall effect is like reading The Sun or those threatening letters one occasionally receives from offenders with mental health issues. Obscures the important content.

    1. Lol - Before re-publishing I do in fact tone it all down considerably, but I might have to do even more!

  11. Having returned to work after a week off, I was faced with the usual raft of e-mails, some important, some less so and some so absurd, they are filed under "F" for "flushing" before they are even read. However, in trying to make some sort of list of priority, which for me means, service user related, I omitted until sometime in the afternoon to look at a continuous running link relating to the process of identifying whether or not information relating to my caseload on 11.11.2013 was properly recorded and harmonised in Delius and Oasys? This quickly began to look more like one of the absurd ones, not only was it time consuming and cumbersome ,because these two systems are not compatible with each other ie, you search in Delius for a named service user, and then because Oasys never recognises a name, you copy and paste the PNC into Oasys to bring up the same individual....but wait....the Delius number has some extra digits which you need to remove before Oasys recognises frustrating that the only identifier, which you always thought you could rely on, the PNC, is recorded differently in each of these systems. Now past systems were not quite a silk purse, but the new one's look and feel more like a sow's ear. Anyway, I digress. All the time I am doing this fruitless task, I am asking, no reminding myself of why? So that MOJ/NOMs has a snapshot of my caseload on that random date, which will be used for 'sifting purposes', so arbitrary, it's almost funny...if it were not so lamentable and crass. Anyway, I failed to finish the task by home time as I am trying to work to rule and conscious that today was the one and only day available to me; not because of leave, but because someone higher up the food-chain forgot to send the request out to staff much sooner, my stats for 11.11.2013 will not be an accurate reflection of my caseload on that memorable date. So in among the frustration, the feeling of leading myself to slaughter, I wasted valuable working hours which could have been better spent in contacting and connecting with clients.

    It is a croak of shite!

    17 December 2013 00:56

  12. link to justice committee uncorrected minutes, 4 dec 2013:

  13. Jeremy Wright on risk & colocation: "Just to make sure, in the CRCs’ contracts, there will be a requirement that they engage with the national probation service, particularly on the most important subject which is change in risk profile. If somebody is moving from being a low to medium-risk offender to a high-risk offender, we must make sure that the national probation service receive the information they require in order to make a second, third or fourth-whatever it may be-risk assessment so they can determine whether that person has become high risk, and, if they have, to take over the management of that individual.
    That relationship is crucial, but we think it can work effectively. It is not the case now that necessarily the same individual deals with an offender when they are medium risk and high risk, and that the offender manager is the same individual and the person who determines breach. There are already interactions between individuals, and it is important that they continue. The Secretary of State has made it very clear in the past that one of the things we think can help with those interactions is the colocation of people who work for the CRCs and those who work for the national probation service. We think that is a good model to facilitate just that kind of interaction."

    Chris Grayling on risk & colocation: "On that front, I see two key relationships for the national probation service. I see an increasingly close working relationship with the police, to the point where, in the end, it would not surprise me if we were to see national probation service teams colocated with police teams to provide a really effective approach to integrated offender management of the most serious offenders.
    The other point, which we will expect to happen and will be a requirement, is that the risk assessment of somebody who is a low-risk prisoner and who might be recategorised will be carried out by a small team of national probation service staff, who will be colocated. It is not a question of it being in a different building with processes lasting two or three days. They are sitting over there. A couple of national probation service people will be responsible for returns to court, recall notices, carrying out new assessments and deciding whether there needs to be a change to the monitoring arrangements. That is fundamental. What I do not want are people in a different town trying to talk to each other. There will need to be colocation of a small number of national probation service staff with the CRCs, and it will be their job to be the interface effectively with the enforcement part of the system-the recalls to court-and the assessment of risk to decide whether somebody needs much closer supervision, multi-agency supervision or whatever."


    2. Grayling on TR: "There is a very small overall saving of low percentage points in the envelope, but this is not a savings exercise"

      * Q188Andy McDonald: How can we be expected to scrutinise the potential of the proposed reforms in terms of value for money if you are not going to share with us the projections for the likely reduction in reoffending rates?
      * Chris Grayling: In part, you are asking me to anticipate the tendering process. I cannot judge. I am looking to providers to come forward with credible, innovative plans to bring down reoffending. As part of the process, they will demonstrate how much they hope to achieve and how much money they intend to put at risk to do so. I cannot second-guess that. Therefore, I have no figures to offer you that will say this is exactly what it will look like."

      Grayling on unions & rapid transition: "We have had some constraints on our ability to communicate plans in detail because of the negotiations that took place with the unions. We went as far as we felt we could in trying to take the unions with us. We worked very hard over an extended period to try to reach agreement with them on transitional arrangements. In the end, they decided they could not reach agreement with us, which is a shame because things like the quite generous voluntary redundancy package we were going to offer to back-office staff, who will lose their roles in the new set-up, will now not be available because we cannot do it without union agreement. It is a bizarre situation where the unions are blocking a quite generous redundancy package for their own members...
      Having gone the extra mile with the unions and done our best, our goal now is to get people into their new roles as quickly as possible so that uncertainty is not there, but operationally there is then a very long period of bedding down and transition. It is not about saying the whole thing has to be done by 1 April. We do not have to have migrated all the case load, and have all the systems finally in place, by 1 April. We have got the rest of next year to dry-run, test and modify...
      ... About three or four weeks ago. They came back at the last minute with a series of wholly unrealistic demands. For example, they wanted a redundancy package to be there in perpetuity, if I remember rightly. They took us to a point where we could not agree. I think we have produced a voluntary redundancy package for staff that is much more generous than exists in the current arrangements for probation trusts. It was a disappointment, but you can only deal with the world as it is.

    3. It seems quite clear that the architects behind this do not understand basic things like assessment, risk and how we conduct our job. I am sorry to state the obvious and re state what everyone has already said. However ,these statements from Grayling and Wright, when assessments will be conducted, by whom and when, seems to rely more an fanciful ideas of seating arrangements than on good practice. I recalled someone last week, where otherwise it might have been left. I supervise a number of high risk offenders (whatever that means I sometimes think) but he wasnt one of them. He just hadnt turned up and we decided to give him a few days as we couldnt contact him. I think anyone who didnt know him, or didnt know the case would have left it. I was pretty sure that he would have ended up somewhere that he really should not have been. Long story short, he got picked up at said place. Had it been left he may well have caused harm to someone again. I wondered to myself after my prison visit to him - had I been an NPS PO, would I have agreed with a CRC colleague who wanted to recall him? I probably would have thought that said colleague should chill out and cut him a little slack. I would have thought they were being harsh. CRC colleague may not have realised all this anyway, since they would not have been the one who did his initial assessments and had to trawl through all his history of offending, thus realising what his pattern of behaviour was. So probably it would have been missed (I am guessing of course - but I cant see how else it would have worked). The difference is that I got this case (sentenced with no PSR), didnt quite realise his pattern until I completed the first Oasys (there is huge difference to completing it to just reading someone elses - hence why I thought having continuous offender management was so important??!! - what happened to that one eh>?) - so when he went AWOL for a few days I instinctively knew from what else was happening in his life that I had to do something and could not just wait and see. I was right and we averted what could have become yet another battered woman victim who doesnt have the courage or will anymore to stand up for herself. I am not patting my own back here. Its what we do. But its nothing to do with seating plans or fancy words. Its getting to know someone. Its week in, week out work. Its doing your own assessments. Fragmenting that would be a total disaster in this case. That is just one example.

    4. Grayling on business risk (as far as he was prepared to be pushed): "Let’s look at where, in practical terms, the risks really lie. The first is if we stopped supervising offenders during the transition process. That is not happening. We have been very clear about it to trust chiefs. Our probation officers are continuing to do a professional job with the people they are supervising. The second would be that we made an inappropriately hurried transition of case load. I have been very clear in setting the policy very early on. We will not do that; we will migrate people over an extended period. A lot will transition immediately where there is no risk in doing so. Where there is an identified problem in moving somebody from one case manager to another, we will delay that and wait to an appropriate moment, or they can stay there over a very extended period of transition if necessary.

      The third point would be if we did a sudden transition from one organisation to another, so a different group of people took over the job one day from the ones doing it the previous day. We have planned the transition and whole reform in a way that that does not happen. We are migrating a team of people who are already bedded in in the public sector, who have made the transition to the new arrangements within the public sector and who will continue to look after the same offenders the day after ownership changes as the day before. It will be an evolution, not a revolution. The fourth is the transition of information within the new system. We have specified that the same systems for risk assessment and case management will be used by everybody in the probation service."

      That negotiation thing again:

      Q269Mr Llwyd: A few moments ago, Secretary of State, you asked me about the significant detriments to union members and the new information at the meeting on 20 November. I have seen a memorandum of the meeting, which was attended by Mark Taylor, an MOJ official. Before that day, he had not seen any documents passing between probation workers and the MOJ. He provided new information, changed the appeal process for staff who were unhappy, said there would be no continuity of service, and also said, "If you change role, then you lose continuity of service." Not surprisingly, it was a deal-breaker.

      Chris Grayling: "I am afraid that is not our understanding of the discussions that took place. What happened at that meeting was that, having reached what we thought was an agreement on the appeal process, the unions asked for a further, fourth, condition for appeal, which was so broad-ranging it was something we could not possibly sign up to. That was the reason we were not able to reach agreement that day."

    5. Prisons are letting out foreign criminals with little or no effort to reform them – because officials wrongly assume they will be deported.
      A highly critical report by prison and probation inspectors found that jails across England and Wales helped inmates get a house and benefits or a job on their release.
      But little was being done to help turn them away from a life of crime. The problem was worst in prisons holding foreign nationals, said the report, because officials thought inmates would be deported during or after their sentence.

      The report said: ‘Levels of some services, including offender management and resettlement, were said to be predicated on the assumption that prisoners would be deported.

      'In fact, significant numbers of prisoners were being released into UK communities with little or no preparation.’
      Two prisons, HMP Canterbury and Bullwood Hall in Essex, were heavily criticised for failures to ‘assess and manage the risk of harm to others’.
      HMP Canterbury had let out 15 prisoners a month in the two months prior to the inspection, and Bullwood Hall 78 in six months. The inspectors said that probation staff ‘rarely had contact with prisoners’, even those they were supposed to be helping.
      Overall, the report was scathing about the Offender Management system in prisons, which was set up nearly a decade ago.

      It is supposed to work with offenders both in prison and outside and also carry out thorough assessments. Its goal is to help turn them away from crime and cut the danger to the public.
      But inspectors described the system as ‘impenetrable’ and ‘dysfunctional’ – and warned that it was putting the public at risk.
      Liz Calderbank, the Chief Inspector of Probation, said: ‘If prisoners keep their heads down – and some of them do – their behaviour is unlikely to be subject to suff- icient challenge.’
      Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: ‘In a significant number of cases, the work is simply not being done to address people’s behaviour and the consequences of that must be that there is a risk to the public.’
      The inspectors found that reports on the behaviour of prisoners were often not passed to those who were supposed to be preparing them for release. They gave the example of a man in jail for domestic violence whose abusive attitude to female prison staff was ignored.

      Worryingly, often the only way staff found out what had happened on the wing was to ask the prisoner.
      Inspectors discovered that large backlogs of risk assessments were being rushed through to complete the required paperwork for release.
      Mr Hardwick warned that the scale of the problem meant it could ‘undermine the entire thrust of the Government’s rehabilitation plans’.
      Justice Secretary Chris Grayling wants to slash reoffending rates and is handing over probation services to private firms and charities, who will be ‘paid by results’.
      But in a joint statement, the chief inspectors said the system needed ‘fundamental review’.

    6. Bbc news.

  14. Off topic but this is shocking as regards the truth about outsourcing in the NHS.

  15. Ps. .. Forgot to say that the above is a video of an interview with GP talking about how private corporations are now taking over many elements of patient care. The GP also talks a out the govt agenda in general including what is happening to criminal justice.

    1. Very informative. If you have time (does anyone anymore?), you may like to watch this short investigative documentry regarding outsourcing and in particular the governments relationship with G4S. I think its something that the public as a whole should see.

    2. Part two of this one is an interview with Ian Lawerence.


    You may be able to use the photo for a screen saver-maybe?

    1. Oh yes - thanks for that!

      Acevo chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb was forced to eat his words from a recent blog about right-wing politicians that "hate" campaigning charities after Conservative MP Robert Halfon described it as offensive and outrageous.

      Sir Stephen wrote the blog shortly after The Daily Telegraph published an article in the summer which criticised various international aid charities for paying their chief executives more than £100,000 while their income was declining.

      He wrote that many MPs on the Right "hated charities who campaign and particularly dislike international charities that have been so effective at raising the concerns of the world's poor".

      Halfon seized his opportunity to publicly harangue Sir Stephen over the blog at a meeting of the Public Administration Select Committee this morning, where the Acevo chief was giving evidence on the subject of charity executive pay.

      He said he considered himself to be "on the Right" and listed a number of international causes that he has personally been involved with, before stating that he found Sir Stephen's remarks "quite offensive" and "stereotypical".

      He then went on: "It's the equivalent of me saying that you, Sir Stephen, are a quangocrat aristocrat that lives off the taxpayer and leeches off the charitable sector and has his birthday parties at the expense of the taxpayer and the charity sector - but I wouldn't say that because I don't believe in stereotyping.

      "Wouldn't you agree that your comments were wrong and outrageous?"

      In response, Sir Stephen said that Halfon had already raised this with him privately and that he agreed his comments were ill-advised. "That was stereotyping and a generalisation which I regret," he said.

  17. During justice questions today Grayling has again refused to publish the TR risk register despite (or maybe because?) of the recent leak.
    Sadiq Khans tweet suggests any concerns raised just dismissed with arrogance.

    1. They've also refused to extend the FOI ACT to companies engaged with government and local council contracts.