Sorry to spoil your mad Friday fun, but I thought everyone would like to share the following platitudinous Christmas message from Noms HQ:-
Reflections on 2013 from Michael Spurr, NOMS Chief Executive Officer
I know that the last 12 months has been very difficult for colleagues across the Probation Service. The Transforming Rehabilitation reforms have created understandable uncertainty and concern both from a professional and personal perspective, and I recognise the impact this has had on individuals. Despite this – colleagues have continued to work incredibly well to deliver a high quality service for the public and I want to pay tribute to the resilience and professionalism of staff across probation trusts which is evident wherever I go.
The TR programme is now rapidly moving into the implementation phase, and the appointment of deputy directors in the National Probation Service (NPS) and chief executives for the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) will provide clear probation leadership to support the process going forward. We have worked hard to ensure that there are proper protections in place for staff as we implement the change process and I am very pleased that the National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections has now been agreed by both employers and trades unions and will be ratified at the National Negotiating Council in January. This is really good news – and hopefully will alleviate many of the understandable concerns colleagues currently have about the process. We are committed to treating staff properly and fairly and the agreement means that we can now move forward together to deliver the change required.
Change of this magnitude is never going to be easy – but as we move to new structures there are real opportunities to develop new ways of working and to improve the service we offer to the public. The extension of supervision to the under 12 month group of prisoners has the potential to make a huge difference to those with the highest rates of reoffending. The freedoms available within CRCs will enable staff to operate with greater flexibility and ability to focus on individual needs – something which colleagues have long yearned for. And in the NPS we will have the opportunity to develop practice as world leaders in public protection and management of high risk offenders.
The Transforming Rehabilitation reforms will become a reality over the coming months. We owe it to the public we serve to ensure they are delivered successfully and that we maximise the opportunities they present to improve outcomes for offenders. I and my colleagues on the NOMS Board are absolutely committed to working with you to achieve this.
I know that colleagues across probation are motivated by a passionate desire to ‘make a difference’. The reforms will provide opportunity for us to work with more offenders to make a bigger difference in reoffending than we have been able to achieve to date. Despite all the concerns and uncertainty – that is a goal worth striving for.
I know it has not been easy and I want to reassure you that I will do everything possible to work with trades unions and to support staff through the change process over the coming months.
Thank you for everything you are doing. May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and peaceful Christmas.
NOMS Chief Executive Officer
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