Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Latest From Napo 25

This was emailed to all Napo members earlier today:-

Members will be pleased to hear that Napo has authorised our Lawyers to serve a Pre-Action Protocol letter on the Secretary of State. This seeks to lay the final groundwork prior to consideration of the case for a full application for a Judicial Review of his Transforming Rehabilitation disaster. As we have previously explained, Napo sent a pre-protocol letter just after the AGM last year as part of our efforts to explore whether the Secretary of State had the power under the Offender Management Act 2007 to  fragment the probation service. We have previously reported that we have recently taken a second opinion on the OMA 2007 question so that we could be fully satisfied that we had left no stone unturned in our efforts on behalf of members.
Our latest legal advice confirms that we were right to  have embarked on our current strategy which includes the gathering of a compendium of evidence on the methodology that the Secretary of State is using to implement his TR agenda, which we believe falls short in a number of areas.

What does the letter say?
For legal reasons we are advised that we cannot publish the18 page letter at this stage but we are arguing that the serious risk to public safety that will be posed from 1st June 2014 means that no reasonable Secretary of State would proceed with the transfer on that date without first piloting and properly analysing the results of his plans, and that among other things he has not ensured that proper regard has been given to the particular needs of women offenders as well as those who are mentally disordered or who have particular learning difficulties.
The supporting arguments will in themselves be no surprise to members, covering as they do the whole range of activities typically carried out during the process of managing offenders across all tiers of risk. The letter also directly references the evidence given by Government representatives to the recent Public Accounts and Justice Committees and public concerns as expressed by a range of potential witnesses and asks whether the whether the decision maker has addressed the right questions and gathered enough information to reach a rational and informed conclusion on them.  Needless to say we don’t think that Grayling has done either of these things.

What happens next?

The letter to the Secretary of State seeks a substantive reply by 22nd April, and as you would expect, calls upon him to postpone the date of transfer from 1st June until such time as the questions we have posed are properly addressed.

We will be reporting progress to the next meeting of the NEC at the end of April and, as previously indicated, we intend to pursue a JR application subject as always to taking account of the expert legal advice that we receive about the prospects of success, but we will issue further news and copies of the exchanges to members just as soon as we can.
Exposing the real truth about TR

Just a word to let you know that we are picking up considerable interest from the media about the contents of the letter to Amy Rees that we reported on last week. The continuing flow of information that is coming in to the inbox has been extremely useful and has allowed us to attain a better perspective of the chaos that you are working under.

This is being brought to the attention of a wider audience and will not have gone unnoticed by prospective bidders for CRC contracts with reports suggesting that a number of them have declined opportunities to visit offices and have expressed doubts about the efficacy of the TR project. We also hear that as some contractors have been invited to visit probation premises that staff have walked out the other way, and we are sure that members will express appreciation to their Napo comrades in Rotherham who took that step!

We also need you to maintain the pressure by working to your hours and not undertaking sessional work. You can still make a difference!

Tom Rendon                         Ian Lawrence
National Chair                      General Secretary


  1. Radio 4 'would that work here' - on now, interesting

    1. Listening now.

    2. Prison officers in Norway undertake 2 years academic study (criminology, philosophy, psychology) and then a third year on placement before qualifying. Norway's reoffending rates are around 17% to 20%. Hmmm.

      Wonder what the PI will come up with... Another watered down, fast-track nvq?

  2. Why am I not feeling excited???
    Too long down the road...........why not considered earlier?
    Why do I feel let down by my union?
    I will continue to resist ...and probably my unwillingness to 'stretch' myself to make it work will work better than union measures. It is absolutely clear that the whole ideology is fraught with problems. Did the MoJ not consider consultation with 'grass roots' Probation workers at all levels?? Obviously not! So much experience and professionalism lost in resignations! So much dissent in the remaining workforce (the majority of whom would leave if given VER). So much pain suffered by the disruption to service is so precious and difficult to gain, and disruption throws the most risky as well as the most vulnerable back into the chasm of reoffending, as that is the comfortable arena that they know. As I have said before on this blog, 'God help us' but now I add 'and those not able to help themselves'.

  3. I'm excited by this development because it dangerous to work in the CJS now and that's down to the political fools, their ideology and their overweening corruption. As I have said before I'm staying regardless and I've got the biggest whistle you ever did see; I'm bloody fuming.

  4. This may seem simplistic, but...
    The MoJ have publicly announced that NAPO have agreed the split and terms and conditions of NPS and CRC.
    NAPO have publicly announced that they haven't agreed the split.
    Isn't that enough to mount a legal challange by itself? The paperwork produced in court will show who's telling the truth, and if its not the MoJ then TR has to go back on the shelf.
    Is that really a too simplistic proccess of thinking?

  5. "No more, please, make it stop, make it go away, aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!"

    This is an approximation of the noise in my head every morning as I wake to the working day. This is the sound of TR.