Was away yesterday so only just catching up. Cagney and Lacey !!!! Do they have any idea how offensive this is to staff ????? NO, because they don't care... bet they all laughed uproariously at that one! Utter bloody fools.......
Having reflected on where we are I actually do not see the existing trusts as worth preserving. Looking at my own area I see a management team utterly detached from its staff, with the first rule of management being identify only with only managers as this is now where your loyalty lies.
I have watched patronage flourish as the means of attainment and the promotion of people "like us". This restricts intellectual rigour and allows for little challenge of a Chief Executive in cases where virtually the whole staff body feel poor decisions are being made. It allows a Chief Executive to become despotic, when perhaps that was not the original aim. Staff then dare not speak out.
In my experience any sense of governance by a Trust Board is ill-conceived, look at the example of TR, where was dissent given how obvious the risks where from the very outset? Where was protection of the public or indeed protection of the staff who attain all targets sets for them and still manage to uphold probation values? Where were the clients in this utter capitulation? This is a system not worth saving.
I have seen managers resign from NAPO (not representative of managers needs, as they are no longer POs, really!) I no longer have any respect for managers in my trust at any level although, now all seems lost in terms of their careers, some are starting to speak up but sadly it really is too little too late.
I really believe that there is an argument for probation wholesale to become the NPS to promote more professional management. The sad truth is that those CRCs that may get through as staff mutuals are not what it says on the tin, but rather a continuance of the existing management structures with real risks in terms of the continuance of the business.
There is a strong argument for better governance of probation but the services we offer must remain a unified core for all clients, for the sake of the communities we serve and so that justice is delivered uniformly. NOMS is not the vehicle for this and has never delivered good governance for probation given the dominance of prison staff who understand containment but not rehabilitation where the risks move to the community.
So, when the primes fail to deliver, when SFOs create public dissent, when more and more clients move back to the NPS and stay there due to risk management, the government of the day will have no choice but to unify service delivery and take back into the NPS what should have moved across from the outset. Then, from a unified consistent core, with the confidence of partners in the criminal justice system such as police and courts, appropriate planning can be made.
As it stands, TR WILL FAIL.
Employing Trusts still have a duty of care towards staff, and yet this is going on:-
I have arrived home distraught about my behaviour today. I am a CDO and I can only describe today as fraught. I literally had to run along between courts trying to provide updates, takes results and explain to clients what their sentence entails and book first appointments. A warrant produced a problematic breach with little time to liaise with the OM about what was going on and I fear my lack of time to talk in detail must have sounded awful, but how to explain? The client was waiting in the dock already and the court is clearly losing patience with probation now.
I have always believed that it is the first interaction with court staff that starts the supervision process and relationship between clients. I couldn't answer the questions of one bewildered man and he became increasingly angry until security staff were called. This never would have arisen in the past and although I was able to prevent matters getting further out of hand, I feel very uncomfortable.
When I tried to explain to a colleague how I was feeling, she just shouted at me to get on with it and in effect, stop moaning. I have been in tears and do not want to go back. That's the reality of what we are becoming under the weight of this TR crap.
At the moment I feel exhausted, drained and to he honest destroyed by this job. As a CRC Officer, I'm being allocated more cases than I know what to do with, yet all my time is taken up with my NPS caseload and PSR's. I can barely face going into the office, I feel physically sick every morning, I'm not sleeping and am suffering from excruciating headaches. I don't feel well enough to be in work, but I'm too scared to see my GP. Being nowhere near retirement age VER is not an option. If I see my GP and am signed off will this be held against me by my future private sector employers? If there's a chance of moving into NPS, will a previous GP note go against me? All I can do is haul myself into work every day and pray it gets better.
Cagney and Lacey - where are you?