Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Goodbye Probation Trusts

Regular tweeter PoOfficer has very kindly agreed to my republishing the following blog post:-

Goodbye Probation Trusts

I wanted to write this blog ahead of June 2nd, which will mark my first day working for the new National Probation Service.

I am deeply saddened to be writing this blog and to the end of the Probation Trusts. I currently work for a very high performing trust and although I have not always agreed with the direction the trust has gone and the leaders selected to lead us, I have felt a sense of belonging and I am proud to work for my trust.

I remember my first day working for Probation. 21 years old, straight out of University and thrown into an Approved Premises. I was chucked in at the deep end but it was the best learning experience I could have ever wished for. I am constantly asked on twitter from people who want to work for Probation "where do I start?". I always tell them to try and get into an Approved Premises.

Anyway, aged 21 I never envisaged becoming a Probation Officer, I never really fully understood what they did but from working closely with them in the AP, I soon realised that this is something I wanted to be doing - it felt right.

I was encouraged by my senior at the time to give it a go and apply to become a Trainee Probation Officer. Many applied and I never expected to get through, but to my amazement I did. The two year degree course and learning 'on the job' was the best two years experience I could have ever wished for. I was primarily based in two large offices with placements in Prison, Courts, Unpaid Work units and back in the AP. I was mentored by some truly gifted and well respected Probation Officers who I learnt a lot from - mainly to never forget that 'offenders' are people first.

The two years training course went by so quickly and I was offered a full time Probation Officer contract. I have never looked back since. I have had a few different responsibilities as a PO and enjoyed every one of them (I don't want to go into to much detail as I still want to retain my anonymity). What I have enjoyed most is the camaraderie of staff. I work in a lovely office (management may not agree - we are a difficult bunch to manage!) which is one of the biggest in my trust. We have a very eclectic bunch of staff which I see as a positive. We look out for each other and I know if I am every struggling, one of my colleagues will help me. They are all very talented people and I know that the majority of the work they do with clients is never acknowledged or even spoken about - but it is incredible.

The other main reason I do what I do is because of my clients and for the sake of the local community. I have worked with some of the most dangerous people you could imagine but thankfully they are few and far between. Mostly we work with people who have made poor decisions and who just need some help and support and a gentle push in the right direction. I believe that doing this job makes a difference, not only in the lives of the clients we work with but also victims.

Those of you who follow me closely on twitter will know that I have been very close to leaving Probation. I do not agree with the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda and I don't see any benefit from it. Dividing an awarding winning service who the Ministry of Justice itself rates every Probation Trust as either good or excellent, will only cause chaos and harm. I don't want to say to much on this, there are masses of opinions out there on this topic (I just wish Grayling would listen to them!).

What I do want to say is that we cant forget we still have a job to do, regardless of being allocated to the National Probation Service (NPS) or the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). I'm not suggesting that we roll over and help the Government with the destruction of the service, but we have a responsibility to carry on with the values and ethos of what we hold so dear.

Like every single one of us, I am going to a new organisation; I have been allocated to the NPS. Whilst I was fortunate enough to get my preference, this still fills me with some concern. I don't necessarily wish to become a Civil Servant or be responsible for a caseload of purely high risk clients. What I will do though is make the best of this situation and take everything that is offered to me.

So as this coming week marks the last one working for Probation Trusts, I just wanted to wish you all well. Remember to stick together; the Government have sought to divide us but we don't have to allow that to happen. Regardless of NPS or CRC we are all still colleagues and friends first and I hope that we never forget this.

(Note - by a strange twist of fate, if things continue as they have been doing, this blog will reach another significant landmark with 1 million hits at or roundabout the demise of Probation Trusts and emergence butterfly-like of NPS and CRC's on June 1st) 


  1. The Northern Echo knows a good story...

    "Police commissioners fear probation service changes could increase crime levels

    6:32am Wednesday 28th May 2014 in Crime News
    PROBATION CONCERNS: Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, who fears changes to the probation service could result in more crime, talks to shoppers in Newton Hall, Durham.
    THE part-privatisation of the probation service due to go live next week could increase crime levels, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have warned.

    PCCs in the region spoke out after an insider warned that the probation service in Darlington was in turmoil as staff prepared for the changes.

    Durham PCC Ron Hogg said Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust which ran the service in Darlington had been assessed as excellent.

    "It has succeeded in reducing reoffending and is cost-effective," he added.

    "Privatisation is a step into the unknown and is a potential threat to crime levels."

    Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger claimed that the overwhelming view within the criminal justice system was that the Government’s "headlong rush" to probation privatisation was ill-thought out and fraught with potential dangers.

    He added: “The fragmentation which will occur as a result of putting what are categorised as low and medium risk offenders under the control of private contractors, whilst what is left of the public service is responsible for those classed as high risk is bound to increase risks - especially as in reality many offenders move between categories if the risk they pose to the public changes."

    But North Yorkshire PCC Julia Mulligan said she was encouraged about how the Ministry of Justice was going about the reforms, despite initially having doubts.

    "With about a quarter of offenders in England and Wales going on to reoffend within 12 months after release, it is vital that new ways are sought to reduce reoffending and improve performance. The status quo was simply not satisfactory.

    “One of the important features of the new system is that offenders released from jail for sentences of under 12 months will now be supervised, whereas before they were not.

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    "In addition, Police and Crime Commissioners and local police forces are being offered significant input into the new system and helping ensure local needs are met."

    A whistleblower told The Northern Echo earlier this week that staff at Darlington probation service were struggling to cope ahead of the part-privatisation which takes effect on Sunday."

    1. Apologies for the advertising spam that snuck in.

  2. Wouldn't say butterfly-like more like a cobbled together wreck of a car that comes of the production line in flames and told by expectant line manager that it is safe to drive.

    1. If I'm honest it was just a touch of sarcasm lol.

    2. Sarcasm is not my strongest point. So much rubbish to deal with with TR and office changes. Very stressful and concern that something will go wrong and someone will get hurt or worse as a result. its a bloody nightmare

    3. But butterflies have very short life spans don't they?

  3. This touches, saddens and resonates.


    1. The prison system is in deepening crisis, with soaring numbers of inmates and worrying increases in assaults and disturbances behind bars and the problems will intensify as austerity measures continue to bite, new research warns.

      In just two weeks the jail population has leapt by 500 in England and Wales and tens of thousands of offenders are held in huge “warehouse” jails, a report by the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) discloses.

      Nearly two-thirds of jails are overcrowded, according to the Ministry of Justice’s own definition, stoking up tensions among inmates and piling pressure on overstretched prison officers.

      The bleak assessment came in the PRT’s annual analysis of the state of the prison system. Director Juliet Lyon said: “These latest figures reveal a prison service having to cope with unprecedented strain. Ministers must heed the warning signs.”

      The PRT said the pressures were boiling over more frequently into violence. The prison service’s “gold command”, the group brought in to combat the most serious trouble, was convened every fourth day in 2013-14, a rise of 153 per cent in just two years.

      A total of 1,575 serious assaults took place in prisons last year, the highest number for a decade and a rise of more than 300 over the previous 12 months. Meanwhile, 23,183 incidents of self-harm were recorded among inmates, a slight increase over the year before. In 2013 there were 215 deaths in custody, the highest number on record.

      Last Friday, the jail population stood at 84,305, which represented an increase of more than 500, the equivalent of a small local prison’s capacity, in just a fortnight.

      England and Wales now has an imprisonment rate of 149 per 100,000 of the population, compared with 100 in France and 77 In Germany.

      According to the PRT, more than 40 per cent locked up in jails with a capacity of more than 1,000, with the proportion rising to nearly half with the construction of “super-prisons”. A 2,000-bed “titan” is planned in Wrexham to ease the pressure on the prison system in the North-West of England and North Wales.

      The PRT claimed problems would intensify because the Ministry of Justice faces further cuts of 10 per cent to spending, amounting to a cut of £2.4bn since the Coalition came to office. It added that controls on recruitment, high levels of staff sickness and the closure of smaller prisons had combined to create a system “stretched to its limit”. The cutbacks have reduced the amount of time inmates can spend on “purposeful activity”, it says.

      A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We are making prisons more effective and cheaper to run – not by cutting services or reducing quality but by fundamentally changing the way we operate.”

    2. Rocketing prison numbers, a shocking surge in assaults and deaths by suicide in custody, fewer staff, less constructive activity and unacceptably high reconviction rates are the flashing warning lights that ministers must heed. To avert a crisis, they must check the bruising pace of change in the justice system and pay proper attention to ensuring that we have decent, safe prisons.

      Over 40 per cent of prisoners are now held in institutions of 1,000 places or more and nearly two thirds of prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded. An over-reliance on the use of imprisonment while slashing prison budgets and warehousing ever greater numbers overseen by fewer staff is no way to transform rehabilitation.

      Juliet Lyon is director of the Prison Reform Trust

  5. Sadly, I can not mourn the passing of the Trust I worked for as we experienced an oppressive executive ( noted by many in previous posts), but I can see others who worked for decent Trusts ( ASPT comes to mind) may be sad.
    What I am devastated about is the passing of Public Sector Probation, the two are very different. I believe all of Probation should be now transferring into the National Probation Service as a cohesive platform from which improvements should be made. We can not truly mourn the passing of the Golden Days of Probation, for they are long gone and yes, things need to change.
    In my view it was the advent of NOMS with the gradual exclusion of the probation voice at the big table by prison managers, that brought about our demise. However, a rise in macho management too eager to align itself to this culture, as over promoted managers sought to prove themselves capable of making others jump to the ever increasing heights demanded, also had its part to play.
    Ideology too had its part, lack of it on the part of Probation executives ( for theirs was the only voice that would have been listened to had they been united in opposition to this debacle and they, with the exception of Joe Kuipers, failed to raise a whisper) and blindly driven politically motivated ideology on the part of Grayling the Destroyer.
    Staff too, we have not listened to the warnings about what was coming and not acted in a cohesive manner. It is by no means perfect but had the entire work force unionised this would have signalled cohesive opposition. But we were fractured before the split in reality. Once Unison failed to follow the NAPO lead and take strike action our bluff was called, because it was signalled so well in advance.
    So for many of us we now enter the world of Probation the Business. Adding shareholder value being the aim and objective of the CRC future. Yes, we will be told this is our chance to shine and be innovative away from the dictats we were used to. We can make this work but for whose benefit? I have never, ever, heard the service user put at the centre of any of the briefings I have attended. Rather, how to engage staff in the change process to make this work. It is sad beyond measure.
    And what of the NPS ? Flagged as the standard bearer of community safety but in reality the political sop there to take the flack from Grayling the Destroyer so Parliament could be fooled that so called high risk offenders would be safely managed....but they always were!
    I am sad beyond words about the destruction of my beloved Public Sector Probation which has bled out slowly, cut by cut being delivered by NOMS. I mourn the loss of opportunity for positive change that failing to unite delivery of all Probation Services under the National Probation Service could have achieved. Here was the opportunity to be a professional cohesive workforce with unified standards working for the best interests of society not the profit of shareholders, and it is now all blown to the winds of market forces.
    We must look after ourselves and our service users for there is no-one else to do this now. Unite in compassion for others as we always have done. We do not cease to be who we are but we can become what we do not want to be.
    Bewildered PO

  6. "Spam spam spam spam..." (© M. Python) ;)


    1. Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, came into the job promising a revolution in probation. So the 35 existing probation trusts in England and Wales will be abolished from the end of this month, to be reinvented from 1 June as 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) to supervise medium to low-risk offenders. A new national probation service will supervise the remaining "high-risk" offenders. Why is this happening? Because short-sentenced prisoners currently receive no follow-up supervision. They are not the statutory responsibility of probation services because the previous government chose not to implement, on cost grounds, the "custody plus" provisions of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act.

      This group, about 50,000 ex-prisoners a year who have served sentences of less than 12 months, has the highest reoffending rates. By contrast the rate of reoffending is much lower among those 200,000 offenders on community sentences or on licence after release from prison whom the 35 probation trusts are supervising.

      Plainly, there is a powerful argument that everyone released from prison should receive supervision and help to stop reoffending. A majority of offenders have drug or alcohol addictions, mental health problems, low literacy and poor job skills that need addressing.

      The government's answer to funding this urgently needed extra supervision is payment by results (PbR). It claims that PbR will deliver the savings needed to make a reality of extra supervision and that it's essential for the private and voluntary sector to be involved in delivering such services as they have the innovation required to ensure better outcomes. So a competition is under way for the sale of the CRCs, which is expected by the end of the year.

      There is no real evidence or experience, however, to inspire confidence that the PbR approach will work – in fact it's the opposite, given the poor record of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in procurement and contract management, as pointed out in a report last week by the public accounts committee on the reforms to the probation service. The report was preceded in January by the justice select committee, whose report also pointed to many of the problems and risks.

      The changes are being imposed, against advice from senior probation managers who face the daunting task of creating the new organisations and bringing a sceptical staff with them. Many have voted with their feet. Of those who have stayed, about a third are also having to manage the not-inconsiderable task of merging their workforces into new, cohesive organisations. In one case, four probation trusts are becoming one CRC.

      The plans have injected uncertainty and have distracted the workforce from the core job – to supervise offenders. Many senior probation staff remain to be persuaded that the resulting turmoil is actually what is best for the service and will produce better outcomes. Key aspects of the plans are highly problematic, for example, dividing the management of cases across the public and private sectors will undermine effective coordination and supervision, potentially putting the public at greater risk.

      Staff are being reassigned from their current employers to their new employers before the shape of the work and workloads of the new organisations have settled down, IT is having to be reconfigured and new bureaucracy is being introduced to manage the movement of offenders between the national probation service and the CRCs, which will all be in the private sector from 2015. Much that has worked well is being reinvented. Everyone appears to be running to stand still.

      Against the complexities of such a large-scale change programme, the ministerial rhetoric has changed from revolution to evolution. But one cannot help feeling that a huge opportunity has been lost, to build on existing effective arrangements delivered by probation trusts that have all been judged by the MoJ as good or excellent, and which were never asked if they were able to take on the extra work.


    1. The government is prepared to back the introduction of open-book accounting for public sector outsourcing contracts, a senior figure in the industry has said.

      Speaking to Public Finance after a meeting between the CBI and government about reforms to contracting agreements, Jim Bligh, the business group’s head of public services, said there was a need to ‘move very far forward’ on transparency.

      Outsourcing deals have been under scrutiny after a host of high-profile

      failures, including the revelation that two firms – G4S and Serco – had billed the Ministry of Justice for millions of pounds worth of electronic tagging services that had not been carried out.

      The CBI has proposed the introduction of open-book accounting

      for costs, charges and profit margins between contractors and Whitehall customers in the future, as well as allowing the National Audit Office to scrutinise the deals.

      Such changes now require ministerial agreement, Bligh said. ‘On all of those points, the government has shown a really clear willingness to move forward,’ he told PF.

      ‘We’re looking at principles on how open-book might work, and I think the next stage on that is guidance – discussing the costs with the customer and agreeing what is a reasonable margin is what it is all about.

      ‘We need some guidance for commissioners and for providers about how that would work. That’s a key next step.’

      There was likely to be a general rule that openness would apply, with details then negotiated on a case-by-case basis, he said. ‘I think it needs to be in the discussions up front – between government as the customer and the supplier – about what open-book looks like in that particular contract.’

  9. Looking at jobs advertised , does bode well for future PSO / probation employees

    1. Reference No: AQ261
      location: South East
      Job Type: Temporary
      Industry Sector: Criminal Justice

      Our client is looking for a Probation Service Officer in South England. It is essential that applicants must have recent experience of case management of offenders in a Probation setting including assessment and supervision of offenders. Applicants must also be familiar with using eOasy's and NDelius. The successful applicant will be responsible for their own caseload of low-medium risk offenders. You will be required to assess offenders, complete FDR's and Breach Reports, and complete general case management. The successful applicant will also work with other service staff and partner agencies to assess offenders and deliver appropriate interventions.

      Salary: £14.00 - £17.00 per day

    2. £14 a day?....

    3. Modern language twist. It becomes impossible to differentiate the title PSO as a support officer to the title probation service officer ! Besides the title is less of an issue because eventually the case management line will most likely come forward as the CRC common title. It is a matter that will be addressed shortly in my trust oops CRC.

      There is a dialogue started on this point and as we are a public service it may not be of high importance but as the CRCs establish themselves staff cohesions form from the work they do.

      The latest Napo Bulletin today has for the first time of significance realised and started to focus on PSO concerns as a major protection to PO and PSOs. All our members are affected in this fight yet and only now is there a need for a new strand to the parliamentary campaign?

      Many PSO staff would have openly supported the number of positions that would be of benefit to protect the status quo. From those over deployed and exploited in work beyond reasonable role boundary and training, to those who have never sought to wholly become active case managers. However they are now certainly to be facing new areas of work responsibility to a greater depth without the appropriate remuneration. This is real casework on the cheap. Lets not just throw out the national Job evaluation Scheme and carry over agreement just yet then eh ?

      At this point in time you have to wonder if this appears to be too little and way to late as CRC staff that I have spoken to at least, do not feel like support officers at all now. More likely, with clearer ownership of casework they are not just under new management but a new role. The idea of support officers is not likely to survive is it ? The language of service officers destroys any difference to that a PO would value as a marked distinction of their qualification to a level of work !

    4. Sodexo are paying one ex Probation Manager £250 per day for her work, just until they have learnt all they can and then she will be dispensed with as a consultant....
      I don't understand some of what you have said Dino, sorry, the last sentence lost me. Are you saying the distinction between PO and PSO has gone already?

    5. To anon 18.37 (dino?)I'm sorry but also struggled to follow yr argument. Are you saying PSOs now have new roles in new CRCs and NPS? I think part of the reason why we are in a position that the Service can be split with up to 70% of work going to one org which is heavily staffed by PSOs is that from at least 2007 PSO grade has been given more & more work historically done by PO grade- in some areas this seems to have been welcomed and in others role boundaries have been more rigorously defended.Given the shift over last 3+ yrs in particular with PSOs being assigned Tier 3 cases and FDRs I doubt the gov't will increase pay for PSOs now in either CRC or NPS.

    6. Yes sorry it might appear cryptic I had suggested it was twist of the way they are recruiting and building a false public perception. I was responding to the above post and that I could not see the distinction of recruiting a fully qualified probation officer in the way the advert was published.Reading that advert in a paper any reader would just think that is what we mean by Probation officers. It is fully understood in the trusts the difference in grade and the distinctions are training qualifying supervised practice gate keeping mentoring through development and then constant improvement through professional support that takes several years and considerable investment to produce a probation officer.

      I realise most PSOs with exceptions of those specifically recruited with specialised skills clinical Psychologists and others are being described in a way that leaves out the detailed difference. This does not damage PSOs as the work is important and as you point out much derived from PO grade these days.

      I am lucky that by and large our area has seen the senior management in most areas of the work protect the professional grade as far as possible.

      That said, the advert looks like a future where all staff might end up being called probation services officers. It is important for the PO grade at the very least the public to understand the real vocational development and qualified nature of the work undertaken.

      It is important to ensure PSOs work is properly protected by an effective and appropriate set of core tasks and key skills. I had tried to ensure that we prevented further role erosion by claiming equal pay for equal work in a bid to prevent areas exploiting both the PO required task and diluting them to a lower paid staff group accelerating the race to the bottom.

      I hope this is clearer the Job evaluation scheme is a carryover in the national agreement and it is important to all of us to ensure where staff are engage in increasing role responsibility at the expense of PO we make the claim for the appropriate pay band and rate for the job. This will be uneconomical to sustain as JE grades the duties appropriately and so the management of any provider of service should maintain a protection for all staff. In relation to new roles in CRC I think there will be many changes in the mid to longer term as TOM gets bedded in and I had not properly considered the implications within the NPS as they too are set a new operating model but overall I suspect PSO will continue to support the PO structure as much as it does now whilst the PO grade continue to make important professional judgements that have to count.
      Dino :)

    7. I worked so hard to qualify as a PO and value my professional qualification. I rely on this every day for my role. Is it different from being a PSO? Yes, I have worked as both and feel I can say this. Is a PSO "lesser" able NO NO NO just fulfilling a different role. Do I need the the PO qualification to do my role YES.

  10. Yes and pigs might fly; such a move would mean that the government is not corrupt and ruled by big business and it would mean Serco and G4s pulling out of any deal with government.

  11. I strongly believe that there is an end game planned for the NPS later down the line. Anyone that thinks otherwise is deluded in my opinion. The government will no doubt abolish the NPS after the CRC project has made headway using fudged statistics, brilliant PR and by the passing of statutory legislation which will serve to consolidate processes. The functions of the NPS will be transferred to the CRC because it will be argued that it is more cost effective, streamlines processes and has a stronger funding basis which is not at the tax payers expense.

    Think about it... The plan is to make probation 100% private eventually. They may use the probation institute to issue licence to practice and thereby argue that there is accountability and less conflict of interest. It will prove to be a challenge by private model/contractors to argue that there is no conflict of interest when they take over all probation functions. But I believe they'll find a good work around. They'll just steam roll the further transformation.

    If the government can privatise 70% of probation, the remaining 30% should prove to be a doddle once they've proved to the public that CRCs work. It's can good PR and calling genuine concerns about public safety scare mongering by NAPO/NPS employees.

    The government has got probation where it wants it, on a plate to be served to privatisation!

  12. Madness,
    A contested breach pleads guilty at the last minute, a really difficult DV CP case - total non complier.
    The bench don't accept my proposal of custody ( two letters of support, origins unknown) and the requested addendum report goes off to NPS,
    So, as a CRC PO that knows the case inside out, I now have little say in the contents of the report, at the very least another person will have to get up to speed.
    Playing into the hands of perpetrators and legal reps and as for victims ?? I'm close to tears knowing this is just the beginning......

    1. This is a really frustrating, and ultimately unnecessary, scenario. In our CRC team we are top heavy with very experienced PO's, who at this point in time, simply do not have enough to do. We can only watch NPS colleagues start to look grey. How can this be?

    2. Clearly no rhyme nor reason across the country - the CRC end of our office is besieged with incomplete tasks, tens of new cases unallocated and anti-depressants with every cup of tea, whilst NPS staff seem to be coping okay. Its hard to tell exactly what's going on though as they don't seem to want to talk to us anymore. Seriously. The 'we're better than you' myth is becoming a reality.

      Well done MoJ & noms, you divisive pack of #*^#€$'s.

  13. Throughout today we have recieved reams and reams of instructions/directions/notes etc-no time to read or process or consider or there should be a prize for the first time that something is missed and a senior manager says (altogether now) Well it was sent out!!
    The amount of information churned out today smacks of panic at the top...

  14. Get that feeling in the derby area, NPS team is at busting point.

  15. 1812 the probation service was finishef when we started to "recommend" jail seeds were sown then

    1. I'm not 1812 but there was no mention of "recommend" just a proposal. I don't think you are from probation - there has to be an acknowledgement of the thousands of offenders receiving custodial sentences that are sentenced from proposals in PSR's/FDR's.

    2. Well where custody is concerned, my preferred terminology stated that either 'custody may be felt inevitable' or 'was inevitable.'

    3. "Given the stated concerns [or seriousness of the offending] I am unable to recommend a non-custodial penalty" is usually my way of weaselling out of it...

    4. I wrote many hundreds of PSR's and never once recommended anything but usually offered an opinion of the consequences of one sentence or another. I was taught it was presumptuous to be seen as if I was telling a Magistrate or Judge, who had different considerations to me, what to do, and I agree.

    5. Have to agree with you Andrew S Hatton - the psr was only ever a tool to assist the sentencer, never a directive. I recall one crown court judge making it very clear to the Court that, after defence promoted the recommendation in the psr, it was her decision as to what sentence was passed and, IF the defendant was to remain at liberty, how many hours would be imposed. The psr author had stated: "I believe that 40 hours community service would be commensurate in this case."

      I fear that despite efforts to temper the trend, more and more psr's contain impertinent conclusions as gatekeeping disappeared and the report-writing role was farmed out to anyone who fancied a go.

    6. We'll have to see how the civil servants fare...

  16. Interestingly our CRC CEO Designate ( yes really) said the expectation is no matter how busy staff are they are expected to keep up to date and read the important information being sent out. "Take it home and read your stuff relaxing with a cup of coffee" yes now we are expected to take instructions about new processes and procedures home so that we can learn err, how to do our jobs....
    Can't wait for the away days to start.....

    1. What is also very annoying are all these shiny corporate pics of people I don't know and don't give a %@&! about what school they went to and how many chimneys they climbed to get to the giddy heights of the salubrious MoJ. Give me strength.

  17. I have just heard that as a civil servant from 01 June I will not be allowed to post here, does anyone know if that is correct please?

    1. I guess they would not want the wider public to know that the NPS is in equal melt down, no SNAFU's allowed.

    2. I have not heard that yet! Where did u read that? Bang goes freedom of speech
      What does snafu mean

    3. "situation normal all fucked up"!

      Has Napo given info about consequences of being a 'civil servant' - I think as important as a gag is having first duty to Government rather than the court is equally as important, what say you?

  18. RIP Maya Angelou. A wise woman whose voice I was once privileged to hear fill a lecture room many moons ago.

    1. Without wishing to be disrespectful, can I borrow these words from Maya Angelou as we face our own struggle:

      "You may write me down in history
      With your bitter, twisted lies,
      You may tread me in the very dirt
      But still, like dust, I'll rise."

  19. I would just like to say that during my times of being low and miserable I had wise words from my daughter who has nothing to do with probation but said to me, "mother, wherever you are placed, continue doing the best that you can do as you have always done. It is not about getting back at anyone, your interest is in people, keep going" Very wise words from a 25 year old who knows little about Probation but has a gist of what I do. It is a shame Grayling in his many older years is not as wise.

  20. Its amazing how they can find stats for propaganda, but never have any when asked a direct question.

    1. Criminals released from jail after serving short sentences go on to commit a total of more than 1,600 crimes a week including the equivalent of 10 burglaries every day, according to official new figures.
      Ministry of Justice data showed offenders jailed for up to a year who were released during 2011 went on to commit 84,598 crimes during the following 12 months, the equivalent of 232 a day across England and Wales.
      The figures showed reoffending has actually increased since the last general election, because the number of new crimes committed by offenders released in 2010 was nearly 1,500 fewer, at 83,107.
      Ministers authorised the release of the data to provide further evidence of the need for their reforms of the probation service, which will see private companies and charities take on probation work in a “payment by results” scheme.
      The figures - the first to show the types of crimes committed by people released from prison - disclosed there were 3,873 domestic and commercial burglaries committed a year by newly-released prisoners, the equivalent of 10 a day, as well as 85 thefts a day and 13 drug offences a day.

      The criminals also committed 569 sex offences - equivalent to nearly 11 a week - and 625 robberies, or 12 a week.
      Jeremy Wright, the justice minister, said: “These figures again bear out the urgent need for reform. Too many criminals are walking the streets unsupervised and returning to crime, and honest, hardworking people are paying too high a price for that.
      “For too long prisoners have been released back onto the streets with £46 in their pockets and little else, in the hope they would sort themselves out – it’s no wonder things haven’t improved.
      “Enough is enough - we are delivering long needed changes that will see all offenders released from prison receive targeted support to finally turn their lives around and start contributing to society, rather than damaging it.”

      The figures also showed 11,344 violent offences were also committed by offenders from this group within a year of their release, including 293 serious violent crimes.
      Under the Government’s reform programme almost all offenders will receive at least 12 months’ support on release to help them avoid returning to crime.
      Reoffending levels were higher under the previous Labour government, according to the new data.
      Out of inmates freed from short sentences in 2007, 93,200 went on to commit new crimes within a year, while of those freed in 2008 the figure was just under 101,000.

      Last month a report by think-tank the Social Market Foundation said the Government’s probation reforms amounted to a “game of roulette” for smaller charities and warned some could be forced out of business by the way the new contracts are due to work.
      At the end of last year Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, released figures which showed that more than one in three criminals sentenced during 2012 had 15 or more previous convictions or cautions.

      The data said 101,000 “career criminals” with more than 15 previous convictions or cautions were dealt with by the criminal justice system in a 12 month period, representing a rise of more than 30,000 over the last decade in England and Wales, the figure included 12,000 violent criminals, 9,900 burglars, 1,760 robbers and 518 sex offenders.

      Separate research has shown prisoners have committed an average of 41 previous offences.

    2. Thats the same Jeremy Wright thats said to Vera Baird that the supervision of the 12months and under wont be happening anytime soon?

  21. Anonymous28 May 2014 16:49 - Sadly, I think there is alot of truth in what you have said. I suspect strongly that soon after the split NPS's future will look very much the same.

  22. Chris Grayling. Is this the most dangerous man in Britain? This should be the headline on the NAPO website, the tablets, the broadsheets but no, we do not get a mention in the nationals. Bad PR always sadly. Grayling will be gone soon and big Dave will blame his previous MOJ twat no doubt. I do not want to work with these bastards anymore. I have stopped my subs and let's face it NAPO are finished after this debacle. Thatchers' children have finished the job. Goodnight John boy.


    Maybe people on this blog maybe interested in this, sound really super :/

    1. What utter nonsense on that page from Facebook named after some qualification not mentioned on the page - I presume it is from some part of the MOJ - I hope it will get lots of comments and very few 'likes'!

      As for the other one, I did not really look at it - but it just seems an attempt to solve the recruitment crisis in the NPS

  24. A lot of us on Facebook have made many comments on the page that you refer to . As yet we have had no response ! What a surprise .. Not

  25. what the hell is the probation graduate diploma and what do Unison and NAPO know about this?

  26. Suspect lots of filtering of comments on the Facebook page

  27. Unbelievable...

    "The woman who didn't need treatment, For the overdose that was never caused, By the drugs she didn't buy, Because you proposed a curfew.

    Set the boundaries. Change the outcome."

    From the opening page of the new nps website.

  28. We all know the pushers deliver to the house
    to be fair.