Monday, 5 May 2014

Holiday Selection Box

Whilst I was on my sojourn to the wonderful city of Berlin and enjoying the very agreeable relaxed urban cafe lifestyle, many of you were hard at work as usual finding time amidst this omnishambles to write wise and thoughtful words of insight. Thank you all for keeping the blog going and here's a selection of contributions that particularly caught my eye.

We need a focused push on the main issues to alert the players that they are bidding for Pandora's Box. Only this time, we all know what is in it. Volunteer mentors are NOT going to replace trained Probation staff. It will never get off the ground because there are not enough committed, reliable and competent people available for FREE (it's so obvious, it is ridiculous). All but a tiny number of 'Old lags' will be at considerable risk from those they are supposed to mentor and the lay mentor will be an open target for 90% of the offenders they meet. 

The skill set for managing a prisoner in a secure environment is of limited use in transferring to the managing offenders in the community where the absence of locks, keys, cameras, alarms, regimes etc means that the only resource available is the skills of the practitioner. My 24 years experience in this field leaves me fearful of the impact on staff of the work that will be expected of the existing staff. The idea that others will be entering this field in the long run with inadequate training and skills fills me with dread.

Community based Probation work is HARD! It is complex, demanding and profoundly nuanced and will not thrive against two dimensional target setting and simplistic performance measures. Meeting the contract specifications will not be enough to secure change and the risk of failure to businesses at every level is obvious to those of us already doing the job.

It is bad policy, badly implemented hastily and with arrogance and unconscious incompetence on the part of both NOMS management and the MoJ. Any businesses that see a profit in this are allowing themselves to be deluded by the sales pitch of the equally ill-informed. 

This TR debacle will be one of those stories we read about for decades to come, along with the shaking of heads and comments like 'how did we let this happen? how did we let them get away with this?' We need our union to mobilise its resources to secure the support of those already willing to help - we can win because we are RIGHT. The privatisation of Probation is a mistake that will prove catastrophic. And quickly.

Happy May Day to all. We've been well & truly shafted, but many of us still have our integrity and humanitarian values intact. Those who have done the shafting will be variously unashamed, uncomfortable or unrepentant. They know who they are. Some will feel triumphant, some will be defensive, others avoidant. Leave them to stew in their own conscience. TR (the concept) is wrong and dangerous. TR the Chair has, I believe, made a poor call. But the conditions have been right for these things to happen - an unrestrained right wing government following the most right wing, self congratulatory Labour government ever known; and a dysfunctional napo structure that has mirrored that destructive self-centredness.

Don't be drawn into being abusive or losing integrity. Challenge, highlight the flaws, use this and any other outlet to expose and criticise, but please don't undermine your valid arguments with cheap shots. Once starved of the oxygen of publicity Chair TR's email will probably see him hoist by his own petard, and it may well haunt him for years to come.

We have a difficult and critical campaign we need to win - for our own sanity, for our professional integrity, for the work we do with our clients and for the safety and well-being of the public in England and Wales. Grayling's TR is a travesty of justice. Its a dangerous, myopic and deluded project forged out of ideology and greed. Focus, people, and kick TR into touch.

No its not just you, I am still holding all my high risk cases and doing PSR, attending oral hearings, doing parole reports and sentence plans for high risk clients. At our office in Manchester it feels like business as normal, only person that seems to be trying to get the TR thing going is the admin manager who is trying to split cases, do separate office duty rotas etc. But no one seems to have the time to help her in her grand plan and are carrying on as normal (its great). 

Also I don't know if other services feel like Manchester there seems to be no staff its like the service has been deserted. Furthermore, it feels like everyone's gone quiet, its like the calm before the big storm on 1/6. I don't even know how they are going to manage the change we can't even agree to a separate office duty rota (which we are refusing to do because we state that we are all still one service until 1/6) never mind split the work. IT WILL BE TOTAL CHAOS, ONLY HOPE THAT IT WILL NOT HAVE AN IMPACT ON OUR CLIENTS.

"We've had to make some tough decisions" usual Grayling, Osbourne and Gove mantra - however, we know and our clients certainly know, "they ain't seen nothing yet". An earlier comment about the calm before the storm, I have felt much the same way....people assigned to different parts of the building, caseloads..almost separated out, and today...we are all treated to a free photography sitting; in order to get our new badges, because come 1.6.2014 the old one will be null and void. 

It fills me with joy that all the i's have been dotted and t's crossed, just the small matter of job descriptions, duties and responsibilities; accountability, transparency and actually delivering a service, to hammer out in the next few weeks. I am with colleagues in Manchester, just carry on as normal and let all those with vested interests lose sleep. 

Oh, nearly forgot, our Trust doesn't have enough CRC staff and have asked for volunteers,, when you've stopped laughing, there is a serious point here. It involves non cooperation; don't volunteer, don't apply for those poisoned chalice jobs in HMP and certainly do not move your own work station, insist the lovely people from mitie/contractors do that.

We know the vast majority of serious further offences arise out of the low to medium risk of harm group - murder, rape, manslaughter, armed robbed etc. With a reduction in statutory contact under the CRCs (indeed if one to one contact is even going to continue as we know it) and if the use of volunteers is to extend - how are the 'risk indicators' to be picked up and managed - especially once skilled and disillusioned CRC staff unfortunately move on? And even if they are, a referral to NPS seems to me all about 'scores on the door' - a ridiculously tautological process and an utterly shameful waste of time and money. 

For example, it seems än increase in drug use and police intelligence of aggressive 
behaviour on the streets of an individual assessed originally as low risk would not pass through the iron gates of NPS. Now put a knife into the mix and you have a potentially serious outcome of life threatening injury or death. MoJ do not understand what they are doing. SFOs will increase. Bidders look into the stats. The current service isn't perfect but at least at the moment staff can take swift action to transfer cases where necessary without having to fill another form. 

Things are not clear cut in this work - it's the light and shade of matters in the risk assessment process that will disappear over time once probation officers are gone (and in my opinion that's CG's sole aim he does not give a toss about victims or those who commit offences) crime, victims and serious further offences will increase.

I have had sight of 'CRC Contact Levels on Licence'.....

Low ROH & Low risk re-offending: Contact on day of release; no ISP required and contact levels to be determined by professional judgement. Contact can be with allocated OM or designated other.

Low ROH & Med risk re-offending: Contact on day of release + ISP within 20 working days. Contact levels: Fortnightly contact for 8 weeks, thereafter as determined by professional judgement. Contact can be with allocated OM or designated other;

Low ROH & High risk re-offending. Contact on day of release. ISP within 20 working days. Contact levels: Fortnightly contact for 8 weeks, thereafter as determined by professional judgement. Contact can be with allocated OM or designated other.

Med ROH & Low risk re-offending. Contact on day of release. ISP within 20 working days. Contact levels: Fortnightly contact for 8 weeks, thereafter as determined by professional judgement. Contact can be with allocated OM or designated other.

Med ROH & Med risk re-offending. Contact on day of release. ISP within 20 working days. Fortnightly contact for 8 weeks, monthly thereafter. Contact can be with allocated OMM or designated other.

Med ROH & High risk re-offending. Contact on day of release & ISP within 15 working days. Contact levels: weekly for 8 weeks, monthly thereafter. Contact can be with allocated OM or designated other.

Contact levels on all Community cases: as above however all inductions must be carried out within 5 working days.

The above demonstrates that yes, people will be put on 12 months supervision but the reality is that they may only be seen a handful of times, if that, and it's all at the OMs discretion.

interesting..... "designated other" = non qualified inexperienced cheaper staff
simples !!

Err, nope, Doesn't have to be staff at all. Unpaid volunteers can be used. Read between the lines.... mentor... designated other... join the dots guys ;)

Or appointment with a drug worker, housing officer etc, etc will all constitute contact.
Indeed, I feel the 12mth and under group will have about as much supervision as they have now under TR. The only real difference is the threat of return to custody for breach of licence if caught reoffending. They'll have little more in this new world of Grayabilitation, than their present £46, which they'll have to pay towards their court costs. Utter shite.....

Oh my, who will then be accountable for the SFO's - the OM, obviously, for not seeing often enough, or not re-directing to NPS on first sight of increased risk, which of course, will only be visible with 20-20 hindsight. Still a crock of shite!

Dear Colleagues

As we enter the most critical phase of TR, that of implementation, we must search our souls and reflect upon what we should be doing. My view, which I share with you here, is that this is the most important phase, that of resistance. I can not, in all conscience, endorse what is happening in my trust for reasons of public safety and for the service users for whom I may be the only one who can make a difference.

Regarding service users, I can see my availability for them reducing alarmingly. The mentality of "here is a work sheet, it is evidence of what work has been done, please ensure it is dated and recorded on the file". For sex offenders, but others too, time to discuss what is happening in their lives is critical to promote their self management but also to promote safety, I no longer have this time and neither do any of my colleagues. Previously I would have given at least 2 hours daily free to my employer (toil could not be taken because there already was no spare capacity to do so in my trust, it was altruism that motivated me to do a good job). So now, the only person that an offender could encounter for advice and guidance has been removed from their lives.

Regarding public safety, I honestly believe this is now compromised by the changes in probation service delivery and we will see a rise in victims. The crass disposal of the wonderful IOMS model in my area is simply a mistake. I had always felt that I served the community in which I work and was proud of this and felt my profession really made a difference. This too has gone and I actually feel alarm at the prospect of working within the new models which are not even fully developed yet but start on 01 June.

So what is to be done?

I will continue to work as directed as where there is no direction ( a real issue as manager colleagues know) I will not develop practice as this is not my role. I am taking leave over this period ( two weeks) and would suggest colleagues look at doing the same as a means of resistance, days or weeks it does not matter as it will all add up and put pressure on the delivery of TR within the already unrealistic timescales. Then of course the main annual leave period will start over the summer. Do not allow this to bed in first, put the pressure on now. I am also working within my allotted hours, it is making a difference.

My future has been removed from me Chris Grayling, the MOJ and NOMS. I was a loyal public servant and am now watching my honourable profession being destroyed. I refuse to be complicit in this and advise passive resistance as a laudable way forward.

Sadly those who ought to feel crap about this TR uberbollocks have no conscience, so cannot be guilt-tripped or otherwise 'touched' by comments here or elsewhere, or so it seems. If it becomes personal, close to home and the pain starts to cut through the facade, then they'll start to listen. Just look back at the brass neck Grayling had during the expenses fiasco. As a result of manipulating MPs expenses rules Grayling has profited personally to a significant degree (some say six figures, others say it crosses into seven figures), but there's no sense of guilt, shame or remorse. That's the level of pathological liar we have to reconcile ourselves to dealing with. He creates a reality, he believes its real, others have to cope with the consequences.

Its not a way of being I'd be proud of, and it mirrors the damaged and damaging behaviours of many on my caseload (ironically those he's paying me to work with - now there's a film script waiting to be written. Copyright 2014 to me). But for his own reasons Grayling thinks he's right, thinks he's invincible and thinks we're low value chips in his high stakes poker game.

I think that, like many MPs, he's a sad, deluded cock-on-a-stick who'd sell his mother, grandmother and/or children down the river if he thought it would raise his profile or advance his 'career'. I despise him for the pain and devastation he's imposing upon so many professionals, and upon so many others, but I also feel sorry for him.

Is that it, Chris? Is profiteering really your life's ambition? Fuck up a perfectly respectable profession (probation), rip apart the legal aid system for criminal and family matters, sell off everything to your mates for a song. And then you and your mates can parade your bank balances, dine in fancy restaurants, send your kids to posh schools, blah blah blah blah blah.


  1. As a union we were hoping that the complete mess created by TR would grind the whole process to a halt. However the trusts have found money from somewhere to pay for Oasys and reports to be done on a sessional basis. Of course the fact that this is tax payers money which has been inappropriately used to cover up the fallout from TR gets ignored.

    I had a personal experience of this recently. I arrived at work one morning and there were three people, one of whom I knew, an ex Probation Officer who had left the service about 10 years ago and set up his own 'Probation company'. These bods had been asked to come in by our management to take as sessionals the backlog of reports created by the TR fallout. What was particulary curious to me was that experienced colleagues, indeed active NAPO members welcomed these people and helped them regarding the local processes in our office to smooth their work. I was frankly gobsmacked. I don't have any idea what ongoing training these people have; I don't know who or if any reports they are doing are being gatekept; if so by whom? The owner of this company was welcomed to our office as an 'old friend' and no thought or reaction was evident as to what he was actually there for! I hearsd him tell former collegues he used to work with that in his view there was a lot of waste in the Probation Service. No one challenged him except me. I know I shouldn't generalise but there are a lot of naive or self interested people in the Probation Service. I think many who come into this job tend to be perhaps socially sensitive about conflict and minded who look for the best in people, sometimes out of self interest of course. It also indicates a lack of a collective spirit and ignorance of the reality we face imo.......but perhaps that is just my office. However to be frank the campaign isn't going too well is it and we seem to have bucket loads of self interest and inertia at Chivalry Road as well. What we lack is leadership, someone to cut through all this naivity!

    1. "However to be frank the campaign isn't going too well is it and we seem to have bucket loads of self interest and inertia at Chivalry Road as well. What we lack is leadership, someone to cut through all this naivity!"

      Tom, your time to shine has arrived! Get a grip, kick some ass, adopt the action plan and get one for the media. All will be forgiven and the members will rally round - but we need 'action this day!'

    2. I agree with Jim. Tom, there have been numerous opportunities for NAPO to highlight not just the impact of TR, but also the shortcomings of those involved in it. The silence from Chivalry Road will be the second most remembered thing in this, the first will be your own inaction. It is the latter that will follow you through your career, with everyone commenting on how, with you at the helm, the good ship Probation hit the TR Iceberg despite ALL of your crew telling you how to navigate round it.

      There is an old saying: Nobody remembers when I did something right, but they never forget when I did something wrong. Please don't let this be your epitaph.

    3. I find it a bit odd that the chair of Napo, having failed to become a CRC executive, is now being projected as part of the solution while the GS is portrayed as part of the problem for the failure to stop TR. I also have doubts about the miraculous powers of PR companies. If they were that good other unions would have invested in them as their employees were outsourced to the private sector. I don't know of a single example where PR saved the day. Napo's failure to stop TR goes way beyond a PR failure. If only it were that simple.

      I don't know why the GS is regarded as a weak link, but it's a fact he inherited a mess at Chivalry Road. And we have Harry Fletcher being lauded with his 50-point action plan, but he was the man who chose to walk away when he was arguably most needed in the TR fight. Now, three weeks from the formal split we have another plan to save us from TR. There will be no salvation from TR, as it's going to happen, is happening and it will be formalised in a few weeks.

      And there will, in my view, be no going back to a wholly publicly-run probation service. Anyway I don't see much to get sentimental about when looking at the last ten years of managerialism and Trusts. The dumbing down and mind-numbing bureaucratisation of probation started a long time ago. Not forgetting the manipulation of statistics.

      I don't see any political prospect of CRCs coming back into public ownership – though some may not actually leave! All Labour is taking about is contracts and who should get them. There are definitely going to be more providers of probation services in the future. Napo believes this – that's why it changed its constitution and why it signed a framework agreement. The last strike action was a dead cat bouncing.

      From the outset resistance to TR has been variable across the the membership and I believe that higher turnouts in ballots and in actions may have slowed the TR momentum. But the workforce was atomised and calls for solidarity fell on deaf ears – for some self-interest mattered more, some see new challenges and opportunities with CRCs and maybe a cynical few weren't convinced that Trust-run probation services, who never missed a trick in cutting terms and conditions, were worth saving.

  2. In our office all reports are being completed on a sessional basis and many napo members are going along with this. We are being told: you have to do x-number of reports each month, either do them as part of your workload (no workload relief given if it gets too much) or do them in your own time and get paid for them. The short sightedness of those actually doing the reports sessionally astounds me. Do them in your working hours and if this means other work doesn't get done so be it. I think staff have been worn down and want an easy life but I believe they would do well to look at the long term consequences of their actions. Without leadership from Napo, many are struggling to continue the fight.

  3. I have said this a few weeks ago, despite the level of concern and great arguments expressed in this blog about the risks of TR, by numerous staff, the TR is still going ahead. I suggested that we somehow reveal our identities to each other and campaign ourselves, there is hundreds of us that read this blog but TR is still wining without even having a plan. Like I said the reality is that we are going to have to swallow this TR shite, because despite the strong views expressed its still going ahead.

  4. This is from the "New Statesman" its about the rise of the "shadow state" (G4S and Serco etc.) and the social danger it expose us all to. I think it gives a view of the wider battle we are embroiled in. Serco run semi concentration camps in Australia were there have been reports of sexual abuse and ill treatment of women and children on malaria infested islands( Manus island and Rottnest island) in which they are caged. New Labour stated the rise of the "shadow state" but it has gathered a pace with this lot. We are fighting for our society and just for probation, will this reality stop those writing PSRs and OASys? And what could a good PR company do with this sort of stuff; John Pilger has written about the plight of the people at the hands of Serco in Australia, what could a good PR company do with him?


    1. The Guardian published some stuff from a Manus Island Whistleblower about this

      the Videos are chilling - no one of any integrity, in my opinion, should have anything to do with a company that allows this sort of behaviour anywhere in the world.

      There is info about G4S & Serco in Australia but I cannot operate the Facebook search system to find it right now.

  5. I wrote a detailed comment but it was lost into cyber space.

    In short - I suggest using one of the several Internet Fora - I favour Yahoo or Google but there are others - check with Wikipedia

  6. Everywhere I look theres oppertunity to elevate the TR struggle to a higher platform, and I'm really failing to understand why these oppertunities are not being grasped by the union.
    Today several commentators draw attention to assessments being done on a sessional basis, and some even by external agents. Thats something the union should be screaming about, particulary as several issues recently have questioned the quality of risk assessments, in particular the suitability of prisoners being sent to open prisons.
    Surely the press would love to follow up their reports on these issues by explaining to their readership that you coulden't expect anything better as assessments are being done on a sessional basis, and some even by out of house agents?
    Theres plenty available and you don't even have to look for it. I just don't understand the apathy.

    1. We must be accurate re prisoners being sent to open conditions, this is usually a decision made by the Parole Board, sometimes going against the assessment of the probation officer, in my experience. Or, a decision made by the prison but never ever a decision made by probation staff. We must not be left holding this one publicly!!! Perhaps NAPO's media person will explain this.

    2. Parole Boards make decisions only on those that are subject to Parole Board hearings, generally IPPs and life sentence prisoners.
      However, the vast majority of prisoners held in the open prison estate are fixed term, and not subject to Parole Board hearings.
      They have therefore been viewed as suitable for open conditions based on some formula of assessment.
      Recently, many questions have been asked regarding the suitability of some of the inmates being sent to open conditions, and that therefore must question the quality and reliability of whatever formula of assessment has been used to send them their in the first place.
      As you say, it may be a consequence of whats happening in overworked and understaffed prisons. It may question the validity of OASyS, highlighting the need of a more personal knowledge of the offender before such decisions are made, and suggesting a case that probation should infact not be fragmented.
      I feel issues such as this is fair debate for the public arena, particulary as probation staff have very little autonomy in what they do anymore.
      The 'tic box' culture and methods of assessment used in probation today were not designed and implemented by qualified probation workers, they came from government offices and from people with no great knowledge of front line delivery.
      I think it a tragedy that people feel fearful and worry about where the blame may come to rest.

    3. Nonetheless, probation staff must ensure they do not bear public blame for this! I am an experienced PO fully aware of who the parole board deals with being;
      1. all indeterminate prisoners ( IPP and Lifers) { relevant to the current media case} and
      2. a significant number of Determinate prisoners( includes discretionary conditional release (DCR) prisoners serving more than 4 years whose offence was committed before 4 April 2005 and prisoners given extended sentences for public protection (EPP) for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005).
      My point was that in the current climate it is essential that this is not laid at the door of probation staff, who in reality do not make the decision on "progression" to open conditions. I am really concerned that this government seeks to lay blame upon probation at all costs, thus winning the PR battle.
      Those other prisoners moved to Cat D open conditions do so on the say so of prison staff, ultimately the responsibility of the governor. There is obvious relevance to the ruling class at NOMS being prison heritage.
      It is unacceptable that Probation is misunderstood and largely unheard. My point again, is we must not allow this to be used as another stick to beat probation.
      It is not a "tragedy" that people worry about blame resting on them, it is a tragedy that this crap government seek to blame probation at all costs and we must not keep falling into this trap. NAPO has media personnel, let them start protecting us from the disinformation that Grayling seeks to peddle at all costs.

    4. Many probation staff have experience in delivering excellent services despite "the tick box culture" and do not slavishly follow this as ANON 16.17 implies. We "tick boxes" because we have to, but outside that we deliver great service because we choose to....or did before TR

    5. That wasn't being implied at all.

  7. Anon 12:33 the apathy is borne out of fear. If you are a young PO or PSO with children and a mortgage the level of fear must be very high right now. Mortgages make cowards of many, that in part is why government push debt because it ties you down and makes you think twice before you disagree with your boss or the government. Goverment love student debt because students have always been the most radical section of society, keep them quiet and you can get away with murder. However I would have thought that most people who join the Probation Service do so out of: compassion, altruism, notions of morality or social justice. And I would like to think that most of these are fighting TR. The question then is, how many now join Probation to simply climb the greasy poll, do they out number the social justice Probation Officer types? Can a concerted effort by the moral altruistic lot shame them into fighting with us. What do you think, and any ideas about the type of tactics we can employ?


    1. The Battleground is now not one where we are 'allowed' and it's down to the 'Generals' to make the decisions which will decide this fight.

      We can all in out own way seek to derail the TR process, either by overt or covert means. We all know at least one or two in our offices who are as militant as us (shame there is not more) and two working in partnership is much more effective than being solo. Complain, raise a stink, highlight issues to NAPO via email and attempt to subvert those who you can to our cause. Should the fight be won (which looks increasingly unlikely), we can all sit back and consider our own part in it.

      Rebellions are not made up of individuals, rather individuals acting together and this is something that NAPO, along with whatever means they need (and whatever expense), need to take heed of.

      Sometimes the price of success outweighs the cost of failure, and it is only by examining what failure will cost can you decide what price you pay for success.

    2. I'm annon 12:33.

      I fully agree with everything you say papa. However, when I speak of apathy, I don't refer to the shop floor worker, although I guess some can be found there.
      But I'm continuely reading the policies of Grayling and the MoJ being questioned in the media, giving the oppertunity for the union to make some response or statment just to keep the TR debate active in the public arena, but nothing is ever said. Infact, of late I'm wondering why that is so.
      It would be nothing for the press office to pick up the phone in response to an article published and say my name is x from the NAPO exec, and I'd like to add my concerns to your article and I'm happy to give an Interview.
      Just a simple thing like that may increase coverage of probation concerns significantly.
      Here's another example of getting questions out there.

      HQ contact the mp mentioned in this article and simply say that while there sure this mans risk assessments have not been done by an external agent paid for sessional work, they have been made aware that this practice is being applied currently by some trusts as a consequence of Graylings vision of TR, its concerning to us as errors in risk assessment can have dire consequences.
      He's going to shout that loudly, if only to advance his own possition.
      You have to use whats there or you may aswell throw the towel in.

  8. Our local area had its annual conference last week. The top table comprised; outgoing leader and deputy, both of whom are taking early retirement and no doubt will re-emerge as highly paid consultants in the near future, the new CRC head and CRC & NPS area leaders. The Service User group was given a lot of time to talk about what it did and how it had benefitted them. We were told how wonderful the CRC is going to be with all the new opportunities and less red tape. We were, as a dedicated and professional organisation, compared to a caterpillar becoming chrysalis then emerging as a butterfly, and reminded that throughout the process the DNA doesn't change. I'm not making this up honest. We were told how much both organisations needed the skills which we bring, (to train new untrained volunteers maybe?). What was interesting that at no point were the words "payment by results", "profit", "shareholders" "job descriptions", "workload" referred to or any mention of what was going to happen after the likes of G4S, Interserve etc get their grubby hands on the CRC. Neither was there any opportunity to ask any questions. At the end we were handed a "goody bag" of two glossy magazines describing the glorious history and achievements of Probation. There were several people on the verge of tears.
    Our office is deserted, morale is rock bottom, many are looking for a way out as quickly as possible. No one is volunteering to do anything more than their basic job spec. Packing crates are piled up in the corridor and the CRC is woefully understaffed. Requests have been made for POs to transfer to the CRC, there hasn't been a rush. I move to the court team full time in 14 days having done a split role for months and still don't know where my existing cases are going. POs haven't done the RSR training so new cases are not been properly allocated. Those managers who should be supporting have in their own minds moved on to the new roles and all is chaos.

    1. I have a very acute feeling that whilst privatisation of the service goes ahead, it will transpire that the private companies will not be employed on a payment by result contract, rather a fixed management fee with bonuses for significant reductions in reoffending.
      I really think the PbR model put to parliament was just a scam to assist the progress of privatisation.

  9. Blog silence for over 24 hours.... anyone out there?

    1. Oh yes indeedy - there are other internet places as well where Probation folk write, here are just three: -

      Seems to have been comment in House of Lords as well: -

      I do not understand Facebook but lots of references to probation, it looks like Tania Bassett has been on tv today: -

      maybe folk have been busy elsewhere?

    2. Well done Tania. More of this please!

  10. Cheers Andrew ;)

  11. I'm here too! Not much to report, which is quite scary, as we are so close to the abyss! Upper echelons relatively silent...I have been wondering, if the big boys will be keen to invest/buy the mutuals, as there seems to be a dearth of other bidders, or anyone willing to pick up the pieces?

  12. Escape from Standford Hill
    At the parole hearing which recommended his move to open conditions what did the Minister of State's representative advise ?
    Which minister approved the Parole Board's recommendation to progress to open conditions.
    When did Grayling learn of this and why is he still advocating an inquiry to check if procedures were followed.
    Why is there no comment from NAPO?

    1. I read somewhere that Tania Bassett appeared on Sky News today - presumably about this, but all comments are apposite.

      It is against public safety that MOJ ministers have commented in ways that do not lessen anxieties which are understandable - if mainly because Media and therefore public do not have a clue what is involved.

      I have even read in more than one place folk saying The Home secretary should resign over it!

  13. In the midst of silence bidders have an extra couple of weeks to cobble their bids together - new deadline for submission is end of June. Probably due to the fact there is a dearth of real information about stepping into the unknown!

  14. Bidders if your reading this, You will be so F***ed with whistle blowers and what you are taking on. Good luck ha.

  15. Seen on twitter that PSOs doing the dumbed down version of PO training being seconded to CRCs to gain necessary practical experience to underpin their academic studies. So CRC staff not trusted to supervise NPs cases but good enough to help train future Nps probation officers.

  16. Service user with index offence of sexual assault going to CRC (not on SOR and medium risk of serious harm), service user with index offence of graphic domestic abuse (not first conviction for DV either) going to PSO in CRC. Staff are not paid or qualified to be working with such cases. Risk to public is immense.

  17. Recent CRC allocation - offence is sexually motivated with sexual and DV abuse elements, but charged as assault, hence falls outside sexual offences legislation, no registration and NPS colleague completing report has deemed risk to be CRC-appropriate. Psychiatric report prepared for court didn't get submitted on time (I don't know how or why) so judge went ahead anyway. I have no CPS paperwork and not had sight of psr or rsr but I have received a copy of the elusive psychiatric report. A very complex and worrying case. Should be fun...

    1. the Case Allocation tool allows for a managerial override - suggest this should have been used, why not refer to your manager to get allocation officers to review this? NOT that I believe CRC incapable of managing this one, just that's the process, I guess.....

  18. "Psychiatric report prepared for court didn't get submitted on time (I don't know how or why) so judge went ahead anyway."

    I know judges can do what they want pretty much, and psychiatrist's are notoriously late with reports, but that's ridiculous and surely possible grounds for appeal?

    1. No further info available today, so can't add anything useful.

  19. See, I don't get that, as it is my understanding that any offence that is on schedule 15 (the list compiled for the purposes of the seriousness test), automatically puts it in the NPS, regardless of sentencing outcome. Hence (for example) community based lifers are in NPS. I think this is yet another example of the lack of clarity in the procedures being rolled out, which is leading to differing practices across the country. What a mess. Bidders definitely beware!

    1. Sorry, for clarity' s sake am referring to anon 07.15

    2. If it's schedule 15 offence, they also need to be sentenced to 12 months custody, suspended or otherwise to make them MAPPA eligible I think. Unless they're assessed as high risk risk that is.

    3. that is right