Thursday, 29 May 2014

Press Releases

Union warns of privatisation concerns as Probation Trust closes its doors for the last time

This Friday (30th May) will see doors close at Probation Trust office's across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland for the last time.  From Monday offenders across the region will be managed by two separate organisations, one of which will shortly be privatised.

The Probation Trust, amongst the very best in the country, can be credited with a reduction in reoffending amongst those it has supervised since it achieved Trust status in 2009, but Napo, the Probation Union, warns that such a significant change will put these achievements in jeopardy.

Mike Quinn, spokesperson for Napo in Northumbria said:  "Our members in Northumbria have been proud to work for one of the best performing Probation Trusts in the country.  As well as contributing significantly to safer communities across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, the Probation Trust has made huge efforts to improve the conditions for its staff, including becoming Investors In People Champions and achieving the Better health and Work Award.  Indeed just this year it was ranked in the top 100 organisations to work for by Stonewall.  We believe it's no coincidence that an organisation who takes the interests of it's staff so seriously has performed so well."

Commenting on the Governments intentions to privatise the newly formed Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company in the coming months, Mike said "We have called time and time again for the Government to show us the evidence that privatising Probation will show any further improvement in reducing re-offending.  The simple fact is that they can't - this is an ideological move by a Conservative lead Government to Privatise the public services.  It can not be right, in the 21st Century, that people are happy to make money out of crime, and the victims of crime, or that the Government would be happy to gamble with public safety.  We have highlighted our concerns about the unacceptable risks this process poses to public safety.  The Minister should know that he will be held to account when offending rises, and, worse, more victims are created as a result of his ill thought out plans."

Last week it became clear that the Governments widely heralded introduction of supervision to short sentence prisoners would not take place for some time.  "It's time that the deception by the Government was exposed."  Mike said.  "Their rationale for pushing though these changes at breakneck speed has been to tackle the unacceptably high re-offending amongst that those that Probation don't currently supervise.  The Government have been quick to lead the public to believe that all re-offending amongst offenders is down to Probation - which is simply not the case.  We have always agreed with the key part of the proposal to extend supervision to under 12 month prisoners.  To hear that the Government are not now pursuing this as a matter of urgency defies belief.  Napo members across England and Wales have for weeks now been working to breaking point with additional tasks created out of the Governments desire to split the organisation in two, whilst the Minister can just sit there in Whitehall changing his timetable at the drop of a hat.  It seems to us that this is more about forcing through Privatisation before the next General Election than having the interests of the Public at heart."

Just last week the Public Accounts Committee raised it's concerns about the Privatisation of the Probation Service, citing the lack of contingency in the event that Community Rehabilitation Companies fail and the poor track record of contract management within the Ministry of Justice.  Mike Quinn said  "We're really unclear about what the contingency arrangements are if this whole experiment goes wrong.  What it seems will happen is that the Government will use it's "golden share" to take control back into the Public Sector, but how that will work in practical terms is a mystery - and why not just leave it in the public sector in the first place?.  Private companies will of course be able to pass "high risk" cases back to the Public Sector, but its worth remembering that they'll still be paid the full sum for their services for the duration of the offenders time on Probation, which seems to be rewarding the private sector with money the tax payer simply doesn't have - in real terms the tax payer will be paying twice for cases which have, quite rightly been given to the Public Sector to supervise." 

Probation Service is split and put up for Sale 01/06 - Rush to privatise probation is already causing chaos and putting local communities at risk

Today the 35 Probation Trusts in England and Wales, that were established in 2007 as a 
means of ensuring local communities had a stake in justice, will cease exist. 

This is the first stage of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's plans to privatise 70% of the
Probation Service, whilst placing 30% under tight centralised government control Twenty one newly created holding companies will now be put up for sale. The government has already drawn up a list of preferred bidders that includes companies such as, Carillion Plc, Amey, Capita Plc, that are already known to have delivered poor value on other contracts.

This wholesale dismantling and selling off of probation is being justified on the basis that Probation Trusts were not working with approximately 50,000 ex-prisoners serving sentences of under twelve months. The previous government had intended to ask the probation service to work with this group but decided against doing so on the basis of cost. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling uses every opportunity to suggest that Probation Trusts have somehow been negligent when the reality is they were never asked to perform this work.

The simple truth is that Probation Trusts have done exactly what government and the public have wanted them to do i.e. supervise 200,000 offenders in the community. They have established a good reputation for commissioning services from local agencies to assist them with the complex work of rehabilitation.

The government is quite simply trying to do too much too quickly and has refused to pilot new systems or provide any evidence that what they are planning will work. Experts are warning that it will not and that in fact the Justice Secretary is placing the public at risk by recklessly introducing a completely new way of managing offenders in the community that is untried and untested. 

Pat Waterman, Chair of Greater London Branch NAPO said:

'Even members of the new Senior Management Teams for London, who are charged with 
the responsibility of making this split work, have told me that if they were to design a 
probation service they would not do it like this'. 

NAPO members are concerned that the split in their work has resulted in widespread chaos and confusion as every former Trust tries to make sense of conflicting government
instructions. Work that is routinely carried out to assess and supervise high risk offenders
is being disrupted. Staff are now being told they cannot do tasks that in some cases they
have been performing for the last 40 years. Experienced staff are leaving and agency
staff are being brought into some areas where staffing is now so dangerously low that errors are bound to occur.

 Pat Waterman said: 

‘The Justice Secretary’s plans are putting the public at increased risk. Instead of building
upon the existing publicly accountable Probation Trusts that were working well, and involved local communities in the complex business of successfully managing offenders, he has instead decided to bring in multinational corporations with poor records, who are not publicly accountable or necessarily financially responsible, to bid for our work'.

Pat Waterman also said:

‘Everyone in the Criminal Justice System has held the dedicated and motivated probation workforce in high regard. Despite the increased bureaucratization imposed on us by the Ministry of Justice, my members have sought to maintain high professional standards and to do all that has been required of them. All their achievements, and the safety of the public, is now being put at risk by the Justice Secretary’s plans.’

‘My members are seriously concerned that the changes needed to implement these plans
have been rushed through and not managed well. A new IT system is due to go live this
weekend without being adequately tested. New layers of bureaucracy have been created
meaning that my members will have to spend more time on paperwork and
administration rather than supervising offenders. At present a lot of energy is being
expended replicating tasks across two organisations who already run the risk of the left
hand not knowing what the right is doing. The result is chaos and confusion and all this is
so that Chris Grayling can put probation work up for sale'.

Axing 107 years of the Probation Service for private profit will put public at risk 

For most staff employed in probation, today Friday 30th May is their last working day as an employee of a proud public Probation Service as each of the 35 locally-accountable and award-winning Trusts will cease to exist at midnight on May 31st.     

On 1st June, the government will abandon 107 years of state responsibility for the Probation Service. Existing Probation Trusts will be abolished, with 30% of staff transferring to a new National Probation Service, and the remaining 70% being formed into 21 so-called Community Rehabilitation Companies in readiness for sale to the private sector. Potentially, there could be very grave consequences for public safety by this move. 

As the changes occur, there are widespread reports of administrative chaos and critical staff shortages throughout the country. In some cases, more than 60% of caseloads are being held by untrained staff with less than 3 months experience. Work loads mean that court reports are not being completed, and in many areas trained officers destined for re-employment in the private sector have caseloads approaching 100, with the result that they are being told to see new clients monthly rather than weekly. Even more seriously, sex offender programmes have been abandoned due to lack of qualified staff, while many probation officers are having to supervise sex offenders without the necessary specialist training.

Repeatedly the government has been warned, most recently by the Public Accounts committee, that this is an extremely risky privatization. The government has consistently refused to publish the risk register, though it is a requirement, and clearly in the public interest. Chris Grayling presses on with reforms that are being implemented without expert and professional support, international precedent, or any basis in research, and that are in no-one’s interest, except for the large corporations who will benefit from the revenue involved. Despite this, the government has been repeatedly warned of the extreme risks, and the need for the plans to be piloted first. 

There has also been a significant level of misinformation by the government involving the misleading, if laudable aim of supporting those who leave prison within 12 months (and who are not currently supervised by the service). However, it is now clear that this group will not now be helped in the foreseeable future, as has been claimed. 
In pushing through these reforms the government has intimidated, compromised and gagged officers, with the result that there has been almost no protest from those within the service, though they are solidly against the changes. One exception to this is Joanna Hughes, a probation officer with 17 years experience, who has taken a principled stand against these dangerous and risky proposals. She is resigning in protest today despite being offered a new post in the National Probation Service, because she feels that she cannot speak freely against these proposals while continuing in the new role.


  1. in the private sector the staff/service user ratio does not seem to fit - I know I've been trying for the last couple of weeks, my caseload is currently 80. How one officer can have up to 100 people on their caseload is impossible to manage and oversights will be inevitable. As an officer you are juggling so many things, my morning starts by checking those on my caseload attended unpaid work or other requirements the day before and then proceeding to enforcement as appropriate, then there is the phone constantly ringing - imagine even if half of your 100 caseload or someone on their behalf have queries - that eats into a lot of your time and the stress of the phone constantly ringing is immense. Whilst all of this is going on you are being hit with new orders - these all require an OASYS assessment that has to be done within 20 working days, if you are not familiar with OASYS it is a bureaucratic nightmare and can take up to a day and a half to complete trying to fit it in around seeing people, doing home visits and taking phonecalls is a feat in itself - and i'm an experienced officer, how these new into post PSOs are coping I have no idea.

    Finally the CRC reporting is: fortnightly for the first 8 weeks - this is stupid - it effectively means if the OASYS is due day 20 then you will have only seen them for 1 appointment to have gathered all the necessary info to make an informed assessment - we can no longer rely on the courts to provide an informative FDR to help us with the OASYS because most have the scantest of information and raise more questions than answers.

    After having seen CRC offenders for the first 8 weeks thereafter it is determined by professional judgement and can be with OM or designated other and herein lies another problem - how are we meant to do offence focussed work. I now have people on Alohol Treatment Requirements (ATRs) who I don't see anymore purely because they go once a fortnight there (designated other) - once the ATR expires i'll see them probably every 6 weeks unless of course I feel they are at risk of re-offending then i'll reel them in. What help is this to offenders ?? None!! This whole new system is likely to increase offending rather than reduce it.

    1. The trouble is, this is where the private firms will make their profit. Staff will be the biggest expense, so the greater the staff/client ratio the greater returns.

      I wouldn't worry about OASys - I can't imagine the private firms have plans to pay for 4 hours of work to complete it.


    3. A few years ago, the government launched a pilot social impact bond. It wanted to test whether SIBs were an effective mechanism to tackle intractable problems.

      A couple of weeks ago, just over halfway through this pioneering proof-of-concept trial, the Ministry of Justice scrapped it, and replaced the SIB with an “alternative funding arrangement”, as yet undefined.

      It’s not being canned because there’s a problem, however. Rather the reverse. No further testing is needed, it appears. It works.
      Just to prove it, the government almost simultaneously unveiled another £30m of funding for SIBs.
      The reason for scrapping the pilot SIB was that it was not compatible with the funding mechanisms of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme, a nationwide drive to replace the probation service with a group of 21 community rehabilitation companies. The funding model for these companies will include a payment-by-results programme to reduce reoffending. But as it uses different metrics to the SIB, the two can’t run simultaneously.

      All of this sends very mixed messages.
      What I want to try to do now is to break down half a dozen of the key issues around SIBs, and look at whether they’re something the sector should welcome.
      Are they something we should be doing a lot of? Are they a useful product for niche situations? Or are they a potentially useful example of a funding tool which in the hands of government could go badly wrong?

      But first, a brief explanation. What is a SIB anyway?

      The basic model is that the charity agrees with a public funder that it will try to solve a problem. Obesity in Rochdale, problem children in Leeds, repeat offenders in Peterborough. If the charity succeeds in reducing the problem, the public body will make a payment.

      So far, this is a regular PBR contract. And PBR has problems – one, the fact that you risk not getting paid if you fail, and two, the fact that even if you succeed, you won’t get paid for a long time.

      But a SIB differs from other PBR in that social investors get involved. They front the money to deliver the contract, and they get the profit if the intervention works. If the intervention fails, they lose out. Either way the charity is financially secure.

      So a SIB offers long-term, low-risk funding. But it also has one other big advantage for charities: it uses a “black box” approach. This means, basically, that the charities involved can use whatever interventions they like, so long as they work.

      It sounds good. But the big question about SIBs remained unanswered – do they succeed in producing improved outcomes, compared to other types of funding?

      So far, there’s some anecdotal evidence to say they do, but the first formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the first SIB isn’t likely to appear until July.

      Despite this, they have already caught on. The government has already launched a score of social impact bonds, plus a number of funds to promote their use. Worldwide, more than a hundred are in the offing.

      Given that it’s a format designed to promote evidence-based contracting, it seems curious the government has launched so many without waiting for any evidence about their effectiveness. But actually, there are strong reasons to believe that SIBs are really powerful tools, if they are constructed effectively.

  2. Why they did not just increase PSO staff and tasked them to manage under 12 months, the rest of the service could have been left as they were. Instead, they insisted on SHAFTING US, and the consequences of this for public safety, excellent management of offenders has all been compromised. Those in charge can never think logically, with a costly result.

  3. Chris Grayling you can do a U turn, you will be more respected than embarrassed.

  4. All that remains to say is that on 1st June I transfer to the NPS. I’ll come into work bright and early on 2nd June 2014 to continue to do what I do best – advise, assist, befriend and help probation clients to change their lives for the better. Whilst doing this I'll try to ignore that we've witnessed our government throw Fredrick Rainer's five shillings on his grave by implementing the unjustified end of non-profit hope and help for those who come before the court.

    1. Thanks for that and I've taken the liberty of publishing below.

    2. All that remains to say, is that on 1 June 2014, I will transfer to the CRC. On 2 June 2014, I will come into work bang on time and do as much as I can within my hours. I will leave on time. I will have to manage large caseloads and I will have to learn not to care about what I do best – advise, assist, befriend and help probation clients to change their lives for the better. I know that the new system will not allow me the time to do this due to inherent premise of maximising profit.

      If I do not change my previous beliefs around probation values, I will probably see my health suffer. I know the private firm will not care - I am expensive. I can easily be replaced at a cheaper cost. I am very likely to soon be made redundant,
      just as the fundamental idea of providing respectful and decent level of support to the Probation users will be, along with the core belief that protecting my local community is vital.

      Am I negative? Am I wrong?

      I am now where I am due to an arbitrary decision that ignored all my experience and excellent work with some of the most vulnerable, damaged and dangerous individuals.

      Bitter? Yes.
      Can I adapt and survive? Yes.

      I will take their five shillings for as long as I can. I will view this now just as a job. No more, no less.

    3. Sorry Jim, I'm Anon at 10:18. I seem to have placed my comment in reply to the excellent post by PO at 9:16 in the wrong place - it looks as though my post is the one you have 'published below'. Please feel free to move to a more suitable place.

  5. On 1st June 2014 the probation service will be abolished and probation staff transferred to either the National Probation Service (NPS) or Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s). The NPS will continue to supervise the more serious convicted offenders (approximately 30,000+ per year), while the CRC’s will be sold-off to private companies who will supervise the rest (approximately 200,000+ per year).

    The history of the probation service always gives me a warm feeling and it's such a great story. Frederick Rainer, in 1876 sent a donation of five shillings to the Church of England Temperance Society expressing his concern about the "lack of hope and help for those who come before the court". This donation paid for the first missionary at the Southwark police court and by 1894 there were 70 staff working for the London Police Court Mission. Their traditional tasks included exhorting offenders to give up the drink, distributing uplifting tracts and taking pledges of abstinence. The Probation Service was formally established in 1907 with the first probation officers appointed under the Probation of Offenders Act. The probation service went from strength to strength and in 2007 it celebrated its 100th anniversary. Along with many other awards and commendations over the past 100+ years, in 2010 the probation service was awarded the British Quality Foundation (BQF) Gold Medal for Excellence. With its world renowned history and with being a cornerstone of the British Criminal Justice System, it astonishes me that any government would have the audacity to break-up the probation and sell the lions-share to private companies to profit off the misery of the wayward and vulnerable.

    The last two years have been the most difficult time I've had in probation, if not the most difficult time probation has ever faced. This has been a strain on every staff member and their families, and has tested our resilience. We also cannot underestimate the huge impact the pending changes have and will have on every serving prisoner and probation client, and also on victims and communities. That being said we must move forwards. I no longer have any faith in probation leaders who mostly failed to fight against these 'reforms' they knew would end the probation service as we know it, or in probation unions who have been consistently ineffective in the campaign to save probation, and I definitely have no faith in the newly formed Probation Institute which is headed by all those that failed to defend probation and has consistently failed to speak up for the probation service and staff.


    1. Those that know me know I'm an optimist mostly, and it's my opinion the NPS will eventually evolve and replace the probation service to maintain the high standard of probation work, whereas the profit-based CRC’s will erode the probation ethos and values. I think the risk is that whatever the final outcome may be it will take time to get there, and the journey for both public and private probation is going to be a hard road with many twists and turns. I believe that ultimately if 'new probation' eventually works it will be because the probation workforce will make it work. I’ve worked for the probation service for a long time, so I’m very sad to see the current state of affairs. Alongside others, I’ve campaigned, written letters, emailed, tweeted, blogged, and spoken with my MP and various others, all to raise an awareness of the impending future of probation. I would have liked to have witnessed more probation, justice and community leaders, and also MP’s, ferociously fighting to save the probation service its current form, the form that has been proven to work. Instead I witnessed most probation leaders, the chiefs and CEO’s of the 35 Probation Trust’s, and the probation unions, NAPO and Unison, effectively sit back and do nothing to defend the probation service from privatisation. It's not my place to judge any for their actions or albeit inaction, as that is a matter for their own consciences, but I do think I'll be cutting my ties with the unions from 1st June 2014 and instead spending my union subscription fee on a decent take-away once a month.

      When I joined the probation service it was struggling to decide whether it was an enforcement agency or a support agency. Unfortunately just as probation is again discovering itself and while performing better than ever, it is to end as we know it. As will most of my colleagues, I will try to be optimistic about whatever the future holds for private probation, even though the learning from probation privatisation model in America is that it is corrupt and does not work, and I've seen the working model first hand. We also know that public probation cannot function effectively if dictated to by the Ministry of Justice or the National Offender Management Service, with their ministers and civil servants who do not really understand our work.

      All that remains to say is that on 1st June I transfer to the NPS. I’ll come into work bright and early on 2nd June 2014 to continue to do what I do best – advise, assist, befriend and help probation clients to change their lives for the better. Whilst doing this I'll try to ignore that we've witnessed our government throw Fredrick Rainer's five shillings on his grave by implementing the unjustified end of non-profit hope and help for those who come before the court.

    2. That is simply perfect - beautifully written brilliance - I am of the 1973 -2003 vintage of Probation Officer - If I had not 'burnt-out' I would not have survived the dreadful changes of the last years, though it did seem as if after a decade of regression from the Michael Howard days a new belief had been found.

      MAPPA - which I had a very small part in seemed a brilliant advance, no more was a singleton probation officer covering a rural area to be left with no one to tell of their deepest concerns or receive a brush off from the police if they tried and there was no offence to report. I have some real horror stories and got out in 2003 with great gratitude, that I never faced an enquiry about a serous further offence.

      More than anything we need media attention to advance a campaign - I made suggestions to Tania Bassett but she stopped replying - I don't blame her for that like most- she must be overwhelmed with work and pressure. There have been some excellent efforts, thanks to Jim for also publishing them, but if only they could have been coordinated and all published publicly in one place easy for all concerned to find - we might have made a massive impact to drive the latest political and celebrity twaddle to the back of the 24/7 media agenda

      This morning I have been trying to find out what The Probation Graduate Diploma is all about and have written about it here: -

    3. This may be of interest to you Andrew if you haven't already seen it?

    4. I haven't seen that yet - Dealing with that sort of stuff is not my bag - normally - right now I have been trying to expose/find out what the Probation Graduate Diploma is about - and I need a break!

      As I got to the end of my last comment I found myself, typing - "Just you wait, just you wait Henry Higgins -" I was trying to say to the civil servant - poor bod - whose job it is to monitor what is going on - that ultimately the public will not be quieted and the truth will come out - the "Henry Higgins" bit - song from 'My Fair Lady' came from deep within my dyspraxic brain and I looked it up I don't remember seeing it performed in the film before (my brother played the part of Colonel Pickering in a school production of Pygmalion about 50 years ago) and it is brilliant and apposite - the lyricist has presumably caught George Bernard Shaw's sentiment exactly - having taught Eliza to speak Propper(sic) she WILL have her say - as can we now we actually vote for those who would select the Governement!

      it is worth a watch ..

    5. Graeme Aylward1 June 2014 at 06:50

      As a former Probation Officer from 1973 - 2008 I am totally dismayed by what is going on. I was proud to be a Probation Officer and to advise assist and befriend hundreds of Clients/offenders throughout my career. I was NOT afraid to take those who breached back to Court, and, in the days when we were allowed to "recommend" a sentencing option to the court in an SIR, SER or Presentence report, prepared to stick my neck out and take responsibility for my recommendation! We all worked hard, 3 nights a week until 9:00p.m. in the early days, attended court with our offenders, and liaised with many other agencies. We also were known by Judges and Magistrates who respected our work. There were many changes during my 30+ years some much needed, some not so good, but the disbanding of a tried and tested Probation Service and shuffling its staff arbitrarily is beyond belief. I am glad I retired when I did and my heart goes out to all those who will suffer as a result of a cost-cutting exercise.

  6. Criminal solicitors' groups have begun a legal challenge to the UK Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) decision to press ahead with legal aid cuts, says a Law Gazette report. Issuing proceedings for judicial review this week, the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) and the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA) claimed the consultation that preceded the cuts was conducted unlawfully. They claim an economic report prepared for the MoJ by accountants KPMG was 'unfairly and unlawfully' withheld by the Ministry until after the consultation was closed. The report, designed to analyse the government's fee cuts and contracting reforms and advise on the number of legal aid contracts that would be offered, highlighted flaws in the proposals and suggested the model was unworkable in many geographical areas.Full Law Gazette report

  7. Lots of thumb twiddling going on in my office today, due to the almost complete lack of IT systems. Anyone care to give me odds that NOMS will find some way of including today and tomorrow in a productivity survey and castigate us all as lazy bums? Can't even see clients as we were directed to avoid all appointments until next week! A shambles of the omni variety.

    1. If theres anyone else twiddling there thumbs today- particulary those who like a drink- they may like to ponder on this article.
      Sorry to stray off topic , but I just find it incredable when public services have been pared back past bone and biting into the marrow.

    2. Details released as part of a Freedom of Information request reveal that about £750,000 worth of alcohol was bought by parliamentary authorities for sale in the House in both 2012 and 2013, according to reports.

      The mammoth bar bill equated to £1,100 per MP, per year at the same time as the Government was considering introducing minimum pricing for alcohol to curb the nation's thirst.

      The figures reportedly show that nearly 50,000 bottles of House of Commons sauvignon, more than 26,000 of house merlot and more than 33,000 pints of guest ale were bought.

      More than 8,500 bottles of champagne were purchased alongside more than 2,100 bottles of Speaker John Bercow's whisky.

      Spending in Commons bars has gradually increased over the past three years, from just over £222,000 in April, 2011 to more than £249,000 in the year to April last year, but this may reflect rising prices.

      The figures may trigger further questions about Parliament's supposed drinking culture, which was criticised during the trial of Tory MP Nigel Evans, who was cleared of alleged sex offences.

      The Commons booze culture also hit the headlines when Eric Joyce was forced to resign the Labour whip in 2012 after fighting Tory MPs in a Commons bar.

      Most of the alcohol will have been drunk by the 650 MPs, 760 peers, and thousands of staff and parliamentary workers in the Palace of Westminster.

      The extensive list of tipples - including 3,600 bottles of Commons blended whisky and 400 of Gordon's Gin - are available during the "family friendly" sitting hours introduced by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, giving MPs more time to drink in the evening.

      Top-selling House of Commons sauvignon goes for £13.80 a bottle in the Strangers' Bar, while the house claret - of which more than 6,000 bottles were ordered - is available at £17.50.

      About a quarter of the total alcohol ordered was reserved for sale in House of Commons shops for drinking at home; the biggest shop orders were for merlot, whisky, claret and champagne.

      While Commons authorities say bar prices are comparable with those of major pub chains, the House reportedly subsidises its catering and bar operations by about £5 million a year.

      The authorities have refused to reveal the cost of individual items, citing commercial confidentiality.

  8. The government already has an answer for when reoffending rates rise - they'll say that it's expected given that probation has increased the numbers of offenders under their supervision blah blah blah.

    For me it's all now about doing the best I can to put food on the family table ie the only day I look forward to is the 28th of each month...


    Everything is just fine (so I am told)

    - Email from Pat Waterman to Greater London Branch Napo Members: -



    2. The Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust must assess the risk of harm adult offenders pose more thoroughly, inspectors have warned.

      Their report said it should consider how it could improve processes to protect children and young people.

      However, work to assist sentencing was found to be of a high standard.

      The trust's chief executive said that as it was due to be abolished, the recommendations would have to be taken forward by the replacement bodies.

      Inspectors said they were concerned to find that:

      · Risk of harm screenings were sometimes not sufficiently thorough

      · More needed to be done to ensure that, where there were potential child protection and safeguarding issues, inquiries were made to children's social care services

      · It was not always clear when a case would be reviewed, nor was it always apparent what changes in circumstances would prompt reviews

      Inspectors said they were pleased to find that:

      · Early contact was made at the start of supervision in almost every case and sentence plans were generally timely

      · Interventions were generally delivered according to the requirements of the community sentence and licence conditions, and in line with sentence plan objectives

      Under the Ministry of Justice's plans, parts of the probation service are due to be outsourced to private firms and voluntary groups.

      Russell Bruce, chief executive of the trust, said: "The inspectors point to the need to improve assessments on risks of harm, taking into full account relevant factors, and to more thoroughly review sentence plans to ensure they remain appropriate.

      "The new arrangements, which come formally into operation on 1 June, mean, of course, that the recommendations will have to be taken forward by the National Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Company."

  11. That's because DTV invented the Citizenship Programme and local standards to suit - been running for five years. Most offenders transferred to CSS officers(PSO grade) immediately after completing the one size fits all programme (series of worksheets) and monthly reporting, with many being seen by volunteers under the GALLANT Project.Volunteers were needed to manage the caseloads (many PSOs held 100 plus cases). Perhaps this is where MOJ got many of its ideas for the brave new world we are about to enter......
    Interestingly their Chief's comments contain no defence, no apology just it's not my problem now. What a legacy......