Saturday, 14 June 2014

TGI Friday 2

NOMS were warned before they migrated users that the main case management system had 4 MAJOR defects and numerous level 2 defects. Normally the service would not proceed with just 1 major defect. They disregarded the problems and went ahead regardless. Result? Users, including those monitoring sex offenders, can't record their work. I am employed in corporate services in a CRC. I and most of my colleagues have applied for voluntary redundancy - or have already left. Vacancies in the National Probation Service haven't been filled due to lack of applicants.

And this is all supposed to improve offender rehabilitation? It won't even save anything - in fact, I believe it has wasted £millions - let alone distracted 18,000 dedicated staff from the incredible work they've done over the years.


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A lovely email instruction from one of our Regional Directors today.... from now on, NPS staff see EVERY new Court Order for their first appt/Intro Supv Contract/UPW Induction !!! FFS - in this office there are only 4 PO's averaging 34 cases & 3/4 PSR's per week..."bangs head on desk" !!! allegedly this is an effing NEW standard !!!! the bastards!
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I have read all your posts with complete horror, I was regretting leaving the service and thinking of reapplying but certainly not going to having heard all your nightmares. Thinking of you all x


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My IT nightmare continues. After the split, all my cases were (surprisingly) under my name on deliarse. Tonight, I have just 3! I wish!

The only alerts I have had over the past 2 weeks were regarding 1 person re case transfer. I have received no enforcement prompts but at least 1 of my people are in breach (I completed the mountain of bloody stupid breach paperwork today).

Whilst doing an Oasys (I felt brave), it suddenly changed to contain the details of one of my other people (although the assessment was clearly the original person) You honestly couldn't make this shit up.


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OK I feel your pain.Your alerts were applicable to you as a pre-split profile, they have not transferred. As for Risk assessments we have had a few cases where this happened pre split, I'm sure your helpdesk people have seen it too. I'm sure they can correct it quite easily................I could !!!!

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They just kinda shrugged! I had no alerts pre-split but set some post-split but they are not showing. Can only guess it's as I haven't been set up properly on deliarse. Oh and I haven't received some emails that I know were sent as colleagues received them. Oh and our CRC admin is not on our CRC email group! I know some of this is petty but its having so much collective impact.

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I am an ex PO, gone quite some years now (though still a long way from retirement age). That gives me a certain perspective on all this. What I mean is that I have a view informed by professional training and experience, but I am not constantly rubbing the dust of the collapsing service out of my eyes all the time as seems to be the lot of so many others whose cries for help are emanating from this blog with such plaintive clarity. That perspective enables me, along with so many others, to see not only that this TR nonsense is unravelling, as surely it must, but that it is unravelling at a speed far greater than even us professionals of all grades who are informed and have sound professional judgement had anticipated. 

This is bad news for Grayling with a Cabinet reshuffle pending this month (maybe even next week?) But far more importantly than that minor matter of a here today gone tomorrow political wannabe is the seeming inevitability of the consequences for the public. The utter tragedy is that the Sonnex case a few years ago in London showed in terrible technicolour what serious consequences can flow out of a single systems failure in relation to risk assessment and the management of dangerousness. And now we have that dysfunctional dynamic not merely allowed again, but actually systematised. Back then it was a rogue episode; now it has been given structuralsignificance.

My earnest plea to all my probation colleagues is to watch your backs, people. When an SFO occurs, it is the offender's responsibility; but that lesson has never been learnt by the Mandarins who allocate blame. Go very carefully, people. Go very carefully indeed...

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I watched the MoJ webchat, today. Weasel words. 'Thst is not my understanding'. 'I am told...'. Transparent to those who unpick deceit for a career. Utterly transparent.

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Bland. Weasel words. 'That is not my understanding', 'I am told...' denial that there are no bidders for Wales etc. Spin or dishonest?

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Watched some of the web chat but closed it after 15 mins, utterly depressing and the only reason for it as far as I could see was that they would be able to say "senior staff have communicated with front line staff", of course to communicate you have to listen, no listening evident on the comments...

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Upon hearing the news of the Kent Mutual withdrawing I for one did not receive this with great sadness, it was a disgrace in the first place that the CEO and her cronies were willing to jump on the privatisation of the Probation Service, exploit the naivety of staff and futile hope for a mutual that would some how save them from the ruthlessness of a private industry looking to make money out of a criminal justice agency. 

I am however thankful to have learnt the reasons for withdrawing appeared to be on ethical grounds although we cannot be certain of this, lets face it you are hardly likely to hear that Chalk Ventures pulled out sadly because we just couldn't make enough money and the contracts may have been written by some barking lunatic as they are not viable for any business seeking to make profit. We are advised this only leaves one bidder in the running so not much of a competitive process rather a steal they may be thinking. 

Any further delay now in share sale is bound to impact on service delivery, staff are leaving all over the place, senior management doing their utmost to retain an 'as is' in the belief the private company will want to make sweeping changes leaving business barely ticking over and resources directed at trying to put sticky tape over the crap. Risks are going up by the day. It definitely isn't business as usual.

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Predicted staff split 30:70 actual staff split 50:50

hmmm so how did that happen?
ooo I know, too many cases have gone to NPS!
How do we deal with that then?
I know let's "adjust" the RSR tool and the case allocation tool so that the very vast majority of cases go straight to CRC
err shouldn't the really risky stuff go to NPS?
No it's ok 'cos our tools say they are not risky

so that's alright then.... 


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I made a choice to join the CRC based on no information (as none was provided). I cringe when I see some of the issues arising on both sides of the split, a deep divide which is causing barely controllable levels of tension in a small rural office location... I am yet to meet a practitioner who can offer a good argument for these changes, despite having visited offices in seven counties across the Midlands... Every officer I talk to is confused as to the need for change and worried (some deeply concerned) about the dangers posed by such a shambolic, rushed, poorly organised 'transformation'. I do hope someone somewhere in a position of power is reading this and other articles.

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‘Pass the parcel’ at a children’s party and the fallout from the Divorce! 

If a recent experience of a recall is replicated across the country, we really are in trouble. A CRC recall where the risk had escalated, different levels of staff had a different understanding of the process, with deadlines approaching before going Out of Hours, the task was batted across both organisations like ‘pass the parcel’ at a children’s party! 


Don’t get me wrong, I recognise this has happened but we really are now going through the fallout! The cancelling and reorganising of tasks; who is responsible, down to visitation and access rights to our place of work. These divisions are damaging; colleagues who have worked together for many years are now at opposite ends of the divide and displaying behaviour symptoms of anxiety and stress both physical and emotional. 

As predicted, in between the ‘welcome’ to the new organisations, the Voluntary Redundancy options have started at the top and is likely to work it’s way down both organisations. Once share sale takes place this will no doubt move to Compulsory Redundancies particularly in the CRC but not exclusively. 

For the future, there will be no Mediation across the divide rather this will be replaced by the MoJ having Contract Meetings with all concerned to the backdrop of shareholders whose only interest is how much profit they will be making. 


This blog documents the true emotional and financial cost that this omni shambles has had on all concerned; the impact on victims, clients, partners and staff (and our families). The true cost is undetermined: MPs, Lords and the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee have been conned to believing this ‘revolution’ would make positive changes. Grayling is an example of someone who has abused his power and needs to be made accountable; no one is untouchable as recent high profile Court cases have shown.

Moving to today, Grayling will wake up to the papers who highlight that those Prison Officers who were made redundant are being offered the chance to go back to work on contract as it appears when they shut 16 prisons the MoJ got thier sums wrong! I don’t think anyone reading this blog will be surprised by this little snippet of information. Surely someone in the MoJ should be Whistleblowing for Grayling covering up his wrong doing?

41 comments:

  1. So, according to CG (Radio 4 just now), all this fuss about prison overcrowding is misplaced, cos all it really means is that prisoners will have to share a cell, rather than have one (shock horror) all to themselves. You could hear the distain in his voice over anyone having the temerity to expect a single cell. Has this man EVER been inside a prison to actually see how it is?
    Deb

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    1. He should be in a prison. He has demonstrably lied to parliament. That should be an imprisonable offence. In this sorry-arsed country it seems it' s now not even a sackable offence. Wakey-wakey people! Time to get angry!

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    2. We will soon see riots in prison. These were the same issues that led to Strangeways riots.

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    3. Grayling lacks consequential thinking skills, humanity and knowledge. In short, he doesn't know that he doesn't know, cannot see the consequences of his actions in advance and cares not a jot what happens to those in his care. His approach is unsophisticated and, ultimately, dangerous.

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    4. 2 days left.

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  2. Mr G also said that the supervision of short term prisoners will start "by the end of the year". Surely someone at the MoJ is able to tell him that this can't possibly happen?

    A note to bidders: if the Justice Sec doesn't get his way, and short term sentence supervision doesn't start until after you've taken over the CRCs, then you are in vast uncharted territory. No-one knows what this will involve or how difficult will be. Get out now while you have the chance.

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    1. Another Friday and another 4 recalls 2 from NPS and 2 from CRC 4 offenders working together possession of large quantity of class A drugs plus firearms and ammunition. CRC cases both medium risk. Think someone forgot to tell these medium risk offenders not associate with NPS High risk offenders!!!!!! Grayling hasn't a clue about how dynamic risk is, how offenders don't stick to the rules. Good job CRC member of staff was experienced PO who got things done despite the rubbish systems and mass of un necessary buearcratic rubbish that is the new recall procedures and risk escalation process, so time consuming, so unnecessary. Bidders beware you are entering a business risk as well as a potential negative reputational mine field , where any small profits will be evaporated by negative press

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    2. I totally understand. Child Protection mother CRC father NPS cannot access information about father as I am CRC. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Children' Services are known to be struggling add us to the pot then. Oh and by the way waht about Child Protectin meetings, are CRC and NPD going to be able to work together taking this example into consideration. We are talking about vulnerable children for f...s sake!!!!!!

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  3. What he actually said was that the process of supervision of short term prisoners will start by the end of the year-that could just mean that they start looking at how they go about it...another misleading statement and as usual suitably ambigious!

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  4. he really is an arse-wipe

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    1. At least that serves a function. He's just an arse.

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    2. The reality is that Grayling was never given the post of justice minister.
      It's all down to a misunderstanding by a tory advisor.
      Concerned when the coalition was first formed about keeping the Libdems and the Torys apart when working at the MoJ he asked Cameron what he should do to keep both parties seperate.
      "oh just put some thick railings in" Cameron replied.
      The rest as they say is history!

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  5. My most recent FOI -

    Dear Ministry of Justice,

    Please advise when you will be reporting to the House of Commons,
    the changes being made to the Transforming Rehabilitation Policy. I
    note that the flagship 'post sentence supervision' for all those
    serving under 12 months imprisonment has been stalled, or abandoned
    and the changes made to the plan to reduce the costs, to the tax
    payer, i.e. Payment by Results has now been replaced by a fee for
    service?

    Yours faithfully,
    Response:

    Thank you for your e-mail, I am writing to advise you that your enquiry does not fall under the Freedom of Information regime.

    Since you are asking advise when the MOJ will be reporting to the House of Commons the changes being made to the Transforming Rehabilitation Policy, this will be best dealt with by the Ministerial Correspondence Unit (MCU) who will process your query as Official Correspondence. I have copied them into this e-mail but they can be contacted via the contact details below, should you wish to follow up this e-mail.:

    Ministerial Correspondence Unit, Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ, United Kingdom DX 152380 Westminster 8
    Fax: +44 (0)870 761 7753
    E-Mail [email address]

    These details can also be located via the following link: http://www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/moj#gen

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  6. Yesterday, our team was introduced to a representative of the MoJ - visiting the office to assist us with Phoenix etc...what a surprise, nobody knew she was coming; no ACO or team managers around - all on holiday. So, we tried to make her feel welcome and most of us wanted to better understand My Shared Services stuff - like expenses. She went through the process of how to make a claim, when etc and to hold onto receipts for 2 years, just in case they are required for an audit. She also mentioned 'meal allowances' and we haven't been able to claim for lunch for some years, so I asked her if there are any other changes we should be aware of, and she said, she did not know but the 'policy' remained unchanged and I could read them in Phoenix, and there are 43 different policies relating to claiming expenses...FFF!

    That Quick Guide to the RSR/Case Allocation Tool - with all it's clicks!!! The person who I mentioned the other day, went through it - took almost an hour with a member of staff from IT/Best Process Team - and it was uploaded to nDelius - the colleague, was able to see clearly, that this particular ball-ache of a tool, is essential to hooking up all the systems, information and databases, but get this, when his case admin went into nDelius to access it, it was not there - lost and possibly never to be found, so on the basis of this essential part of the process not actually working, we are not doing it, until we are each individually trained and the actual system once learned, does what it says on the tin. Given we have all been bashing out at least 3 SDR/FDR's a week for the last 2 weeks of this madness, that is a lot of information missing from the systems.

    Enough!!!!! I am now having some time off and may even wager a small bet on Arjen Robben getting the golden boot at this world cup!

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  7. "ACEVO T1 network attendees" if you type this into Google , the first thing to come up is a list of all bidding organisations and also "attendees" at some network events. Interestingly the e mail addresses are there for the bid directors etc .....I wonder if a few emails explaining the reality of TR and the CRC/NPS split might not go amiss?

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  8. Off topic but concerning more problems for Grayling.
    30 years in. Until yesterday I would have agreed with your prediction of Robbyn getting the golden boot. But now I think Grayling must be favourite by far.

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/chris-grayling-is-a-lying-bastard-court-hears-at-workfare-tribunal/#comments

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    1. So desperate are the DWP to hush up the names of charities using workfare that they have been reduced to using a blog post titled “Chris Grayling is a lying bastard” to prove how horrible everyone is being to them because of their forced work schemes.

      The post was part of the evidence provided by the DWP at yesterday’s tribunal brought to appeal the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) decision that charities using workfare should be named. This followed a Freedom of Information request made two years ago asking for the names of organisations who are accepting workfare placements on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

      The DWP have pleaded that if this information was made available then workfare will collapse such is the awesome power of Boycott Workfare. Reams of evidence has been produced by the department, largely taken from the media and Boycott Workfare’s website, which they claim shows how MWA will be destroyed if the public learns the names of these charities.

      They also complain that anger at forced work has been ‘strident’ rather than ‘standard’ criticism, and that some bastard had even referred to charities using workfare as “thieving fucking criminals” (which if you read the post you’ll see isn’t strictly true).

      The DWP’s argument seems to be that workfare is so unpopular that who is involved has to be kept a state secret. This is despite the duty of charities to be open and transparent about their activities. Luckily we know only too well the names of many of the charities forcing people to work without pay. Household names including @salvationarmyuk, @YMCA_England and @groundworkuk are just some of the organisations who use forced workers on Mandatory Work Activity. They are not thieving fucking criminals, they are just exploitative cunts. Boycott them.

      A judgement is expected in four to eight weeks. The individual who brought the original FOI has published details of the arguments made by both sides at the tribunal.

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    2. I understand that Groundwork are in discussions to facilitate the generic activity requirements that will become the standard soon. Guess that's why they want to keep in with the government.

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  9. Jim can we have a list of who is putting themselves forward for napo chair and a mini profile of each with their plans? What do you think?

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    1. Have I missed something? Is there a list of candidates?

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    2. is this not something for the democratic process of NAPO members?

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    3. FAO Anon 14:18 please see below from 13:13

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  10. Anon 13:02 unless Jim has a crystal ball this could be tricky! Candidstes have until 4th July to submit applications to Napo HQ.If more than one(ie has to be a vote) then their statements are sent out to members.Usually votes not due in for some time after.Procedure is in constitution which you can get from Annual AGM report on Napo website

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  11. Thank you very much for your kind comments yesterday. I think that we can all make a difference and I agree with Harry Fletcher that it is going to be up to rank and file now to stop this omnishambles (Jim's favourite word!). I have sent the piece to a few MPs, the Public Accounts Committee and to some media outlets, but if anyone has any ideas about how to get stuff published then please let me know. Jim's and my attempts at press releases recently have been pretty much ignored! As the chaos continues, my aim is to send in a dossier to Ursula Brennan to stop her proceeding due to the risk to the public, so everything everyone writes here is really useful.

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    1. Joanna, I'm the anonymous author of the quote you included in your post. I feel a bit honoured! If you need me to stand up and own it to give you more credibility, I'm happy to. Jim knows my identity. I'm the person who works in Dreary Town. Good luck with all your campaigning. And thank you.

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  12. Dear Joanna
    My view is that we should focus upon making MPs accountable. Many of us have been to see our MPs and predicted what would happen prior to the split, but the actuality of how dreadful the risks to public safety AND the escalating (and uncapped) cost to tax payers is now upon us. We should try to get to see each and every one prior to the summer recess and provide them with examples. We should also ask them what they intend to do about it, if they fail to act they are accountable for having this knowledge and doing nothing about it.
    It is also entirely legitimate to raise our individual concerns as employees ( still no job descriptions despite massively changed roles, redundancy fears etc).
    If MPs start to raise concerns this will significantly strengthen any media approaches we can then make.

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  13. 2 days left.
    Get your letters posted Monday, watch even more shit hit the fan.

    Honestly folks, we will never get another chance to deliver a coup de grace to Grayling.

    If you're too busy updating Facebook to write a letter, then a big massive thanks from all of us who do take the time. You can all go back to watching fucking videos if kittens whilst the adults get the work done.

    Oh,ban if Ms Hughes does not mind, then I'm sure a copy of her posting in your letter would be of benefit. Actually, if you're too lazy to even write a letter, just send a copy of that post to your LOCAL media/newspaers.

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    1. I'm writing mine now. What day are we posting them?

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    2. Non comprondez....what is this "2 days left"??

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    3. Monday we post so they should all arrive on Tuesday. I'm using the franking machine at work! Just not bothered at all now. Does anyone have the address for Sky News?

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  14. Dear Anonymous at 14.34. I agree with you and my original idea for this piece was to send it to MPs, as we haven't had much luck with the press, and, as you say, MPs being concerned will strengthen our hand with the press. I am happy to do that on Monday, sending it to Lib Dem and Labour MPs, if others who are still at work can follow up with contacting their own MPs again with, preferably, personal examples of the risk to the public and costs to the taxpayer. I would like to send it to Tories as well but I'm not sure it's worth it at this stage. If people think it is worth it, then I have the time!

    I also am not sure about the letter writing plan on Monday, but I'm happy for people to use the piece if they want to. Is it to send it to the local press?

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    1. Hi and thank you for all that you're doing. I think we do need to contact all Conservative MPs too. Firstly, to make them accountable and secondly because from watching the commons debate a few months ago, some of them seem to genuinely believe the lies their party were spinning them. I'm in regular contact with my Conservative MP and have told him I'll be holding him to account as there is no way he can say he doesn't know what is happening.

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    2. I agree! Mine is a very senior Government Minister and I have seen him twice and now written to him to tell him how it is to warn him about the concerns....

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  15. Getting rather tired of the 'more radical than thou' posturing of whoever it is who is promoting this half-arsed 'lets all write a letter to Santa, sorry, the papers' bollocks as though it constitutes some sort of campaign. 'adults get the work done' indeed. By all means take what ever action you see fit, even something as feeble as a letter writing campaign if that makes you feel good about yourself, but fuck off with your notion that its some sort of big deal, or that it makes you better than me or anyone else.

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    1. I'm more than happy to write a letter but our local media have been great at reporting TR and we have good links with them. The issue is national coverage. How about hundreds of individual letters arriving at BBC and Sky News next week in an attempt to get them to report on it??

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    2. Anon at 1840 so what do you suggest?

      I have a labour mp and have got to know her quite well. I've sent her various links and also the link to this blog so she can see for herself what it's been like.

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    3. Anon@18:40 - its a positive act of intent. It might not have any impact, but its activity that raises the issues of TR. Its not a moral highground issue, just an effort by some. In the same vein that you challenge the "i'm better than you" approach, please knock off the henhouse shit. There's too much egomania and anxiety being generated by the TR agenda. Fight it or go with it, but don't fight each other. People can make their own informed choices.

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  16. how about us sending copies of our MPs letters to BBC/Sky news.....

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    1. I like that idea.

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  17. Just a thougjt that sprang to mind when reading this update on the prison overcrowding crisis, but are not all the prisons listed at the end of this article the prisons that prisoners are supposed to be moved to 3 months prior to release to facilitate 'through the gate' support provided by services local to the offenders area of discharge?
    I mention this only because Grayling states that the 12month and under group are to be brought into his TR plans by the end of the year, whilst also stating that it will be next April before any new prison places are to be made available.
    It's quite obvious hes being untruthful, and maybe its time for Sadiq Khan to start jumping up and down and demanding an inquiry into the mismanagement, incompetence, and the inabillity of the MoJ to effectively govern the CJS.

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    1. sorry. Update refered to above.

      http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27847007

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