Thursday, 12 June 2014

TR Day Eight

Thank goodness we're over the hump. Bloody stupid week so far. No Oasys for half of today - not that it really mattered, half my cases can be found by logging in as CRC, the other by the old trust, logging in and out over and over again.

Spent a very long time trying to get a vulnerable woman into a refuge, the DV agency we work with apologised and although they did some emergency help today, advised me they cannot offer her a long term service as their funding has been ended. If no further funding is found, this only dedicated service in our area (where DV is a priority of the PCC); will end on 31/08/14. They are not taking any new referrals. Social Services astounded that I could not give any information on her high risk of harm ex-partner. He's now NPS, I can't access his records.

Backlog from ATOS meant they finally paid out £8,500+ to one of my very worrying chaotic drug users three weeks ago. They have less than £2000 left. Mainly spent on funding our whole town's Heroin use. Unfortunately we got an alert today telling us there is extra strong gear in the area at the moment. I feel at least an SFO coming on and more likely a death under supervision.

In the midst of all this a bloke turned up for his first appointment, sat through his new 'Induction Group' before we realised he hadn't actually been sentenced yet. Another client allocated to our CRC because his OASys said he was medium risk of harm, SPO looked at FDR which says he's high risk. FDR's are being done on basic layer OASys. No information in them at all. 

Finally, did late duty. Client arrives and asks to see 'Peter', very confused and explained we didn't have a Peter working here. Turned out we did. He was NPS staff seeing someone in our office and I had no idea he was there.

I drink too much wine. This is why.

Oasys down till lunchtime today. Shedloads of emails 'stuck' in some kind of bottleneck in the ether yesterday. NDelius totally up its own portal since it was rolled out. My, aren't we having fun?

UK plc is broken. Passport office in meltdown, benefits system in chaos, public services in total disarray, energy companies fleecing the population, education system collapsing, justice system compromised.

Apparently unemployment figures are down - probably due to thousands being sanctioned. Apparently the benefits revolution is "effective", i.e. an expensive fiasco as Atos are paid off (sacked) and £millions are due to be paid in compensation. Apparently the rehabilitation revolution is "on track" - but as this blog shows, that seems to be ministerial code for "totally fucked up".

A case of mine was in court today. Not serious, but an offence during a period of supervision. I've worked with them for the last 3 years. Under Grayling's new regime I wasn't allowed to write their report. A NPS colleague completed this task. They didn't know the case. There were some complications as a consequence of that limited knowledge. There were telephone discussions. The court became irritated by those complications and sentenced without the full picture - information I would have been able to provide had Grayling not interfered. The case got hammered with a lengthy custodial. 

Three years of intensive work with a damaged but bright young person scuppered by your cock-waving, dumb-ass political ambition. In my frustration and despair I sat and worked out I'd spent in the region of 160 hours working with this case - averaging just about an hour each and every week. During that time their offending had not stopped, but had certainly significantly reduced from monthly court appearances to once in the last 18 months. They will now spend some considerable time back amongst the past acquaintances they had courageously distanced themselves from.

This is the consequence of your stupid TR agenda, CS Grayling, MP & cock.

Apologies for not posting yesterday, life got in the way.

Coming to my plan of action, there are two fronts. One by 'us' on the front line, the other by Napo.

It would be fair to say that TR is pretty much a busted flush, and it DEFINITELY will not take much more to topple it. What we need to do, and by we I mean us frontline staff, is to prepare a template letter spelling out EXACTLY what is going wrong with TR. If you are struggling to find a issue I suggest that you are either stupid or Chris Grayling (or my SPO). Armed with this letter of doom, we need to get into the internet and find out the addresses of ALL our local newspapers, ALL our magistrates Courts, ALL our PCC's, ALL the local news stations, ALL of the people who can expose this, and send them a copy.

Obviously do it anonymously otherwise you're going to have a very fucking interesting conversation come Monday morning which I can see ending with you sitting in the toilet, crying and eating Haribos!!

This means all of us. ALL of us!!! It will not work if only a few brave people take the time and effort to 'get this all over the newspapers like a fucking pissing puppy'. I want you all to take just 30 seconds to imagine what the news will be like on Tuesday!! I say Tuesday as I don't want US (yes, US) to post them until Monday. For the sake of this conversation I will refer to it as 'fucking shit hitting the fan day'. It will be a nightmare for Cameron and the Tories will be out of power until Daniel fucking Radcliff is advertising walk-in baths in the People's Friend!!!

Right, that's the first step!

Second step, we need our Union reps, the vast majority I have the utmost respect for as they are the ones getting the shit on a daily basis and I ask everyone to lay off them. I would not do their job and as you are not it's fair to say neither would you!!

Right, I need the Union reps to go back to Chivalry Road and 'advise' them that we are going on strike.

I know we've been on strike before, achieving the grand sum of fuck all, however, this will be a different strike. As I said to Jim before, there's little point in parking our tanks on their lawn if we have fuck all to fire at them.

This strike will be an all out strike. No banners, no picket lines, no slogans, no Grayling puppet, nothing. We leave at 5pm and don't come back until we get what we want. Again, I want you just to take five minutes before you reply to consider the impact this will have!!!

I know going on strike has a financial cost to us, however, that's why we need the Unions to say to the MoJ that we have TWO requests:

1. We get ALL of our backdated pay when we are out; the longer we're out the more you have to pay. Don't even come and ask what number two is until you've agreed to number one as a 'fuck right off' can be taken personally.
2. TR is scrapped until rigorous trials have taken place. 

I'm against the notion that we do nothing to help the U12 months as we know that they do need help, and well thought out changes to Probation can let us extend this help TO THOSE WHO WANT IT. If you don't, fine. What we don't need is a 'shoot first aim later' policy that appears to be the case at present. I return to the beginning of this paragraph in that number one needs to be met before number two is even discussed.

Combine the fact that ALL of the newspapers are aware of the whole shitfest that is on going, and we as a profession have all gone home, I think we would be in a better position than we have ever been in our lives to argue and GET change.

If you do not want to write letters, fine. Get on with things, grumble, be stressed, argue with your partner, miss lunch, work late, pretty much do all that most are doing now. Just don't fucking whine on to me.

Become the change you want to see.
We have until Sunday to get this right. 
Five days until 'fucking shit hitting the fan day'.

Language alert! true story from today....
Client to PO "who'd fucking wanna buy fucking probation?"
I am still laughing when I think about it......


  1. There has been some confusion in our office regarding RSR - we managed to find the 'tool' in Firefox and to complete them, and print the calculation off, for the court papers. Another area was doggedly telling us another form was to be done, to accompany an out of area SDR - and we eventually found that, only to be told by our own service, this was an interim measure and we should not be using it now we have the non interim measure - it is laughingly called the 'Quick Guide' to uploading your RSR from Firefox into nDelius - we'll laugh, "I nearly bought a round". Hysteria broke out all over the office, as a poor unsuspecting colleague from Head Office offered to talk us through it - there are 31 points to follow - yeah! that quick, and within each section, you can have multiple duplicated questions to tick or not - I think this must be the document others referred to involving in excess of 72 clicks. Well, the air turned blue, and in unison, we leapt from our seats and announced "I'm not fucking doing that"...............the administrator helping a colleague wade through it advised us, this needs to be done for every SDR/FDR and although it now takes about 40 - 45 minutes, with practice you might get it down to 30 minutes....I heard those wonderful words, so eloquently expressed the other day - 'They can Fuck right off.' How on earth has it come to this? Pinch me, wake me up - it must be a nightmare from which I will awake and find that well oiled machine back up and working - even with the flaws, it was by far preferable to this absolute piffle. So in relation to the suggestions in today's post - the radical and effective suggestion, it may well find favour in my office. I know how bad it is, my clients are commenting on how tired I look.

  2. I get the frustration. I am working with it too, having been sifted into the CRC. I am also concerned that the tone of this blog is getting more and more agitated, occasionally abusive, and extreme. This is unlikely to help anyone, and is creating more heat than light. It is difficult to think straight when anger is overwhelming, and it is bad for one's health. I would suggest that some efforts are made to calm down, and escalate concerns up at every opportunity.

    1. I take your point Ruth - but I believe it is completely representative of the real situation and therefore valid. This blog is widely read by people way up the chain and they need to know what the feeling is down here.

    2. It is surely better to let off steam hrre than either bottle upemotion at work (bad 4 health) or have s rant at work.

    3. Hi Ruth i think at the end of the day it is that sit quietly - bite your lip, keep calm attitude that has allowed the hierachy to do what they have done. I would rather let of steam on here than take it out on my fellow colleagues which is obviously not intentional as we are all going through it imo a build up of stress and frustration needs an outlet!

  3. One of the saving graces of Jim's blog is that we can , in a safe environment, say what we want without the matter coming to a head in front of a colleague or client ......I know many read this blog and the sense of frustration is clear well up the chain of command so keep the feeling flowing ...

  4. Ruth, a lot of the swearing comes from me and if I've offended you I apologies without reservation.. I'll try my best to moderate my language but sometime a 'boo' just does not suffice and you need a 'f*cking boo', just to impart the full range of emotions.

  5. Writing my letter, don't want to miss the "fucking shit hitting the fan day".

  6. Me too :0 I feel sooooo naughty.

  7. Any news on a strike? I'm up for just pissing off home and staying there. Just started my lunch break now and will probably only get time to run to the shops and eat it on my way back.

    Must get PSR's done, we don't want to miss any targets do we?

  8. 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 learned 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.