Sunday, 20 July 2014

TR Week Seven B

"....and we have to identify cases for trainees to manage, so will that be the rapist or the murderer?"

This is actually a very relevant comment. I've been in the job for *cough* years and one of the things I enjoyed was mentoring a TPO. All TPO's start off co-working low risk cases, first time offenders etc, cases you have identified that the offender is unlikely to offend in the future. How does this work post split? I do not have one offender on my books who I would be happy to co-work, without micromanaging the whole thing, distracting and impacting on my time and potentially undermining the TPO. On the flip side, I cannot see many of my colleagues who have been shafted into CRC wanting to help out somebody who is doing their job, and is possibly less qualified, after they have been kicked in the teeth; it does not sit well. Additionally, will the CRC (post sale) be able to train TPO's, or indeed get paid for it?


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I believe it is only a matter of time before the MOJ/NOMS comes for individuals on code of conduct/OSA issues. This is not going well for Grayling and he (or perhaps his successor if he is replaced in the Cabinet reshuffle) will turn his ire on the workforce soon. So I guess it is vital to keep recording what is happening whilst we can.......

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In Lancs biggest pressures are in smaller offices, trying to run Court services/write reports with smaller team, managing the farce of dual office duties etc and still have pressures that will come from summer leave....

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Last week our NPS started using PSOs to write PSRs, something that we haven't done before. At the same time POs in CRC aren't even permitted to write sessional reports. For us, this is the start of role boundaries moving. Any other examples out there?

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It has been like this in our LDU since day one. Agency staff are being given overtime to paper over the cracks. CRC staff no chance. I was told nearly a year ago that I would be in the CRC by my line manager. Needless to say we had clashed on several occasions. No shaft just a settling of scores, Which I was not allowed to question as the chief said she had to support her staff.

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The whole system has been an absolute shambles. The selection process to determine who is CRC/NPS is the most discriminatory process I have ever come across. I find it difficult how colleagues are not up in arms about this. Sometimes I question what exactly IT will take for colleagues to say 'enough is a enough'.

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I'm a PO in South Wales. We have NPS and CRC staff in meltdown. Both sides holding 65 cases each which is well and truly above the work load management tool (which is suspiciously now not working?). The rate of new allocations for the CRC is very high, a PO informed me that he received 6 new tier 3 cases within 4 days that was after he informed his line manager that he couldn't cope with his workload! 

I'm in NPS and am struggling with the high level of reports and still trying to get to know all my new cases. The sift still makes no sense to me, with some excellent experienced staff being in the CRC, whilst newly qualified are in NPS? Managers seem to be walking around blindly, living in another planet whilst the staff on the coal face a struggle to keep their heads above water! Today alone, we had 4 members of staff in tears and that was before 10am!

Been told that in some offices staff are working until 11pm to keep up with the demand of reports. You wouldn't catch me ever working late, I know it's easier said than done but all you're doing is attempting to paper over the cracks. TR WILL NEVER EVER WORK!! Please someone save us before we lose all our good staff either by stress or because they got out!! Staff are being treated disgracefully, the basic good management of staff and consideration of welfare/duty of care has been thrown out of the window. I look forward to the work related stress cases before the Court!! CRC's best get your cheque books out......

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Also in Wales we have been asked by ACE & managers if we would like to volunteer to join a CRC workstream to do a 'Gap Analysis' of our areas of expertise. They are basically looking at all current Tenders and asking Partners to give all their work info to have ready for when the new company takes over. Asked for staff to give briefings on new housing law, and directories of outside contacts and agencies we work with. Turkeys getting ready for Christmas!

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Wales....probably the first area where this brave new world first reared its head when our trust appointed the truly odious Sarah Payne. In the NPS, they continue to hold peer review days of cases...where two people go through supposedly random selected cases. Prior to the split you can imagine how poisonous this got and people were really slagging cases off and what the OM had or hadn't done. You can imagine what this has done for already awful morale that we continue using up resources and taking people away from their work to continue to partake in this fucking charade.

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I'm still writing emails & entering delius. Catching a ride to glorious isolation in the morning. Partner can drive as I won't be home til after midnight. Grayling take note, this is for the clients, not you - you pisstaking tosser. £30k pa for 200 hours a month. I shouldn't but its not about TR, its about the clients. Shoot me dead, but those guys and gals should not pay whats due to grayling and co.

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Napo, Grayling - what should I do next? Over 50 CRC cases, 29 brand new this month, no oasys on the new cases (either nothing at all or no-one can find them). Left home at 7am today, had to see clients at remote office with no access to IT this morning. 3 cases being released this week, all complex, all involving dual diagnosis (mental health & substance use/dependency), all NFA; 2 very demanding cases in the community, one with learning disability, the other with aspergers - neither with allocated social work support as they are adults and funding has been withdrawn for all but "acute" cases. 

New procedures for CRC supervision requires all new cases to be assessed using new toolkit BEFORE completing ISP oasys. Just finished 2 hour interview with distressed DV victim (and client of mine) where safeguarding social worker was reassuring him about safety of children. Male victim, no resources for male survivors - funding cuts. Three hours totality on phone during course of day trying to get chaplaincy or similar to notify case in custody about sudden family death. Saw 6 clients today (incl dv survivor). No time to enter a single case contact from today on delius as yet. I'm now on 3 weeks' annual leave - but still 40 mins drive home. Stay behind & enter the records and get home at midnight? Go home and leave clients + colleagues in the shit? Drive directly to airport and get a job in New Zealand?

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As someone coming to the final years of my working life, I do not have that time to squander so I will be off to a new job in the next few months. Less pay etc but I cannot, in all honesty, allow TR to taint my working life for much longer. If I was younger I suspect I would stay and fight my corner, along with my colleagues, but, post 60, it is a big ask.

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Working my socks off - come in early to do a report and have been blocked out my computer. Short staffed and fed up.

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Derby is short staffed and feel abandoned by management.

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West Mercia has really poor management, no diversity to speak of, perhaps one black face in each office and lends no support to staff. Please don't get me started about West Mercia!

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A number of offices in West Mercia can't make outgoing calls. Rumour is that phone bill has not been paid! 2nd day of no phones might I add.

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Gloucestershire going down! NPS staff sickness rate is rising due to workload. Stressed out staff trying to manage case loads and extra PSR writing due to the split where about 60% of report writers were sifted into CRC. They are now talking about CRC staff covering PSRs.

Also, I heard a rumour that all enhanced voluntary redundancy applications for support staff have been turned down!!! Not sure what to make of this - surely they can't need 3 different Finance, Estates or HR, Computer staff? The cynic in me thinks it could be a smart move by MoJ - offer the enhanced VR to ensure they collate and manage all the number crunching that was needed to set up this unholy mess. Still, a real kick in the teeth and I can't see how the applications could be refused.


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I wrote my resignation letter today and then realised I don't have another job to go to & I have a mortgage to pay! Yes, TR is that bad!

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I think they threw away the original fag packet that the plans were originally worked out on.
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TR is not saving money! We are now at crisis point. Both NPS&CRC in Wales are advertising agency Probation Officer jobs at £24 per hour.

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IT system so slow today it took me 30 minutes to print out a pre sentence report. 1 page every 5 minutes!!

30 comments:

  1. Had to do a report for an Initial Child Protection Conference. Took longer to upload the thing onto Delirious than it did to write it! And it took three of us to work it out.

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    Replies
    1. Same problem in Manchester, and then you loose it. I have been doing my PSR's in word, then the clericals can cut and paste them into a document. Its great it now takes 2 to 3 people and lots of man hours to write a report.

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    2. we have no "clericals" any more, I am a NPS PO, all support has gone

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    3. I would have had a "clerical" as a CRC PO but unfortunately we have had to lend her to the NPS because they had none.

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  2. Dear MR Spurr,
    Syg topjsb opwj ast awpsoe sopkw a ksowijs cxcxgs wuewe jisoj qsfs piwp. Yiged gsif qrds hquwgdu hed3uehd cvsxchscx bjfehgf iytd.
    yours
    Dsyd Jhsdgu
    CONFUSED?? NOW YOU KNOW HOW DECENT HARD WORKING PROBATION STAFF FEEL WITH YOUR CRAP DIRECTIVES, YOU ARE MAKING OUR WORKING LIVES UNINTELLIGIBLE.

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  3. Privatisation of Probation started under the Labour Government.

    Labour and Conservatives are two cheeks of the same arse!

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/dec/12/comment.homeaffairs

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    1. 'Don't blame probation officers for this reoffending'

      The Home Office is taking statistics out of context to try to undermine our service, says Judy McKnight

      The Guardian, Tuesday 12 December 2006

      Your news report (Criminals on probation murdered 98 in two years, December 6) had the effect of supporting home secretary John Reid's agenda, which is to undermine the credibility of the probation service. Reid is desperately seeking support for his plans to dismantle and privatise the service - even though it is performing better than ever against all 30 ministerial targets.
      The article quoted the bald Home Office statistics about incidents of serious offending by people released from prison and placed under probation supervision, but does not put them into context. Since the 1991 Criminal Justice Act, there has been, year on year, a significant increase in the number of serious offenders released from prison and put on licence to the probation service. Prior to those sentencing changes, such people would simply have been released from prison at the end of their sentence without any probation supervision.

      The article does at least recognise that "only a small fraction - 0.2% - of the 150,000 offenders supervised by the probation service each year in the community had been convicted of a serious violent or sexual offence".

      My trade union and professional association, Napo, represents probation staff - dedicated and professional public servants who care passionately about their work. They are committed to the objectives of the service, to "reduce reoffending" and to "protect the public".

      Assessing and managing the risks posed by those who commit offences is highly skilled work. Probation officers have to meet rigorous training requirements; but for other operational probation staff there is currently no specified national training strategy, something which our union is urgently pressing for.

      Since 1997, under the Labour government, probation staff have struggled with ever bigger and more complex caseloads and, while there has been an increase in the number of operational staff, there has been no increase in the number of officers. What price then for public protection?

      The article noted yesterday's parliamentary vote "on a massive shake-up of the service including plans to open its work up to the private and voluntary sectors". Why did it not question how legislating to abolish the National Probation Service, with a view to replacing it with a mishmash of different providers from the public, private and voluntary sectors, will add one iota to public protection? Why did it not point out that the government has never produced a business case to show how reoffending will be reduced by the introduction of marketisation, by fragmenting probation provision, by replacing the principles of partnership with competition, or by replacing local probation services with a centralised commissioning model?

      The probation service works best when there is a genuine interpersonal professional relationship at the heart of strategies to tackle reoffending; when it is properly resourced; and when it acts as the hub, coordinating criminal justice services at local level. It would be a tragedy if the government's obsession with privatisation were to destroy an invaluable and internationally respected public service.

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    2. "Labour and Conservatives are two cheeks of the same arse" - lol, that was a good one.

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    3. From Nov 2006:

      "The Home Office is to invite social housing providers to bid for £250 million of probation service work as part of a drive to increase the involvement of the voluntary sector in the management of offenders

      The Home Office is to invite social housing providers to bid for £250 million of probation service work as part of a drive to increase the involvement of the voluntary sector in the management of offenders.

      In a speech to inmates and staff at Wormwood Scrubs prison, Home Secretary John Reid said that transforming the probation system would only occur with outside help and called for the voluntary and private sectors to be given a larger role to play. Both sectors would be given the opportunity to bid for £250 million worth of probation work from April 2008, he said.

      A Home Office spokesperson said that when awarding probation work to bidders, it would look for providers ‘best able to deliver whether they come from the public, private or voluntary sectors'.

      Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, said: ‘Not-for-profit sector organisations are leading the way in providing innovative services to support people to turn their lives around.

      We welcome the opportunity to work alongside probation service skills to deliver outcomes for prisoners.'"

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    4. And from October 2005:

      "The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is to announce legislation this week to abolish local probation boards so he can take over their statutory powers and put their services supervising 200,000 offenders out to private tender.

      The Guardian has learned that the plan could see private companies such as Group 4 managing dangerous offenders and advising the courts on whether to send offenders to prison and when they should be released. The decision to "market-test" probation services is believed to be the first time that an entire group of public sector professionals has been threatened with privatisation.

      According to a letter from Mr Clarke to John Prescott leaked to the Guardian, the home secretary spells out that his plan to "market-test" the probation service means that the public probation service "could be left with no contracts and would therefore cease to exist" in some parts of the country.

      In the letter dated September 30 2005 Mr Clarke told the deputy prime minister that he wants to "move towards a world where open contracts and tendering for all offender management services, including interventions and custody, are the norm". He says the decision to take over the probation boards' "exclusive duty to deliver probation services" will enable him to "contract directly for both prison and probation services with a range of providers from the private, not-for-profit and public sectors. This represents a radical change for the probation service."

      The contracts will specify how the new providers should manage dangerous offenders, plan offenders' sentences, and engage in local partnership activity. They will also specify the level of qualifications and training of staff.

      The move marks a speeding up of the development of the National Offender Management Service [NOMS], which has had a troubled birth in bringing together the prison and probation services.

      Harry Fletcher, of the probation officers' union, Napo, said last night: "This is an extraordinary proposal which will lead to massive resistance and industrial action. If implemented it will mean privatisation of the probation service. We could have the absurd situation of Securicor or Group 4 writing court reports and recommending prison to boost numbers. It could also mean private companies advising the parole board on early release and indeed on sentencing matters."

      The services run by the probation boards that would be offered to private correctional companies such as Group 4 GSL and Premier Prisons include:

      · advising the courts on the most appropriate sentences for each offender and on parole decisions

      · ensuring community punishments, such as community work orders, are carried out and offenders are supervised and rehabilitated

      · supervising prisoners released on licence including sex offenders and those convicted of other serious violent crimes.

      They also have statutory duties in relation to victims, children, local crime and youth offending teams.

      Mr Clarke proposes to replace these local probation boards with "new smaller, more business-focused bodies" appointed directly by the home secretary which will "initially hold most of the contracts" but a phased programme of market testing will be organised through the 10 newly appointed regional NOMS managers. This Whitehall takeover and privatisation will mean the demise of the locally run probation service.

      The announcement is to be made during the government's "inside justice week" which is supposed to "encourage greater involvement of local communities in the criminal justice system".

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    5. Its all about NOMS.

      Yet again, evidence points to Spurr and his noms cronies ambushing probation and preparing to expand their fiefdom. Spurr and his silent collaborators throughout the probation family have been briefing politicians, exploiting their Whitehall positions, priming Boards (later, Trusts), and THEY are the architects of this TR disaster. Grayling is merely the ministerial dangerous dog who thinks he's pack leader.

      Isn't there something anyone can do to expose the self-serving behaviours of noms? An award-winning public service has been systemically dismantled from within for personal and ideological gain. Isn't that a breach of Whitehall code of conduct in some form?

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    6. It is bigger than NOMS - see this from Today's Daily Telegraph - morning briefing: -

      " "Job Centres Out Of A Job"! Private firms and charities could take over the state-run centres' role in a radical overhaul being looked at in the next Conservative manifesto, Tom Newton Dunn reports in the Sun. It's being pushed by figures close to George Osborne, Tom says, who believe it will boost the Conservative drive to reduce youth employment. Senior Tories are reported to have been won over by the arguments made in a new Policy Exchange report, released today. A source close to IDS, however, fear that the plan looks "expensive and complicated". "

      http://view.email.telegraph.co.uk/?j=fe8b177475630d7570&m=fe95157073670c7575&ls=fe0c10707467077d77157171&l=fecb1671706c067f&s=fe1d11717c6206787c1178&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe2f1571726d0c78751570&r=0

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  4. The article noted yesterday's parliamentary vote "on a massive shake-up of the service including plans to open its work up to the private and voluntary sectors". Why did it not question how legislating to abolish the National Probation Service, with a view to replacing it with a mishmash of different providers from the public, private and voluntary sectors, will add one iota to public protection? Why did it not point out that the government has never produced a business case to show how reoffending will be reduced by the introduction of marketisation, by fragmenting probation provision, by replacing the principles of partnership with competition, or by replacing local probation services with a centralised commissioning model?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/dec/12/comment.homeaffairs

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  5. At this rate Jim you will be running out of alphabet, we should up to Z by the end of the day if not logged on the blog then defiantly in our mind.

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  6. I have always voted Labour, and if they want my vote again, I hope they make it a manifesto pledge to reverse the privatisation of the Probation Service! This is of course something that was started by them in the first place, wasn't willing to believe it until I read the above press article making reference to John Reid! What Labour started, the Conservatives have definitely finished. We all need old Labour back.

    From what I've read, the family dynasties are continuing to impregnate the ranks of the Labour party.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10978794/Emily-Benn-daughter-of-Labour-dynasty-to-run-for-Parliament.html

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    1. We all need old labour back, but Miliband will just blah on about not alienating business. I fear a record low turnout at the next election. Sorry to be pessimistic, but I cant see any reason to vote labour now.

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    2. There is one, just to piss Grayling and the rest of the tory party off. But I take your point.

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  7. Another sad thing is that the government acts on the power of numbers. David Cameron knew that he would get a beating in the polls if teachers continued to be peeved off by having Gove in place. So not surprisingly, off with the Education Ministers head during the reshuffle. Sadly, there are not many employees in the National Probation Service for the government to feel threatened by and thus change it's course. The dastardly Darth Vader Grayling continues in his post, unhindered and clearly unhinged. It is too late to wish Grayling removed from Cabinet because the wheels of TR have been oiled and are now well in motion, full steam ahead! All we can do now is hope that with a change of government, there may come a concerted change in policy in respect of probation privatisation. Just don't hold your breath, as politicians chop and change, don't keep their promises once in power... Let's not forget the LibDems who reneged on scrapping tuition fees. Unelectable LibDems thereafter, forever and forever, Amen.

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  8. From today's press (observer):

    The Ministry of Justice is trying to re-employ more than 2,000 prison officers who only recently took voluntary redundancy, in a move to avert a crisis triggered by the rising number of prisoners in Britain's jails.

    Justice secretary Chris Grayling has been accused of presiding over a "dog's breakfast" after it emerged that he has been forced to offer new contracts to 2,066 selected officers who accepted voluntary redundancy packages during the past two years.

    Former staff have received a letter, seen by the Observer, explaining that Her Majesty's Prison Service Reserve has been set up to "respond to particular short-term pressures in prisons", which "may be due to unforeseen increases in prisoner numbers or as a response to the operational pressures which surface from time to time".

    The MoJ has spent £50m on redundancy payments at an average cost of £35,000 per officer. Bringing redundant staff back on nine-month fixed-term contracts represents a major embarrassment for the justice secretary. However, with the prison population now at 85,661, less than 1,000 off its maximum limit, there are fears some jails may have too few staff to cope with the number of inmates.

    "There is a full-blown crisis in the prisons system, self-inflicted by this government's policies," said shadow justice minister Sadiq Khan. "On their watch, they've closed down too many jails too quickly and let go thousands of experienced prison staff. As a result, overcrowding is getting worse, violence is on the rise and last year saw more deaths in custody than ever before. This is leading to prisoners festering away in their cells and on landings instead of doing the courses and training needed to rehabilitate them."

    The letters explain that "your previous governor has indicated that, in their opinion and based on your past service, we would be happy for you to join the Reserve".

    But one prison governor insisted he had not been consulted about the scheme. "Ministers know this whole process is a dog's breakfast," Khan said. "It's an outrage that they're hiding behind misleading statements about the support of the bosses of former prison staff to cover up the mess. The government needs to be open about the true situation and take urgent steps to start addressing this mess."

    Grayling said: "I told parliament a month ago about this. I am taking sensible steps to address what I believe is a weakness in our prison system: the fact that we have no access to the kind of temporary or agency staff routinely found in our health and education systems.

    "I am therefore establishing a focused, flexible reserve capability among former staff to allow us to adapt to short-term changes of population by bringing reserve capacity into operation.

    "We currently have some staff shortages in London, particularly because of the rapid improvement in the labour market, and this step will help us to cover any gaps."

    • This article was amended on Sunday 20 July 2014 to add a quote from the justice secretary, Chris Grayling.

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  9. From politics.co.uk web - reminder of Grayling's compulsive lying:

    "Chris Grayling has a fistful of excuses for the prisoner book ban.

    The most consistent of these is that it would be impossible for prisons to allow a free flow of parcels to inmates.

    In a letter to the Poet Laureate, the justice secretary wrote:

    "There have always been pretty tight rules about the receipt of parcels in prisons, under both this government and the last one.

    "There is good reason for this. Our prison staff fight a constant battle to prevent illicit items, such as drugs, extremist materials, mobile phones, Sim cards and pornography getting into our prisons.

    "I'm afraid that it is inconceivable that we could impose the additional operational burden on our staff of carrying out detailed assessments of an unlimited number of parcels coming into prisons.

    "This is something that has never happened before and could not happen now."

    In private conversation, otherwise critical MPs say they sympathise with the logistical security nightmare of parcels being sent into prisons. It's this issue which has prevented several of them taking a tougher stance against Grayling.

    Unfortunately, it's nonsense - as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has inadvertently admitted.

    Last week, shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan asked justice minister Jeremy Wright what types of contraband were found in items of post being received by prisoners in the last four years.

    This was Wright's reply:

    "The number of individual items of post sent to prisoners is not recorded by prison establishments. Finds of contraband are recorded on a central incident reporting system as either a drug-related incident or a miscellaneous incident. In order to establish the number and type of contraband found in post received by prisoners, in each of the last four years, would require the interrogation of over 62,000 individual electronic incident files. This could be achieved only at disproportionate cost."

    This is the standard government response to something it does not want to talk about: It simply does not record it. Then it cannot be forced to reveal it."

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    1. As any Probation Officer knows, if you keep asking the same questions in a different way, eventually, despite the best efforts of the offender, the truth will out. Grayling and Wright have shown themselves to be strangers to the truth on many, many occasions. Fortunately for them, it seems to be part of the job description of a ConDem Minister.

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  10. What a brilliant piece from Judy McKnight, picked up on stuff many now seem to have forgotten.

    Problems go right back at least to not getting the role boundaries business sorted properly as Napo tried to give fair representation simultaneously across different roles. Some of those problems we brought upon ourselves - where did that stupid name for a job title - Probation Service Officer originate? - why would anyone outside the service understand the vast difference between that & PO as then was. Obviously the two roles would merge if folk accepted an overarching nonsense meaningless role of offender manager - as if supervisors manage folk as they commit offences!

    The notion of "managing" supervisees is totally against the principals of probation as is the notion of reinforcing their status as having offended.

    And what ever did happen to that Home Secretary John Reid who declared his department not fit for purpose -

    George Monbiot explained how it all went wrong back in 2009 by which time Reid was part of G4S

    http://www.napo2.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=761#p3279

    Meanwhile - we or some of us objected to the job title Probation Service Ancillary - if I remember correctly because the word ancillary had a derivation that related it to women -

    - OED " 2. lit. (after Latin.) Of or pertaining to maid-servants. rare and affected. "

    and as we used to say in north east London, where I grew up "Bob's your uncle and Fanny's yer aunt!" - Game Set and Match to the PC wallers and we were stuffed!

    OED again - " 1904 Daily Chron. 15 Apr. 8/2 ‘Wallers’..are men who find casual employment as law-writers, and have been facetiously christened ‘wallers’, because they are generally to be found lounging against a wall in Cursitor-street waiting on an engagement."

    - I thought 'wallers' was some derogatory term related to folk working for the British Empire in India - I was probably wrong - unless you know any different?

    Anyway do not lose the main point Judy McKnight was able to get an article in the Guardian double quick - that precisely summed up our dilemma - a dilemma that I suspect too few of us understood or were prepared to do anything about - (including me - I was undergoing addiction treatment in December 2006)

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    1. "Wallah" originated in the Indian continent. OED offers:

      "from the Hindi suffix -vālā 'doer' (commonly interpreted in the sense 'fellow'), from Sanskrit pālaka 'keeper'."

      "Waller" seems to be a different form.

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    2. There are many very good probation service officers. I know several who are every bit as good or even better than some if our probation officers. Like it or lump it, that is the truth. A probation diploma does not make you god. Stop knocking PSO's some of whom have full degrees albeit in other disciplines.

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    3. "There are many very good probation service officers. I know several who are every bit as good or even better than some if our probation officers. Like it or lump it, that is the truth. A probation diploma does not make you god. Stop knocking PSO's some of whom have full degrees albeit in other disciplines."

      I agree & it was ever thus, especially when the PSO in addition to being experienced & skilful is more hard-working and committed to the spirit of probation than SOME probation officers - either long-served 'burnt-out' time-servers or young & highly academically qualified with their priority being self advancement. I would say the same about PSAs, some who I knew back in the 1970s who were invaluable colleagues whereas some pbn officers were colleagues in name only - even then.

      I suggest Anon at 13.59 rereads the comments, especially the one which quotes Judy McKnight.

      I apologise, for it being another professional aspect of the job I did not engage with sufficiently enthusiastically - probably because like some current members, at SOME times I fell into the trap, that Napo was THEM and not US and there were also some in the senior positions in Napo at branch and national level who encouraged those attitudes.

      Maybe that was how we got into such as the debacle of covering up the nude statues at Brighton!

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  11. Can anyone shed a tear for Jezza Wright? Attourney General for less than a week and the choice of solicitor general (buckland) is now revealed to have been a cheat when he was a barrister, peeking at papers he wasn't entitled to see. MPs just can't help themselves, can they? ... They all seem to behave like our persistent & prolific clientele i.e. no sense of self control, self-centred, self important - personality disordered. Wonder if Grayling's being lined up for Witchfinder General? Tossers, the lot of 'em.

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    1. careful, don't call them tossers, some people on here get upset.....for some reason?

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    2. Onanists? Although not strictly accurate as Onan was an early withdrawal specialist.

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  12. Just South of Manchester it seems to all be going well - with this in a Tweet: -

    " DLNR CRC Probation ‏@DLNR_CRC_Prob 5m

    DLNR #CRC are piloting 'choice of office' scheme, aiming to maximise benefits of new regional structure for #probation service users "

    https://twitter.com/DLNR_CRC_Prob/status/488760687284715520

    DLNR = Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

    Maybe someone on the inside will tell us more - hopefully they are linking up well with the NPS folk there as well??

    The background story on this gem from July 14 is that the Chief paper carriers are shunting folk into rooms not big enough for the "New Teams" to work in ... Trying to look efficient, but without a clue. The only thing missing in each room is the hamster wheel.
    As an avid blog reader, I would like to Thank Jim for going above and beyond !!!
    Chris Gurning.

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  13. Privatisation of Probation was a Labour idea, so it is now imperative that they reverse the onslaught of changes that have happened as a result of TR. Labour can not walk away from this by solely blaming the ConDems.

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