Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Omnishambles Update 63

Apologies for the unimaginative titles for some of these blog posts, and for the age of some of this stuff,  but things are moving so fast and there's so much going on. First this bad news for Grayling from the Guardian a few weeks ago concerning legal aid:-
Top judge authorises court to cover legal aid in challenge to government
One of the most senior judges in England and Wales has thrown down a direct challenge to the government over legal aid by suggesting courts spend money in defiance of Ministry of Justice cuts to ensure justice is done.
Sir James Munby, the president of the family division of the high court, has ruled the court service should pay for lawyers if the Legal Aid Agency refuses to provide them. His judgement, which raises constitutional issues about who controls public money, follows a warning from divorce solicitors that the family court system is at breaking point because so many clients are no longer represented.
Munby's judgement covers three separate family cases where fathers, who wish to "play a role in the life of [their] child", have no lawyers to argue their case, while the mothers have been granted public funding to pay for legal representation.
In his concluding remarks on Q v Q, Munby decided: "If there is no other properly available public purse, the cost [of representation] will, in my judgement, have to be borne by Her Majesty's courts & tribunals service. "HMCTS will also have to pay the cost of providing the father with an interpreter in court. If the father is still unable to obtain representation, I will have to consider whether the cost of that should also be borne by HMCTS. That, however, is a matter for a future day."
He made similar recommendations in the other two cases, Re B and Re C, on the grounds that unless they are represented in the hearings, their rights to a fair trial under article 6, and private and family life under article 8 of the European convention of human rights would be put at risk.
Munby added: "There may be circumstances in which the court can properly direct that the cost of certain activities should be borne by HMCTS. "I emphasise that [the provision of interpreters and translators apart] this is an order of last resort. No order of this sort should be made except by or having first consulted a high court judge or a designated family judge ... The Ministry of Justice, the LAA and HMCTS may wish to consider the implications."
The Ministry of Justice said: "We are considering the judgement."Bill Waddington, chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, said: "Today's decision shows that Grayling's tank is running on empty. When senior judges are overruling him in the family courts over his legal aid reforms it can only mean one thing: what little support his reforms had is well and truly tapped out."
Here's a legal blog that serves to remind us that there's still chaos in the criminal courts:-
Following on from my rant a few weeks ago, which went viral and was supported by people working in all areas of the criminal justice system and beyond, but was ignored by the Ministry of Justice, here is the next instalment.
It is 1am and I have just finished my 19 hour work day trying to triage criminal legal aid cases, but I do hope that the Lord Chancellor and Justice Minister are enjoying their, very long, summer recess, courtesy of the tax payer.
What is frightening is that the Ministry of Justice and other Government Departments are doing nothing to try and stem the blood loss of the criminal justice system as it gushes out from us caused by the ‘we are all in it together’ (unless we are on summer recess at a Portuguese villa or enjoying the hospitality of a Russian Oligarch on his yacht in the Mediterranean) austerity cuts. This all sounds very melodramatic, but I think it is my way of saying that I am moving towards hysteria, and not in a good way.
I have a suggestion for the Ministry of Justice and other Government departments to help them realise what is blindingly obvious to anyone who has ever set foot in a police station, court room or prison – although, I accept that it is a bit difficult to do that when you are whinging about the fact you had to resign from your constituency role as receiving only £28000 a year in expenses to cover a second home has made life intolerable. Ditch the forms and the time limits and concentrate on getting the Criminal Justice System back to a workable state.
Another helping from the Politics.co.uk website makes clear how, despite all the evidence from prison privatisations, Grayling is determined to get those contracts stitched up before year end:-
Grayling's privatisation system comes apart at the seams
At the best of times, the privatisation drive under Labour and the Tories delivered poor results. It is a false economy – encouraging private firms to hammer down costs just creates problems for the future as convicts are thrown back on the street without any real effort at rehabilitation. In many cases they are hardened by the abusive environment in which they have been kept. Soon enough, they commit a crime again and are thrown back into prison, at enormous taxpayer expense.
The profit motive simply does not suit a complex and expensive policy area like prison and rehabilitation. The 'customers' are by definition against participation. They often have the reading and numerical skills of a child, a host of mental health problems and a track record of offending. Rehabilitating them, in or out of prison, is not a cheap process. Firms either cut corners by reducing costs, hiring cheap and inexperienced staff and failing to invest in infrastructure – or they just cancel the contract, as A4e has done.
But these are not the best of times. They are awful. Staff numbers have dwindled under austerity cuts, but prisoner numbers continue to skyrocket as a tough-on-crime justice secretary stuffs ever more men and women into a system which long ago reached its limit. Every day brings more evidence of chaos in the prison system. It is a perfect storm of incompetence, foolhardiness and ignorance. And there is no sign anyone wishes to change course. Precisely the opposite:Grayling is currently trying to make the contracts on privatised probation so lengthy that Labour will not be able to reverse them if it comes to power. Instead of changing course, he is ensuring we will continue to experience this disaster long into the future.

Michael Spurr, chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service, said:
"Doncaster has developed high quality training and resettlement programmes for short term offenders - which have been successful in cutting rates of reoffending. This is a significant achievement. But at the time of this inspection other aspects of performance in the prison had dropped below the standards we expect. Serco took immediate action in response to the inspection findings - strengthening the management team; prioritising safety and implementing a comprehensive improvement programme. I am confident that these actions have addressed the concerns identified by HMCIP but we will monitor progress closely to ensure the prison is able to deliver its regime safely and securely."
Wyn Jones, Serco’s director of custodial operations, said:
"Serco has a strong track record of prison management in the UK and abroad and we are proud of what has been achieved at HMP & YOI Doncaster over the past 20 years. However the prison has recently faced a number of significant challenges and has sometimes struggled to cope with some of these. We fully accept the recommendations that are made in this in this HMCIP report and we have already launched a major improvement programme. We are absolutely determined that Doncaster will once more become a prison of which everyone can be proud."
I meant to mention this in the Indie from a couple of weeks ago about David Cameron's Big Society:- 
Exclusive: David Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
David Cameron’s flagship Big Society Network is being investigated by the Charity Commission over allegations that it misused government funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors – including a Tory donor.

The organisation, which was launched by the Prime Minister in 2010, was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity. The Independent has learnt that it has now been wound up, having used much of the money on projects that came nowhere near delivering on their promised objectives. Two senior figures on government grant awarding bodies have also made allegations that they were pressured into handing over money to the Big Society Network despite severe reservations about the viability of the projects they were being asked to support.
Also in the Independent is this heartening example of how, despite everything, some people are determined to fight stereotyping:-
Carl Havern is a model Big Society citizen. He volunteers for three different causes every week and cares passionately about improving his community. He is also a recovering heroin addict on benefits, who has spent much of the past decade in prison.

Mr Havern is a member of a community group in Salford starting a quiet revolution against the prevailing stereotype of some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens. It has been meeting every Thursday since October, plotting ways to challenge the increasingly incendiary rhetoric about people on benefits. This month the group launched to the public in the hope that others who are fed up of being labelled as scroungers will follow suit.

“I hope this changes peoples’ outlook to those on benefits. We’re not all sat on our arse,” said Mr Haven, who spends most of his week volunteering with ex-offenders and people with mental health problems, when he’s not looking for work. “I think there is a minority that are milking it, but that’s the story that sells, so it’s the only one you hear about in newspapers and on television.”
Finally, a bit of fresh news from the Guardian that serves to remind us how brilliant government is at wasting our money, whilst telling us they are saving it:-
The taxpayer has been left to foot a £220m bill after a tribunal ruled that a government contract awarded to a US defence firm to deliver the e-borders programme was unlawfully terminated.
The contract to put in place an electronic system to check travellers leaving and entering Britain was ended by the government in July 2010 because the Home Office said it had no confidence in Raytheon, the company that won it in 2007 and which had fallen a year behind schedule on delivery.  
However, an arbitration tribunal has now awarded the Massachusetts-based company £49.98m in damages after it found that the processes by which the now-defunct UK Border Agency reached the decision to scrap the agreement were flawed. The Home Office must also pay Raytheon £9.6m for disputed contract-change notices, £126m for assets acquired through the contract between 2007 and 2010, and £38m in interest.
The e-borders programme, devised by the Labour government in 2003, was designed to vet travellers entering or leaving the country by checking their details against police, security and immigration watchlists. On Monday the government defended its decision to end the contract, saying the situation it inherited was "a mess", and announced that the National Audit Office would conduct a full review of e-borders from its inception.
A letter from the home secretary, Theresa May, to the Labour MP Keith Vaz, chair of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the Treasury would work with the Home Office to make sure that costs were met without any impact on frontline services. "We are looking carefully at the tribunal's detailed conclusions to see if there are any grounds for challenging the award," it said. "The government stands by the decision to end the e-borders contract with Raytheon. This decision was, and remains, the most appropriate action to address the well-documented issues with the delivery and management of the programme."
In a statement to the New York stock exchange, Raytheon said: "The tribunal's ruling confirms that [Raytheon] delivered substantial capabilities to the UK Home Office under the e-borders programme. Raytheon remains committed to partnering with the UK government on key defence, national security and commercial pursuits." 
Stop Press - BBC Radio 4 Today programme:-
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has admitted to the BBC that prisons in England and Wales face problems with violence, suicides and staff shortages.
But he maintained there was "not a crisis in our prisons", saying the government was meeting the challenges of a rising prison population. It comes as the Isis Young Offenders Institution in London is criticised by inspectors in an official report. High levels of violence were reported at the prison, often involving weapons.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling acknowledged this recent rise, but stated that prison violence "is at a lower level today than it was five years ago". He admitted to staff shortages in certain prisons and said there had been "far too many" suicides among inmates, but maintained the government was adapting to such issues. "We're meeting those challenges, we're recruiting more staff. I am absolutely clear there is not a crisis in our prisons," he said.
Chris Grayling's interview with Today is his first on the issue of prisons since a recent run of stories highlighting issues of overcrowding, violence and death in prisons, which have led to calls to improve the state of the system.

59 comments:

  1. Grayling denies crisis!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28810439

    Grayling tries to justify his position!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11037305/Chris-Grayling-Labour-campaigners-are-hiding-behind-a-veneer-of-neutral-non-partisanship.html

    'Get out of Jail free' HMP Lincoln release murder suspect by mistake and against his will!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2726794/Get-jail-free-Murder-suspect-let-prison-mistake-AGAINST-will.html

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  2. Talking of funding misuse, I wonder if it might be worth keeping a close eye on money awarded by Police and Crime Commissioners to Probation for Restorative Justice work, just to check that it is being used appropriately.

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  3. TR is Grayling's vanity project and this is how we should be fighting this, let's publicly ridicule him for this. Look at how Clegg is now being ridiculed for the primary school meals fiasco. It appears the public understand this concept so let's forget public safety, SFO's staff stress, death of our profession etc. Let's just go for him publicly with TR as his vanity project, that should stir it up....

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  4. Good blog Mr B.Watched our wonderful minister on breakfast tv.He could give lessons in denial to many a defendant,

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    1. He avoided John Humphrys on Today, though.

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  5. Grayling getting torn a new one on bbc london radio. C'mon napo! wakey wakey ! Get in there!

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    1. There is no comment from POA in regards to the BBCstory so I'm taking they were not invited to comment. POA are. likely to be the Union asked to comment on Prison stories not NAPO.

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  6. Mr Grayling - ' there has been an unexpected increase in numbers' no you twat, you and your department failed to anticipate and subsequently manage the numbers of prison sentences being dished out. Incompetence on a grand scale...he really does believe if he says something often enough it comes to pass!

    Oh and on HMP/YOI Isis - just how unfortunate is the name they gave it?

    Unbe-fucking-believable!

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  7. I think it was called ISIS long before the Jihadist group came to the fore.

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  8. here's a thought: Probation is cheaper and more effective than prison. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/probation-is-more-effective-and-cheaper-than-a-jail-term-30517302.html

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    1. Some recent high-profile criminal court cases have drawn public attention to supervised community-based sanctions such as community service and probation, and particularly on their use as alternatives to imprisonment.

      Some of the commentary these cases has attracted in the media highlights a lack of understanding of what the Probation Service is and what it does.

      Even if one has never been arrested, in court or in prison, most people probably have a picture in their mind - from books, TV, film, etc - of what those experiences are like.

      But probation?

      Unless you or someone close to you has been on probation, chances are you have little idea of what it involves, outside of what you may have gleaned from media reports on particular cases.

      And yet, the vast majority of criminal court cases are never reported in the media.

      One common misconception about probation work is that probation officers only work in prisons and with prisoners after their release. This may well be a product of a belief that prison is the only 'real' punishment. Some see anything less as a 'let-off.'

      While imprisonment is an important sentencing option, the majority of criminal sanctions do not result in a prison sentence.

      In fact, a fine is the sanction most frequently used by the courts.

      And, on any given day, there are almost twice as many offenders under probation supervision in the community (7,500) as there are serving custodial sentences (4,000).

      Probation officers, who are primarily social-work trained, operate from a professional value system based on the premise that everyone can change for the better, although not everyone does.

      For many offenders, the 'crisis' of a criminal prosecution is a positive opportunity to make positive life changes. For others, it may take a long time, and a number of efforts and interventions, before they 'see the light.'

      Probation officers strive to capitalise on these potential 'turning points' in a person's life. They use a wide variety of social work skills, including counselling, psychological and educational skills, as well as other expertise and methods in their work with offenders.

      This helps offenders identify and address lifestyle choices and other issues which put them at risk of reoffending, while balancing the provision of help with the imperative to control and - where that is required - to reduce the risk of harm to the public.

      While probation staff deal with a cross-section of society, many of those we supervise are poor, troubled or addicted and lead chaotic personal and family lives.

      Ten per cent of our service users are under 18 years of age and 14pc are women.

      Members of the public do already contribute to the work of the Probation Service in a number of ways. Volunteers across the country give their time and expertise to a range of community and voluntary sector organisations, providing rehabilitation services to offenders in ways as diverse as serving on management boards and reparation panels and as volunteer mentors to young people on probation.

      Why does it matter whether the public understands the Probation Service's work?

      A greater public understanding of all parts of the criminal justice system is necessary to facilitate reasoned debate on how we respond to crime and offenders.

      While we may be inclined to focus on whether responses to particular crimes are punitive enough, we need to also ask whether sanctions are proportionate and effective. In economic terms, supervised community sanctions are much cheaper than prison: €1,500 to implement a Community Service Order and €5,000 - €6,000 for a Probation Order, as opposed to €60,000 plus per year for a prison place.

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    2. In terms of reducing reoffending, probation and community service have been shown statistically, in Ireland and elsewhere, to be more effective than custody.

      The work undertaken by the Probation Service on behalf of the courts and the wider community is a particularly challenging role to understand, especially for those not directly in contact with the Probation Service.

      Probation officers' work is, by its nature, confidential and 'under the radar.'

      It has to be.

      But that does not mean we cannot do more in helping the communities we serve to understand better what we do on their behalf.

      The Probation Service itself has to address this communication deficit, in the first instance.

      But it is also something readers might consider, if public understanding of and confidence in community sanctions, as well as greater transparency and accountability, are to be developed.

      
Vivian Geiran is director of the Probation Service. More information is available at 
www.probation.ie

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  9. That Grayling feels the need to respond in the media is significant. ALso of note is that his mantra that everything is "on track" has changed to "challenged but not in crisis". Given his not ineffective strategy of repeating the "on track" message like an automaton, that is pretty seismic. When the suits say "challenge" what they usually mean is "Oh Shit" And because they are too lazy and/or too frightened to articulate a)acknowledge its a mess b)come up with a strategy to address it, they tell teh people in it that they now have an exciting "challenge" ahead.

    Now would be a good time to see Legals, Probation and Prison voices speaking as one about the systemic failure of cjs "reforms" so this dosent get isolated as a prison story

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  10. Maybe probation services will soon be extended to monitor offenders not yet convicted but as an alternative to remand??

    http://rt.com/uk/180988-millions-wasted-remanding-prisoners/

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  11. http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-if-we-remove-prison-as-an-option-for-drugs-possession-savings-must-go-to-boost-probation-service-42091.html

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  12. Off topic but another indication that government contracts just don't bring home the bacon.


    Serco moving away from UK clinical services

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014Serco is moving forward with their decision to withdraw from the UK clinical service market by exiting their relationship with Braintree Community Hospital and an out of hours contract in Cornwall.  However they will continue with their ‘loss making’ contract with Suffolk until the agreement ends in October 2015.  This is part of a wider restructuring operation by Serco after posting a 59% fall in operating profit. 

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  13. and what do you think they are all ( Serco et al) relying upon to make good?? That'll be the great probation give away, that's what folks....

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    1. If they're relying on probation to earn them money, then they're even bigger fools than they've made themselves look over the last couple of years. There's never been a bigger case of buyer beware

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  14. Probation is a dead dead dog.

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    1. You're not from 'round her, are you?

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  15. I don't know what Probation service this blog is trying to save. It has been crap for years. I'm all for TR, EM and less amounts of abusive PO's...

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    1. Well you're entitled to your opinion as you are entitled to lick your arse and call it chocolate.

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    2. Anon 18:07: Isn't this what probation management have been selling for years?

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  16. This is the Probation Service I am trying to save:
    An institution funded and supported by the state, but whose mission is to mitigate against the harm experienced by those who fall through the cracks of our economic and political frameworks. Humane, healthily cynical about its management and paymasters AND its clientele. An institution that is an acknowledged blueprint for good practice internationally. An institution that doesnt deal in soundbites and quick fixes. An institution that makes me very proud to be part of it, and also proud of my country for having it.

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    1. ps I am not JB!

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    2. You live in a dream world.

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    3. There's lots of us about though.

      I suspect our detractor may be the same person who has left several comments over on Omnishambles Update 62 and if so, I have confirmed that I welcome a guest blog, if argued without recourse to gratuitous abusive content.

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    4. "You live in a dream world". Lets have a reasoned debate my friend and not trade insults - it gets us nowhere. By all means write a blog post and I will publish as long as it's not full of bile.

      Thanks,

      Jim

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    5. I note that Trolls aren't just found in and around Mordor, then?

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    6. Anon18:07 - the best raison d'etre of probation I have ever read, so succinctly put

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    7. Anonymous at 18:0719 August 2014 at 19:23

      Anonymous at 18:21. Hows about we meet up and write a joint piece? Could be fun

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  17. I am bewildered as to how anyone can slag off the probation service. If you work in the profession you will see that when we are invited to multi agency meetings that Probation Officers are the most knowledgeable and have a grip of what is going on in the case, whereas other agencies haven't got a clue. So how can anyone feel that its "a dead dead dog", when we provide the most professional service. Perhaps anon 16:08 wants to make it a dead dog like Grayling does.

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  18. Right then Jimbo. It may take a while for me to write out all of the gratuitous abusive content but I may well take the opportunity. I shall contact you at the appropriate time. Thanks.

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    1. I hope that you are not a service user, although your position appears to be from someone who has not had a good experience of Probation..but then it is not a cuddly, supportive and collusive service and therefore, some will find the going rather tough. Nonetheless, I hope you have done your research and can envisage a criminal justice system where in court it is adversarial there will be no independant reports, and the menu of sentences will be nothing more than Jail or being spied on via a GPS satellite - monitored by automatic machines, therefore, no room for compromise or negotiation. God Luck to those who might prefer this response to law breaking and risk management, with no challenge to poor and abusive attitudes which perpetrators of all crimes, have to convince themselves are okay in order ot offend and/or cause harm to others. I don't agree with you, but it is another point of view. I recall as a trainee 30 years ago, reading a book by Paul Newman - not the actor - called 'Just and Painful' in which he advocated public humiliation by way of electric shocks administered to criminals, by victims, in their local market square on a Saturday afternoon - I didn't agree with that either, but hey, innovation is what TR is supposed to be all about, so lets have it!

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  19. You have to convince yourself that what you do towards those who offend does not further damage that person. Prison I would say potentially does further damage, SOTP I would argue potentially does further damage. Give me a tag over self-important Probation people any day. How can any PO be sure that a serious further offence isn't due at least in part to the "intervention" of the Probation service? That is not something any advocate of Probation is comfortable with, that the service that they deliver can cause further offending, indeed it is an issue that is never addressed.

    But hey I'm not educated and indoctrinated as much as some of the career Probation people around here, you are more than happy to implement the standards of practice of the same people that you also continuously criticize on here.

    Then again, there are many I'm sure who are entirely happy with their own hypocrisy, provided they recognise the fact and accept it then that makes it all ok doesn't it?

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  20. A dead dog ? I think not.the service is more needed and relevant today than it has been for years. The only dead dog I can see is a government with not majority or mandate. Who let their ministers note state that a crisis is just but a challenge. Well the areas of the world described by Cameron are not a crisis just a challenge to a significantly reduced armed forces due to spending cuts?. Stand up one and all. We can win. Maybe not to save probation as we know it. But to improve the chance of our offenders to make positive and long lasting changes to their lives and that of society.

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  21. Anon 20;19. Good at sweeping generalisations aren't you? Your entitled to your opinion but please take your trolling somewhere else, maybe c-beebies? Don't try and say we were all born with a silver spoon in our gobs. I worked hard to become a PO and never taken a penny from anyone, something I doubt you know the meaning of. We have serious issues at stake here that affect our lives and the people we work with.

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  22. Dear friend. 20.35 . Your comments cannot be further from the truth. I am an ex offender who worked hard to make changes to my life with the help of my then probation officer Mr fish. The only silver spoon I had was those I stole. Now you patronising wanker. Respond.

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  23. Here listen, I'm a valuable part of the statistic of 2 years no re-offending that proves that Probation and SOTP is "what works".

    I don't see what the problem is? If you are good enough you will get jobs with Charities and Companies that you currently refer your Clients to anyway... they do the real rehabilitation, if it is required, and have done so for a while now.

    Anon 20:35 you are reading my post and read what you want to read. not that which is actually stated. How am I accusing any of you of having silver spoons in your mouths?

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  24. Read your printed text.

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  25. What is that supposed to mean?

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  26. Two years ? . I doubt it.

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    1. Oh dear - I'm drawing a line here and will await the guest blog from our new contributor. Lets move on.

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  27. Jim, you might want to exercise some editorial discretion and delete some of the above abuse?

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    1. I don't like removing stuff - but will from now on.

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  28. Don't remove it Jim. Let him dig his own hole.

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  29. But hey I'm not educated and indoctrinated as much as some of the career Probation people around here.

    By this you seem to be implying PO's are born into a world of privilege and that this comes easy. I am saying it does not and I could quite easily have gone down the path of so many of the clients I worked with. It's probably a good thing I have never resorted to anonymous abuse with the people I work with as you have done earlier. It's fine though, been called worse.

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    1. That is not what I was implying, I don't know where you got that from. I kinda meant that in my experience there seems to be those who are very much of the "if it is in the manual then it is not to be questioned, it is the de facto, established answer and cannot be in any way wrong" when it can and is sometimes wrong. There are exceptions to every rule.

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    2. Yes, but you implied earlier that we are all guilty of this, hence my generalisation comment. This recent post was argued a lot more appropriately and you will do well to remain in these boundaries rather than resorting to abuse. Nice to see you are now acknowledging exceptions.

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  30. From a keyboard ninja

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  31. Similar to the silence of not speaking out about TR, just delete and sweep under the carpet. All is fine. I have been articulate in my responses and articulate in my critique of Probation. Others seem to resort to name calling and belittling. If there is an opposing view then they are "Trolls". I'm not against TR, it is happening and it is fact, if anything I am in a neutral position, more so than most on here. I do enjoy this blog and it is educational if somewhat naturally biased at times and I do find some of the articles and responses beyond bizarre. But in a healthy blog (and society for that) all views should be welcome, provided they are not intentionally to hurt others. Keep up the good work Jim, thank you for the platform and eventually I shall use it and please don't let anyone tell you how to run your blog.

    Best Wishes to you all.

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    1. As a 24 year man, I have to say that our friend's challenges to our integrity are nothing more than those I have posed myself 1,000 times
      'Am I part of the solution or part of the problem'? Much of what we do is prescribed and some it does not sit comfortably with my values. In fact, my biggest fear about TR is not the idea, it is the threat of compromising my core values and finding myself delivering interventions in which I have no faith.

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  32. Give Anon 22:27 a sandwich. I would like to add that I feel Probation compromised it's core values many moons ago and any further reduction of core values should hopefully rattle a few cages. I agree my some of my comments today may not have been in the best way but it is mere testament to the way the Probation Service has made me feel. I also know that it was my fault to get into offending, but it is also entirely down to me and nobody else that I have and continue to desist from offending. For me and many of the other assorted offenders SOTP and continued Probation supervision was a hindrance to desistance not a route towards it. I would have greatly traded in the expense of SOTP for an ankle tag. I doubt I'd be here writing this if it were the case.

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  33. We know it is down to the person to change. Do you really think we think otherwise. If so you are misguided. An ankle tag does nothing but act as a sticking plaster. That said, the SOTP and the term treatment is poppycock I agree there.It is not treatment and this is named so just to appease Joe Public really. I do think it has assists some individuals in exercising self control by highlighting the impact on but you cannot cure certain sexual preferences or orientations sadly. Hence why it should not have the term treatment in the title.

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  34. Typo's sorry. I meant to say impact on victims, direct and indirect.

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  35. I'm sure many people subject to probation would prefer a tag, it means they can carry on offending without having to really look at what they've done or take responsibility for making the changes needed, or putting a plan in place to manage their own behaviour and avoid making more victims. From programmes or supervision we can assess how people are getting on. With a tag only there will be none of that and there will be many more victims as a result. A tag can monitor where a burglar is in relation to a static object such as a house they might burgle but it won't provide any protection to the victims of those on SOTP - unless we are going to tag all potential victims too. Now there's an idea! Another use for the tagging empire!

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    1. I've seen the future!

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    2. I don't agree entirely with Anon 07.12. I really don't think we can be that confident about knowing how people are doing during supervision or programmes. For recidivists with a poor internal locus of control, who pose a high risk of harm or likelihood of offending, a tag can help to protect the public.

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