Monday, 15 September 2014

Core Values and Ethical Principles

The Probation Institute published this today:- 

1. We believe in the ability of people who have offended to change for the better and become responsible members of society.

1.1 Desistance from offending is a process that may take time, requiring a level of patience, tenacity, care and proactive engagement on the part of probation workers

2. We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of the individual.

2.1 Interventions must show due regard to the dignity, health, safety and well-being of service users

3. We are committed to promoting social justice, social inclusion, equality and diversity.

3.1 People who have offended should receive fair, impartial and just treatment throughout all phases of the system and discrimination should be challenged

3.2 Diversity and difference is viewed with positive regard

3.3 Human rights and equality will be upheld and promoted

3.4 Service users should have a voice in the planning of services

4. We believe in the worth of probation supervision in the community, based on establishing positive relationships with service users, to promote their rehabilitation.

4.1 Effective supervision relies on setting an environment in which sensitive issues can be explored whilst maintaining appropriate role boundaries

4.2 Meeting the needs of service users will frequently involve working in partnership with other agencies and organisations in the community

4.3 The most appropriate use of custodial sentences is for serious or persistent offending. Community sentences are more effective in supporting rehabilitation than short custodial sentences

5. We recognise that full consideration should be given to the rights and needs of victims when planning how a service user’s sentence will be managed.

5.1 Responses to the needs of service users must take account of their assessed level of risk of causing harm to victims and future potential victims

5.2 Restorative justice in its various forms can be a useful intervention with both crime victims who want to understand the harm done to them, and perpetrators who feel the need to apologise and, if possible, to make amends

5.3 Restorative justice interventions must safeguard against the secondary or repeat victimisation of victims

6. We recognise the importance of training for identified levels of competence and of continuing professional development. 

6.1 Initial qualifying and continuing training must be of a length and quality appropriate to the level and complexity of the work to be undertaken

6.2 Individual workers are accountable for the quality of their work and for maintaining and improving their professional practice, whilst recognising that the employer also has a responsibility to enable this

7. We are committed to the development of knowledge, through research, to inform probation policy and practice.

7.1 Methods of working with service users vary according to their different risks and needs and their social contexts

7.2 The effectiveness of different interventions should be judged on the basis of evaluation and research that can be widely disseminated and scrutinised

7.3 Supporting and contributing to research is essential for the development of good practice

8. We are committed to acting with professional integrity.

8.1 The values and principles of the profession are upheld and all work will be conducted in a reliable, honest and trustworthy manner

8.2 Appropriate boundaries must be established in relationships with service users and colleagues

8.3 Judgements should be based on balanced and considered reasoning. Members should maintain awareness of the impact of their own values, prejudices and conflicts of interest on their practice and on other people

8.4 Equality and diversity will be actively promoted

8.5 Staff should account for and justify their judgements and actions to service users, to employers and to the general public

8.6 Record keeping must be accurate and professional


  1. 'Equality and diversity will be actively promoted'

    ...although we are made up of Chief Officers who were instrumental in a sifting process which meant that probation staff who were on maternity leave or recently returned from maternity leave had to appeal in order to obtain their place in the NPS despite having only a few days to appeal and not knowing what the hell was going on as hadn't been in the office for 6 months. We were instrumental in a sifting process which meant those on restricted caseload due to severe illness were assigned to the CRC and who didn't care that our staff members were too ill to fight this through an appeals process so remain unjustly in the CRC. We allowed BME staff to be significantly underrepresented in NPS. We allowed part time working parents to be over represented in the CRC.

    We are the probation institute. Welcome one and all!

  2. Come one seriously does anyone actually believe this pile of crap. Might look good on paper but in reality it's completely another matter.
    Staff are already disillusioned, please do not add to this by coming out with this pile of shit.

  3. I'm sorry but I have no time for the Probation Institute. They are simply there to help ease the take over by the private sector. NAPO should be ashamed of itself by associating with a corrupt self appointed, pretending to be the voice of all probation workers. I'm absolutely disgusted with NAPO's role with Probation Institute. Me and three other people have already cancelled our membership.

  4. Everyone's getting tagged anyway. Not worth the paper its written on

  5. It would be interesting to see the response from the PI, if lots of people contacted them expressing concern that many of the core values outlined above are not being met as a consequence of the probation split and TR, and what is the PI going to do to rectify this?

  6. Really - that's all right then - it is so 'cos we said so....... Probation has been turned into something so dysfunctional now that this really is adding insult to injury.... Probation Institute my arse (to paraphrase Ricky Tomlinson) .....

  7. I'm sorry to stray off topic, but I find this article very interesting and maybe quite informative given that prisons ARE seriously over crowded, and opening a ressettlement prison (part of Graylings rehab revolution), to coincide with the share sale of CRCs would surely be a political statement that indicates "all is running smoothly".
    But instead.....

    1. A new men's resettlement prison may not now open until next year as there are already enough prison places for inmates, according to the Government.

      Downview prison, next to High Down, in Sutton Lane, Banstead, closed as a women’s prison last October.

      In May, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it would re-open as an adult male Category C resettlement prison by October.

      The MoJ submitted a planning application earlier this year to Reigate and Banstead Council to build a new education centre at Downview so prisoners can "use their time in custody constructively" and "learn new skills and gain qualifications before their release".

      But when asked by the Epsom Guardian this week when Downview would be re-opening, a MoJ spokesman said: "We monitor prison population fluctuations and accommodation needs constantly.

      "Currently we do not need to open Downview in October and expect to open it later in the year or early in the new year - contributing to our overall approach to drive down costs.

      "All work at the prison remains on target to be delivered by the end of this year."

      When asked to confirm that Downview will not be opening by October because there are not enough prisoners to be housed there, rather than there not being enough prison officers to be redeployed to Downview, the spokesman said: "We do not need to open Downview at this time as we have sufficient places."

      Resettlement prisons are designed to help prisoners, particularly those who have been serving longer sentences, prepare for release.

      They form an important part of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s plans for a "rehabilitation revolution" in the country’s prison estate by creating a nationwide ‘through the prison gate’ support service for offenders from custody into the community.

      Category C prisoners are those who cannot be trusted in open conditions, but are unlikely to try to escape.

      As part of the resettlement arrangements, some prisoners are able to go out to training or work from the prison.

  8. Oh dear...sounds like a fun afternoon of brainstorming in the bunker. I wonder if they were singing the theme tune to Dad's Army while they were doing the proof reading. Banal, boring and next to useless. I got bored after about three lines. How about just one being needed - "We are committed to reducing re-offending". That should do it. That's all anyone should possibly want to hear.

  9. It just reminds me of why the Trusts were so inept and overstocked with Head Office bods. The first thing the Coalition did when they came in to office was to get rid of the 'non-jobs' - about the only thing I have agreed with - but here is the PI trying to re-invent them.

  10. From Twitter; -

    " #Probation Sad to hear of experienced colleague going home in flood of tears after nDelius IT disaster. How much more crap can staff take? "

  11. Lazy and/or jaded trainers and chairs of conferences can always fill a space by getting lazy and jaded groups to come up with some lazy and jaded bollocks and this is a prime example. Yawn

  12. Why has napo not jumped on the poison pill contract printed on Friday in the guardian? .

    1. Because NAPO's leaders don't give a fuck about you, me or The Probation Service. Self serving arseholes.

      Simon Garden

  13. Jim Brown does not have the heart to really blow the whistle. If he did he would not be hiding behind a pseudonym on a blog. This goes for the rest of Probation persons who post on social media anonymously. They are not so convinced as to their beliefs to stand up and be properly counted for them.

    1. I have no problem entering into a reasoned debate, but abuse will be deleted.

    2. Unfortunately the blog has attracted the attention of an individual who does not seem willing or able to enter into a reasoned debate but appears intent instead on posting deliberately inflammatory comments. It's extremely tiresome, but as a consequence comment moderation has reluctantly had to be put in place. Should the person wish to have a proper debate without recourse to inflammatory content, then normal service can resume.

    3. Said 'anonymous'... Oh the irony...

    4. Just to say cheers Jim the world is full of nice people ;)

  14. Jim's job managing this blog will become alot more tiresome if he does not wish to have a freedom of speech in his comments. If he cannot handle criticism then he is as good as accepting that criticism as having a strong basis in reality. He can dish it out to management but he cannot face it himself.

    1. Freedom of speech is fine - but no abuse and no gratuitous inflammatory posting.

  15. Go on then resume normal service.

    1. In the morning - I'm going to bed.

    2. Sleep well Jim. You are doing an amazing job. Dont let them grind you down! No idea how you keep going, but please do. Appreciated. A thousand blessings on your head. x

  16. Fine, until such a time as you and your contributors decide to reveal your identity to the masses you shall continue to find this blog alot more difficult and tiresome to produce.

    1. ...Says Mr/ Ms Anonymous!

  17. John Humphreys wrote a book about the English Language in which he poured scorn on 'mission statement' type documents and their pointlessness. He said you can easily tell if they are ridiculous by reversing the sentences, eg 'we don't believe in the inherent worth and dignity of the individual'. Someone spent hours on these statements of the bloomin' obvious.

  18. I wonder whats in this for Grayling?

    1. Chris Grayling has ordered justice ministry officials to start work on developing a network of specialist mental health centres within prisons in England and Wales.

      The justice secretary says he wants to "really get to grips with the challenge of mental health in prisons" soon after next year's general election. "I want every prisoner who needs it to have access to the best possible treatment. I want mental health to be the priority for our system," he said in a speech on Monday to the Centre for Crime and Social Justice in London.

      The Prison Reform Trust has said 15% of men and 25% of women in prison report symptoms indicative of psychosis, compared with a rate of 4% among the general public. Nearly two-thirds of prisoners are believed to have a personality disorder, and the suicide rate has been up to 15 times that in the general population.

      Grayling said too many people with mental health problems were found in prisons in England and Wales. "Within most prisons you will find people suffering from acute mental health problems, often in isolation units, often needing round the clock supervision."

      He said there was already some excellent work going on with the NHS to develop better approaches to working with prisoners with personality disorders. "But I think it is time to provide a more specialist focus in dealing with mental health problems in our prison estate. So I have asked my officials to begin work on options to have specialist mental health centres within the prison estate.

      "I have also agreed with the secretary of state for health that our two teams will work with NHS England to ensure that any prisoner who needs to can have mental health treatment equivalent to the best they would receive in the community."

      Grayling said a national system of liaison and diversion services was being built which would mean the mental health condition of an offender could be identified during the court process and a decision taken at that stage on where to detain him.

      The justice secretary's pledge to make the mental health of prisoners a priority in the next parliament came as the chief inspectors of prisons and probation published a joint report warning that his rehabilitation reforms could be put at risk by fragmentation of the system.

      However effective Grayling's prison and probation reforms are, the report says, they will be undermined if offenders cannot access stable accommodation when they leave prison.

      Family and friends remain vital to the successful rehabilitation of a prisoner on release, often providing a home, a job or access to education or training. The inspectors found that in a sample of 80 offenders released from prison, more than half returned home or moved in with family and friends, who also mainly arranged employment for the few who had a job to go to.

      Their sample survey showed that half did not have employment, training or education in place six months after their release and almost half had to move in that time.

      The chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, said the findings supported the broad thrust of the government's reforms, which would lead to "through the gate" resettlement of prisoners being carried out by community rehabilitation companies. But the inspection report found there was a risk of fragmentation if work with families, providing accommodation and work or training weare all provided by different organisations.

  19. Tell us your name Jim, what are you worried about??

  20. To Anon 22:42
    “You're short on ears and long on mouth.”
    Richard Branson's favourite quote ( from a John Wayne film) which he uses to illustrate why leadership fails. He also emphasises the need for a happy working environment and a tolerance of some failure in order to achieve business success. Contrast this with current Probation management at all levels and particularly those we rely on most, in our own line management. I am truly shocked by the behaviour of managers and feel they have placed expediency about their own knowledge of what works in probation, abandoning any responsibility for "their" teams in the process.
    They know how bad it is and couldn't care less. Go on managers, continue to obey orders!!
    This blog works because it is a safe place for staff and yes, those managers (from the posts I read exclusively SPO grade) who have some shred of integrity left. We share here because we are forced underground by the punitive climate and frankly no-one in management is listening. There is an unbroken chain of contamination from the most senior management to the most junior, speak up if you dare.
    Yet what can we do ? We can share on Jim's blog and do...but we also can oppose and we are! Keep up the mantra JFDI ( honestly used in my area by senior managers from the [former] Chief Exec down) and think that works, because it doesn't.
    The most motivated of us are fighting your new Managerialism by Dictat and Probation Instruction, we are subverting. Yes, really and no-one has noticed. Systems not working? That is because we are not stepping in and making it work as we would previously done. You will never spot it because we appear compliant. It is broken and we are not rushing to fix it, critical meltdown is being reached and no-one has even noticed.A quiet revolution based on small units of production ( a single staff member) withdrawing goodwill and not going the extra mile. Resistance is fun, I am having the last laugh with my own disguised compliance. Go on try really is bringing fun back into the work place for me!
    Thanks Jim, for all you do and the life of this blog!!!

    1. Well said I can relate to this fully.

  21. The anonymity of contributions on here was a response to a threat from the MoJ. Many who post have very open and adult debates with their local employers. It is the Ministry that cannot 'tolerate' criticism without the threat of sanctions.

  22. The reason why I and many others blog anonymously is cuz of the risk of being disciplined. For those who don't like it why don't u use your real names then.

  23. I read many anonymous comment here :D