16. Timing of Under 12-Months supervision implementation
The mantra has always been supervising offenders under 12 months when you have discussed TR. Why then are there no signs of this happening any time soon, and why couldn't the gold standard performing probation trusts do this job for you?
Is it true that the management of offenders with under 12 months custody has been postponed?
When does the plan to supervise all prisoners i.e. (under 12 months sentenced) kick in?
This change to the sentencing framework is a core element of our reforms. The extension of statutory licence conditions and rehabilitation supervision to offenders sentenced to less than 12 months imprisonment is subject to the commencement of the relevant provisions in the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014. This will happen at the point of service mobilisation. As in every part of Government, we are faced with the challenge of trying to do better for less. We want to do this in a way that is sustainable for the future and we are committed to reinvesting savings to support supervision for short sentence offenders. We can only do that if we bring in the best of the public, voluntary and private sectors to work with offenders in order to reduce their reoffending rates.
17. Case allocation / complexity/bureaucracy
Currently in our area there are an inadequate number of POs to undertake the required number of statutory reports. Therefore POs that were previously undertaking this work as part of their duties are now unable, as part of the CRC, to do these during working hours but can do them as 'sessional reports' earning extra payment- whilst NPS staff struggle on a daily basis for no extra pay. How will this be addressed?
We are already experiencing a lot of extra bureaucratic processes between NPS & CRC causing delays and concern about risk management and court processes! We have made a lot of these leaner and less costly as one organisation - how do you propose that TR will save money/improve provision?
How can you account for the amount of bureaucracy, doubling of work, additional work, and overall clear chaos which you have created as a result of splitting up the probation service and creating a workforce which has gone from being proud of the work they do to one where a large percentage are now looking to give up long terms careers?
You mentioned earlier that you wanted to reduce bureaucracy, I am a PO in a courts team and our administration work has doubled with the introduction of RSRs and case allocation system. What about all the work we have done on streamlining processes?
I know case allocation is a critical activity and it is important that some additional work takes place at the time of sentence to ensure that an offender is correctly allocated. In order to achieve this, the new operational processes were developed in close collaboration between the MoJ, NOMS and Probation Service staff. There is more work to do to minimise unnecessary bureaucracy at the front end of the process and we are continuing to test the new system to understand where we might make further improvements. The Transforming Rehabilitation Programme team organised two national workshops in July - one of these looking explicitly at case allocation processes. These events were well attended by operational staff and we are determined to continue to improve effectiveness and to reduce bureaucracy wherever possible during this transitional period.
Guidance was sent to Trusts prior to 1 June to explain how to set up access for authorised receptionists and administrative staff so they can view the NPS and CRC information they need to do their jobs.
Dear Mr Grayling, I completed my training as a Probation Officer in 2009 to be told that there was no jobs at the end of the training. I was an Offender Supervisor 9 years previous to this and dropped £4,000 in my wage. However I wrote to all MP's and lobbied for this to change but this fell on the Conservative deaf ears. However Lord David Ramsbotham and Labour Home Secretary at that time agreed to meet with me and other trainees and NAPO members at Westminster and also the House of Commons. After lengthy discussions on the worries of reducing staff protecting the public they did listen and decided to make sure we did have our jobs at the end of the training. Here we are again the unsung heroes having to convince you that we do a damn good job and nobody can work with offenders and protect the public like we do why? Because we do it not for profit of money saving we do it as to protect the public from harm and job satisfaction changing offender lives for the better re-integrating them back in the community safely.
Jeremy, you state above you want to support and protect officers but their numbers have been reduced.
I want to reassure you that I see the skills and experience of probation professionals as immensely valuable in contributing to the rehabilitation of offenders. However, with more than half a million crimes committed each year by those who have broken the law before, we have to change our approach to rehabilitation. The status quo is not an option. What I want is to draw on the best services that can be offered by practitioners across the public, private and voluntary sectors, so that we can deliver better support to more offenders, and in turn reduce reoffending.
In relation to staffing levels, CRCs and NPS divisions are currently developing their workforce plans, building on the staff structures inherited from Probation Trusts. Once these are completed, they will be reviewed centrally and will inform the current round of recruitment for trainee probation officers. In the meantime, CRCs and NPS Deputy Directors are continuing to monitor and manage staffing in their areas and all vacancies are being managed as part of business as usual processes.
19. Cutting bureaucracy
Mr Grayling. In your New Year Address to Probation Staff you referred to cutting much of the bureaucracy and central control in relation to Probation work to allow Probation Officers to carry out the work we are trained to do rather than spending a considerable amount of our time completing administration tasks. When will you fulfil this pledge?
PBR - more bureaucracy surely?
How are you working to reduce bureaucracy?
Can you explain how you are working to reduce bureaucracy, when we have seen a significant increase in paperwork, of which all involve duplicating information several times and therefore take significant time to complete?
20. Allocation of cases
Has the split been managed correctly? I expressed a preference for National Probation Service but was forced into the Community Rehabilitation Company as I scored 130 on the Greater Manchester list with staff 1 to 128 going to NPS and 129 and below going to CRC. I have now had to complete reallocation forms on practically all my cases, keeping only those who would be NPS if they weren't due to terminate before November and a few new allocations. Post 1st June 2014 I find I continue to hold NPS cases and have to complete NPS tasks including Report writing as there are insufficient staff in NPS and excess number of Probation Officers in CRC for the operational need. Why did I not get my preference of NPS? It seems wrong that I have to transfer my entire caseload and that I have to complete NPS tasks as a CRC employee.
Is there really a role for a qualified probation officer in the CRC? Since the changes, I am doing the role of a PSO, I can only see this ending one way. i.e. we will be paid less or "let go". Given there was no fair selection process, is this not a breach of employment law?
My officer current caseload numbers are in 50's, one officer has a caseload of 58. This is in addition to all the new work they have taken on since the NPS/CRC split. I average an allocation of 8 new cases each week; for a small team this is high. What in your view is a maximum number of high risk cases for a FTE Probation Officer to sagely manage?
If a case reverts to NPS because its risk level increases. It stays permanently with the NPS from that point. How will you deal with the implications for increasing NPS workload that this will result in?
21. CRC bidders
How many bidders remain for the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies?
How many bidders do you now have?
So what a about Sue Trust & Chalk who I believe have also pulled out?