Sunday, 21 September 2014

TR Week Sixteen

I'm one of the unhappy Manchester CRC POs. What is the union doing about the fact that some people can get paid for going PSRs but I have to or risk getting disciplined .

Supposedly from November CRC and NPS will have to operate as separate entities and it could not come soon enough. As I am fed up of having the piss taken out of.

******

Good Question, what are the unions doing, some doing them under threat, some doing them for extra cash - up to £150; are we not all currently working for the MoJ?

******

Cheshire and Greater Manchester CRC are sent regular threatening emails from the newly promoted Assistant Chief, about making sure the targets are hit. I quote "Failure to achieve performance targets in the private sector will place us all at risk as poor performance will not be tolerated. I expect a significant increase in our performance from this moment forward please and any further failures will be investigated by line managers and appropriate action taken where necessary". 

It is an awful place to work at the moment. Morale is at an all time low. Threatening somebody does not really make them want to work any harder! Just makes them hate you even more and they will never go the extra mile for you.

******

It is a dumb approach. Poor management, frankly. Indicative of a fundamentally bankrupt ideology. You can shout at it as much as you like, it still takes four minutes to boil an egg. JDI is not management, it is cowardice. JFDI is not cowardice, it is bullying and harassment. Scared little men and women with no answers, no leadership skills and no backbone.

*******
Since I have been shafted into the CRC, I have never worked so hard due to having a 90% caseload of DV cases. It is impossible to do all the work with each case that I am supposed to do due to the shear volume of cases. Prior to the split we probably had about 10 DV cases each. Also, should child protection cases not be managed by NPS? When I trained 30 years ago our first and most priority was child protection. Running around like a headless chicken is going to cause a lot of mistakes and last minute fire fighting and maybe cost to human life. THE RISK TO THE PUBLIC IS MORE APPARENT NOW THEN IT HAS EVER BEEN.

******
First I would like to say in my area we have also seen a decline in the quality of reports prepared for court. This is because court PSO's are writing majority of them. These have been staff who have been in court for years who have never even held case loads let alone written reports. I'm sorry but their inexperience shines through and the amount of poor assessments and inappropriate proposals is embarrassing quite frankly. The problem with the split is you don't necessarily have the right person for the job.

******
100% right. The split does not have the right people for the right job. I have noticed in Manchester in our office 3 newly qualified officers are in NPS, they should be on protected caseloads. They are refusing to take lifers, sex offenders, holding a small case load, had only written about 10 PSR's and perhaps 1 Parole report during their training, then you have highly experienced officers that have 25 years plus service that have been shafted into CRC. ITS ALL WRONG and giving the NPS a right headache which higher managers are refusing to see. And no one from CRC are rushing to apply for the NPS posts and rightly so for the way we have been treated, they have had to re-advertise. THE TRAIN CRASH HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN MANCHESTER, WE ARE JUST PICKING UP THE SCRAPS.

******
Some really sound comments highlighting major flaws in the split. With risk escalation particularly with DV actually serves to increase risks further. Take my office for example. One case of DV where we received info to indicate risk had increased to high. As it would have been obvious that the info came from his partner the decision was made not to transfer the case to NPS as he only had a couple of months left on his order. If we had started risk escalation process this would have alerted him and put his partner at even greater risk. This was at the time of being just in process of transfer of cases between NPS and CRC so could be facilitated. 

Major concerns if this happened now as no option to keep case within CRC. Second example was similar but resulted in staff member being seriously threatened and procedures put in place to protect them because of risk escalation and transfer to NPS. Now we have all had situations where risk has increased and had to disclose this to the service user but there seems to be something more symbolic to the service user by having to be transferred to the office which is now becoming to be known as the 'NONCE AND NUTTER' office by the service users. So much for managing risk more effectively!!

******
Let us be clear. All above is symptomatic of the dumbing down of Probation. As an SPO and 24 year practitioner, I am confronted on a daily basis with decisions that are being taken based on Performance Targets, resourcing or TR 'requirements'. Decades of 'best practice', 'good practice' and 'safe practice' are being eroded by the hour and and the only thing 'defensible' about many of these decisions is 'I was acting under orders' - a long established non-defence. 

Grayling and his Prison Service amateurs at the MoJ are taking a common sense/Daily Mail readers approach to concepts of practice that are putting staff, offenders and victims at risk. Senior Managers are, I believe, making representations to the MoJ regarding these indefensible changes not because they believe that the MoJ will listen, but because they have recognised the need for an audit trail, a means by which CRCs and the NPS can point to a series of documents that evidence that the MoJ were warned. 

When the bidders take over and create a crisis in community sentence that mirrors that that exists in the prisons, they will NOT be able to say the fault belongs with the providers. The model is flawed; we all know it and we can all see it every day in the faces of our colleagues. This is worst practice, bad practice and indefensible practice introduced at the insistence of a Justice Secretary with no comprehension of the nuances of rehabilitation and who surrounds himself with Yes men and women with even less idea. Ursula Brennan is as culpable as Grayling and the failure to turn this TR debacle off will remain their biggest mistakes.

******
The last probation inspectorate report I can find on domestic violence is over ten years old. It identified many areas for improvement, not least responding to changes in risk factors – for example in three-quarters of cases risk was not reviewed following significant events: 'Typically if a DV perpetrator moved back to live with his victim, or if further assaults occurred, steps were not taken by the case manager to review the risk factors and level of RoH'. 

A report on police performance last March was not encouraging:'The issue of risk assessment needed urgent attention: perpetrator targeting was underdeveloped in most forces. The Chief Inspector Tom Winsor said 'It is essential that the police make substantial reforms to their handling of domestic abuse, including in their understanding of the coercive and psychological nature of the crime' Quite amazing that all these years on the 'coercive and psychological nature' of DV needs highlighting to the police. Have they learnt anything?

It is disappointing that after so many years of partnerships working and the rhetoric of risk as background music, there is still a long, long way to go. Womens' refuges across the country are also closing whilst others struggle to remain open with reduced funding. In probation the assessment of domestic violence perpetrators has been steadily degraded: a decade ago it was de riguer for a PO to write a comprehensive report based on a minimum of two interviews. Now, they can be produced on the day via an FDR prepared by unqualified staff who may have been minimally trained for a few days. When you consider the gradual dumbing down of assessments, you can see how principles of good practice predicated on sound evidence have simply been expediently tossed aside. 

Probation was not doing a great job ten years ago and the police are no better now. It seems reasonable to conclude that things will get worse, but we should not be too starry-eyed about probation performance in this area of work. 


******
I agree. Practice is being changed to suit the TR agenda and the court reports are the beginning of this. I have tried the risk escalation process, it is a bloody nightmare to use and took me half a day and two calls to IT, then the NPS officer had a nightmare too. Previously I would have just talked to my manager, updated the risk and continued to manage the case myself reacting to the change in risk. It really makes me so sad to lose a case I've worked with for ages and where I was the one to recognise the changes, only for someone in NPS to take it over not knowing anything about it. Plus, don't get me started about the DV reports coming out from courts, really they are just not good enough.

*******
I have now begun complaining each time I get a sub-standard report from court and I believe that these complaints are being carried forward. With regards to being split into the CRC, I am a PSO and am struggling with mental health cases that would previously have gone to a PO - I feel as though I'm in over my head and can't do the job anymore - good luck to those PSOs who feel able to take DV/CP/MH cases on but I'm not and have no wish to do so - in effect I'm being put out of a job. Finally, I've had no training on any of the above either and it's a case of ask a colleague if an when you come upon a query.

*******
Spoke to a trainee yesterday. She had just finished her HALF DAY training on DA. I had 3 days and that only scratched the surface.

*******
I barely have the time to do the ISP's for all the cases that are landing on my desk. It's a joke. Daily I am torn between recording risk to cover my own back or addressing it to protect the public.

*******
Post TR there have been some terrible reports from NPS on medium risk dv cases - rushed without all the relevant information. Then in CRC medium risk DV cases are pretty much all POs are getting to work with. 

Imagine a caseload of 40-50 medium risk DV offenders to manage, day after day, managing risk, filling out forms, meeting targets. Now imagine 40-50 victims. 40-50 victims. 80-100 if you include the children, which you should. 

TR has created this. It has also added into the mix a ridiculous amount of bureaucracy meaning that when risk has increased and the victims are most vulnerable, probation will fail them. Fail them by changing the officer who knows the case and can best manage the risk, who knows what plans are in place and how to execute them. This is happening with all cases but it's right to highlight medium risk DV cases as it is happening with them the most.


*******
Doing the work v. recording the work. A mantra of our management has always been "if it isn't recorded, it hasn't happened". So for a CRC PO with 60 cases, maybe 40 are DV, of which maybe 20 are still weekly & 20 fortnightly; maybe 15 have a relevant specified activity & 5 have an accredited programme. So lets assume that, for this example, the PO sees 30 DV perpetrators each week. Would an hour per case be acceptable, allowing for face-to-face contact, meaningful intervention AND recording the contact?

If so, that's 30 hours' work weekly. 

That leaves (contractually) 7 hours weekly to see the remaining 20 cases, attend child safeguarding meetings, liaison with women safety workers, attend (or prepare reports for) local DV forums, undertake pre- and post-programme work, complete any OASys assessments, undertake liaison with local police (if such a protocol exists for the CRC), complete any CRC-imposed paperwork, travel between meetings (in some rural areas thus can mean an hour each way)... then there are additional mundane tasks such as duty officer, case inductions, supervision (what's that? I hear you cry), team meetings (uh?), training (???), mandatory corporate events...

Its not safe. Its barely possible. Its plain dangerous and wrong.

Whilst we are closer to getting this work right, we only see and impact upon a fraction of the abusive power & control shit that thrives in the UK. The behaviour of government officials, MPs and others in power only serves to feed the problem. The bullying and intimidation, the psychological terrorism, the threats, the control, the gagging... its got DV perpetrator written right across it. And its not a male dominated trait.


*******
I'd use different figures but they only strengthen your point. Up on High unless we are really in the deep doo doo (couldn't happen?) the movers and shakers don't assume 37 hours a week - they assume, after leave, sickness, training about 25 hours a week for planning purposes. This is an average per practitioner week in week out over years rather than weeks and defines the capacity of the system to undertake work. That's less than half hour per case per week. It works out at about 30 minutes per client on a case load of 50. It includes picking up the call from reception, walking down the stairs, locating a room to interview and then after the interview, walking back the way you came and then writing it up (and how long does it take to access the nDelius to do this?)

******
Caseload levels have remained since the TR sifting, with both NPS and CRC staff working well over capacity, leading to increasing sickness levels. I see SPO's pulling their hair out over what to do with the huge volume of cases and reports they struggle to allocate, and the impact on staff is immense. 

Temperatures run high amongst staff increasingly and the divisions are rising between NPS and CRC staff. There is much anxiety over the tasks that cannot be completed without sitting at the desk from morning to night without a break. NPS staff forced to write reports which in many cases involves a prison visit as impossible to book video links. Disgruntled CRC staff regularly argue with their managers over new silly procedures. Temp staff move on quickly to wherever the lower caseload is, while half of temp PSR writers write awful reports. A lot of programmes and PSR's are being completed on a sessional basis, which many of us don't want but with the PSR's at least we get paid for the work we in the NPS are made to do anyway when everyone else has gone home.

******
Legal reps would do better by insisting that reports for court were completed by the supervising officer of their clients - most reports are now done by people who do not know the individual and often don't even speak to the supervising officer.....just court team staff given a couple of hours in total so how much information are they going to get in that time???

******
Well that's the new model and when share sale comes and goes this will be more frequent. If legal reps have a problem with it they should complain to his Rt Honourable fuckwit Chris Grayling.

******
Napo??? What have they done about workload measurement? Sweet FA by the looks of it. We have been put out to pasture, three months down the line and no further forward of measuring the work I have in the NPS than on June the 1st. It is not as if they did not know this was happening. I have no argument when targets do not get met with my manager and won't have until this is sorted out either. West Yorks stress and sickness level is at an all time high and getting worse by the week as those left behind get shafted with extra cases to cover. No sessional work being offered in Bradford that's for sure. At this rate there will be no-one left when they do come in.

******
Plus we have had to put up with the stupid and pointless post sentence debacle. Please God help you all if this is adopted nationwide. The RSR tool is also hopeless. Most of the NPS cases we are getting are all below the age of 21 as it is unbalanced when the case is young and has any violent offences. One lad aged 19 came out as 14 per cent and all he had done was kick a few windows in because he had nicked a couple of phones from his school peers when he was 13, robberies. Then we get serial DV perps off to the CRC cos they are getting on a bit and there have been nice long gaps between them knocking a succession of poor unfortunate women around. It's a joke but woe betide questioning this with managers who blindly go along with it for fear of upsetting their senior.

******
I have heard that colleagues in the NPS in Gloucester have been told they don't have to do OASys because the team is in such meltdown and management aren't coping. That means no risk assessments for the high risk offenders.

******
There is now a certain casual disregard creeping into many areas of work that appears to be a form of resistance. Lots of work that was undertaken with a degree of enthusiasm is now not being done and a kind of 'that'll do it' attitude is becoming the norm. There are those who would still be staring at their screens even if there was a 3 minute warning of a nuclear strike in some vain effort to meet a target but many practitioners just think 'F**k em' and are doing the bare minimum to keep management off their backs. 

Colleagues in my office are certainly doing the minimum to scrape by and our line manager (only a few years from retirement) has taken to muttering things like 'more corporate cr*p from above' at our briefings and when they return from meetings 'another round of hot air and bol***ks' echoing both our thoughts and confirming the whole she-bang is a pile of guano. We used to have an office saying of 'onwards and upwards' whenever new targets or something was announced now it might as well be 'slippery slope downwards'

No one has any loyalty to 'the Company' or maybe more accurate to call it 'The Firm'. Most are looking for new jobs and if they could get out they would. This is after all ultimately Grayling's folly and every effort we make to try to make a silk purse helps him to ruin us. Of course sickness rates are higher than when probation was united in a Trust and perhaps some expression of surprise at the low level of this figure might be more in order in the circumstances. Sickness policies are now designed in favour of employers to bash staff with so many come back before they are well and spread germs in overcrowded open plan offices that invariably smell of the last microwaved takeaway being eaten at someones desk.

Spare a thought for the CP people who in London who were part of the first failed probation privatisation attempt. They will soon be returning to the CRC in time to be sold off again to to one of their present employers rivals. No doubt a very stressful time and frying pans and fire come to mind.

This is undoubtedly the lull that is supposed to convince everyone that everything is OK and nothing to worry about before the election before the reality of the share sale and planned budget cuts bite and everyone will have to cope with the screw being tightened further, public sector redundancies, less money for services we rely on and chaos.

Don't swallow the propaganda and don't believe the 'business as usual' patter spewed forth by the MoJ and their imps and minions who are desperate to hold on to their jobs too.

Recently it was said that the entire criminal justice system runs on goodwill, unpaid overtime and more luck than judgement. Lets hope that Grayling's luck is finally running out and that his extremely greasy goose is well and truly cooked by December because if not then it'll be a slow and painful death of a thousand cuts as far as the probation service is concerned. Last one out turn off the lights.


******
Another company profiting from TR. I have to attend training in Monday delivered by Penna PLC commissioned by the MOJ to deliver transition training to help me to transition from public to private sector practices, they are making me become corporate. 

We have also been instructed, with exceptions being signed off by SPO, to see all our offenders in Criminal Justice Hubs, for this read church halls and community centres. No rationale, just to manage numbers, but no confidentiality, pass to volunteers. God knows how we are supposed to build any relationships let alone reduce offending, yet we are told to follow desistance practices.

FDRs on DV cases, one and a half hours to produce report, totally downgrading DV. Durham Tees Valley yet again. The lack of transparency, failure to consult with unions and the knee jerk reactions are alienating managers and staff alike on top of the IT chaos, but from Monday I will be totally corporate and privatised. Does anyone know the cost of the training?

******
This is so true and absolutely applicable to what has been, and is now worsening, in the world of Probation and prisons. Processes and process mapping, designed by those who clearly have no knowledge or interest, abound and must be followed. Assessment / guidance tools, 'treatment' programmes are presented as absolutes. People are following an ill-informed /disinterested lead from a position of ignorance. Knowledge, experience, practice based evidence is rejected and actively 'shut down'. Ineffective and potentially harmful practice results.

If anyone wishes to buy the Emperors new clothes, they may wish to wait. Very soon they will be able to purchase not just a new suit, but a whole wardrobe, and will probably get offered a very good price.


*******
Wales also told that NPS can't function without CRC help so CRC PO's being offered contracts to write pre sentence reports.
********
One of my colleagues in the CRC has seen 35 clients this week. How are we meant to do any meaningful work when seeing so many clients? Same colleague will then be told by the SPO that if their delius and OASys are late, "there will be consequences"
********
Just sat and gone through the new NPS/ CRC case allocation process with some MoJ/NOMS folk. They’re concerned re the duplication of work.

32 comments:

  1. TR is an absolute crock of shit and I can't see it getting any better. I'm in NPS and I'm so stressed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. fun in our office this week as temps have left and their cases dispersed amongst the rest of the team. the shite they've left us to pick up is disgraceful. we need permanent staff, temps have no loyalty and whilst they may keep offices ticking over there is no monitoring of their work and their mantra is that they will just move down the road and as offices are so short-staffed their poor previous work performance will not catch up with them. Its all so wrong and dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. TR is a flaming hot mess, the implosion will be some sight. However i assume that Mr Grayling will be no where near it and maybe in some nice directorship if he moves department or leaves politics next election.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just a couple of points re inspectorate reports etc. I think you are right the last DV report was probably ten years ago! There have recently been a couple of protecting children reports (covering both child protection & safeguarding) one is a thematic inspection report & the other is an aggregate report of their last 6 inspections prior to the split, which all had a protecting children topic attached to them! They are both worth reading & drawing managements attention to! Of more concern to management & in particular new CRCs is that NPS & CRCs will be inspected (by HMIP ) as part of all future Ofsted , unannounced, child protection inspections. These are due to start next March with a couple of pilots later this year! This posses a big "business risk" CRCs as poor Ofsted inspection findings tend to get a lot of media attention! May also be worth pointing this out to management!

    ReplyDelete
  5. According to Twitter some ex #probation bosses who I have heard too little from in the media have a book out - let us hope it is a case of better late than never!

    @stevejcollett

    The Golden Age of Probation: Mission v Market - Edited by Roger Statham http://www.watersidepress.co.uk/acatalog/The-Golden-Age-of-Probation--Mission-v-Market-9781909976146.html#.VBybehE37Ps.twitter …

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Book Description
      The Golden Age of Probation is the first book on probation by those practitioners who became its leaders. A comprehensive account exploring culture, values and tensions. It looks at the dynamics of probation supervision and political dimensions, including the shift to a market-driven form of public service.

      A lively and challenging collection of writings by those at the very heart of the Probation Service for 50-years. Complete with descriptions of life at all levels of what has been described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of criminal justice. Moral and other challenges are presented alongside those of standing-up to government Ministers whose aspirations for ‘political immortality’ have led to profound tensions. The book describes how tough talk and market-strategies have undermined 100-years of devoted public service and ideas about how best to help change the lives of some of the most marginalised people in society. Equality, race and social deprivation are amongst the issues explored as the ethos of probation and its deeply-rooted values are laid bare in a book that deals with highs and lows, hazards, innovation, hopes, aims and the international influence of an organization whose original mission (not always popular) was to ‘advise, assist and befriend’ those otherwise heading for prison and a life of crime. Colourful and highly readable, The Golden Age of Probation takes the reader on a journey through England and Wales exposing social disadvantage, unrest and increasingly London-centric policies. It records first-hand what life was like for those at the sharp end during an era of extensive progress, development and change.

      Editor & Contributors

      After becoming a probation officer in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1960s the editor Roger Statham rose through the ranks to become Chief Probation Officer for Teesside. He is joint secretary of the Association of Retired Chief Probation Officers and Inspectors of Probation. The book contains contributions by 20 members and associates of that body.

      The Foreword

      The author, playwright and actor Alan Bennett contributed the Foreword after recording elsewhere his thoughts on certain responsibilities remaining in public hands: ‘The notion that probation, which is intended to help those who have fallen foul of the law, should make a profit for shareholders seems beyond satire.’ Diary, 2013. ‘The rewards of probation … are human profits and nothing to do with balance sheets.’ Cambridge Sermon, 2014.

      Delete
    2. From the book

      'The price of the semi-privatised probation estate … is that probation has lost its umbilical cord with the courts, the police, the prosecution service and our partners in local authorities. It will be difficult for the courts, in particular, to understand the transforming rehabilitation agenda when services for low and medium risk offenders will be carried out by an origami of commissioned enterprises, whose experience, for the most part, is in the private sector of running prisons, mostly in the USA, and whose staff may not necessarily have the qualifications to properly assess and supervise known offenders.' John Harding CBE, Chapter 10.

      'Although the restructure made the service vulnerable to later changes through the 2000 Act, it did achieve better consistency, reduced costs in due course, more women at the top and a national programme of assessment and interventions that was internationally ground-breaking. The mistake in my view was to abandon this direction later that decade, combine with the Prison Service under the banner of offender management and sacrifice the national probation influence that had been gained. Because of the nature of the caseload with most offenders on community orders, we have always had more joint work with police and local authorities than with the Prison Service. Personalities and some bad judgements however got in the way.' Mary Anne McFarlane, Chapter 14.

      'For the last three decades, probation just like health and education has been caught up in the dynamics and mechanisms of creating pseudo pseudo-markets to deliver public services. The underlying philosophy might appear to be simply to get the cost of these things off the government's balance sheet but the structures created to do this are not transparent enough for a real assessment to be made of the true financial costs. At the same time organizational targets and protocols have helped stifle initiative and even the capacity to care.' Roger Statham, Chapter 18.

      Delete
    3. Care? Probation? Don't make me laugh, they'll uphold any procedure MOJ instructs them to do. No objections provided they are paid. No consideration to whether what they are doing is actually helping Offenders. But hey, don't worry, just be detached from the situation, after all, it is ONLY YOUR JOB.

      Delete
  6. The chief officers are a f*cking disgrace. Probation staff should get together and publish a book about how said 'leaders' let them down.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mary Anne McFarlane was chief in my area

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feast your eyes on this lot:

      howard lockwood, jim cannings, john harding, michael vizard,malcolm lacey, martin jones, mary anne mcfarlane, mike worthington, peter hadfield, peter warburton, steve collett, sue wingfield, barrie bridgman, paul hylton, cedric fullwood, colin archer, david faulkner, david millard, gordon read

      Delete
    2. Who's missing is perhaps more interesting - Heather Munro, Sue Hall, Sally Lewis?

      Delete
    3. I am sure I would agree with the book's sentiments if these extracts are typical of the contents, I expect they are. The contributors, no doubt, all share the pain of TR. But perhaps if instead of literary action this group of ex-leaders had been at the forefront of social action, their collective voice may have helped to rally opinion against TR. Instead we get a history book. To paraphrase Marx: the point is not to interpret the world, but to change it.

      Delete
    4. I am really angry, talk about rewriting history...these are some of the senior leaders who hungrily grasped the "probation as business" mantra at the outset when the climate was changed for ever. Had they resisted then, they would have had some credibility !

      Delete
    5. Where are they now? The Search for CPOs. Could be a game show to lighten the nights as they close in?

      Delete
    6. In the Dragon's Den, perhaps.

      Delete
  8. Hadfield, the Teesside enforcer....enough said

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is it just me or are the list of problems getting longer as the weeks go by? One would have thought that Comical Ali would have sorted these all by now.....or denied they exist!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. i see there's no contributions from those that jumped into bed with the CRC

    ReplyDelete
  11. We will just be enforcement officers in the crc. May see an offender once during their sentence. I watched Pride last night, funny and sad but at least the minors went back with their heads held high. Shame on those temps and sessional psr writers making money out of our misery.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shame on you all for making money out of victims/offenders misery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad to say you're right, anon@21:07, on the premise that I (& others) are paid a moderate salary to work with people - but the option of no-one working with victims or perpetrators is ???

      What I was doing until 31 May 2014 was a whole universe away from the notion of making that work a profitable 'business' which lines the pockets of shareholders and ensures victims & perpetrators get as cheap a service as they can get away with; as opposed to an essential public service provision funded by taxpayers which used to fund professional qualification & retain long term, committed professional practitioners who were content to remain frontline practitioners & didn't feel the need to climb the greasy pole of ambition or shaft colleagues or fear redundancy. That meant the public service could be gold standard.

      Delete
    2. The dumbing down has slowly worked it's way into Probation for 20 years until such a time as June 1st 2014 when nobody with any real ability was left in any numbers with a strong Unionised workforce behind them willing to do anything about changing the situation.

      I must be right in thinking that the majority of those in Probation employment do not even know about the existence of this blog, let alone very bothered about attempting to help anyone away from any crime. Such is the quality of the person now employed. So many not bothered about the amount of work left undone, the amount of caring Staff going sick. DV being treated as some second class offence. So long as they are paid they will work for anyone and uphold anything.

      So many happy to make a living out of other's misery.

      So many not very nice people putting themselves into the position of "helping" others...

      Delete
    3. Anon@21:07, Your point is absurd. If the misery starts anywhere, it starts with the crime (even this simplifies) and passes through the police, courts and maybe probation and prisons. This is what is called the rule of law. Howl at the moon by all means, but if you have an alternative in mind, share it. It may be the antidote to TR.

      Delete
    4. Yes the misery starts with the etiology of the offender which
      leads to the crime. The misery is then likely perpetuated by Probation/Police/Prison and thus the cycle of reoffending continues.

      There's a distinct lack of sensitivity when dealing with someones life, I agree, punishment is often deserved but it's hardly surprising so many go on to reoffend, Prison is a mess, Probation is a mess...

      No awards based on phony stats will ever wash with me. You've been in a state of disrepair for many a year.

      So yeah, alternative is like something how you supposedly operated 25 years ago with fully individualised caring support for Clients. Real qualifications for Officers, dare I say even some with specialist knowledge!

      If you can't do a job properly then don't do it at all...

      This entire blog reads like howling at the moon trying to stop the inevitable.

      Delete
    5. Anon07:20 - there's lots of howling in your post but still no alternative on offer...

      Delete
  13. Mike "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. There are plenty of other people waiting to take your jobs" Worthington. Couldn't wait to take his payoff and grab any chance to cash in on his supposed "expertise". A total disgrace like the rest of them. Lions led by donkeys doesn't cover it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve Goode used exactly those words to staff in Derbys in 1999. About a dozen very experienced staff left that year, most leaving probation altogether.

      Delete
  14. Is it not time we got rid of OASys?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes I agree it is complete squat.

    As is anything based on control groups.

    ReplyDelete
  16. http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/solicitors-berate-sham-victim-plans/5043350.article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the run-up to the party conference season, justice secretary Chris Grayling last week announced a raft of measures designed to enhance victims’ experience of the criminal justice process. They include putting into statute victims’ right to make a statement about how the crime affected them and setting up a nationwide service to provide better information and support.

      He pledged to modernise court buildings to provide separate waiting areas for victims, to allow vulnerable victims to give evidence remotely and to enable compensation payments to be made ‘up front’.

      Meanwhile, publicly funded advocates will have to undergo specialist training on working with vulnerable victims and witnesses before they are allowed to take serious sexual cases.

      Paul Harris, managing partner at London firm Edward Fail Bradshaw Waterson and past president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, said: ‘The whole thing is a sham. Everything the government has done so far to the criminal justice system has been anti-victim.’

      Nothing in the announcement makes up for the ‘daily failings’ for victims in an ‘under-resourced, dysfunctional criminal justice system’, he said.

      Condemning the timing of the announcement, Avtar Bhatoa, chairman of the Law Society’s criminal law committee, said it ‘smacks of party conference electioneering’. What victims want, he said, is a ‘properly funded and functioning’ criminal justice system.

      Bill Waddington, chairman of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association, questioned the government’s commitment to victims when it is denying legal aid for many victims of domestic violence.

      Delete