Sunday, 12 October 2014

TR Week Nineteen

My partner is a PO working for NPS. Her line manager is based 40 miles away and works 2 days a week. They have met once, three months after the abolition of the local probation trust. Doubtless Colin Allars thinks this is all fine and dandy.

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Love to know how many staff are off sick with work related stress now?

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50% in our office in Manchester, and more and more staff looking ready to go. The whole thing is unmanageable, never mind the crap that they keep writing about. 'Cause the judges haven't noticed any difference since the split because agency staff are papering the cracks, and if they can't manage, CRC staff are having to do it. Why can't just one person in the MoJ be honest and admit that it's a load of shambles?

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Three of the four colleagues who worked with others on our local 'mutual' (that isn't), safely ensconced the other side of the ethical wall, have got Vol. Redundancy. Bodes well for those of us with no idea what they have 'developed'.

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Managers are not presenting a true picture of what is going on, prison governors are also being complicit in perpetuating a lie that everything is ok when it's staff on the coal face who bear the brunt of the risks and have to deal with the realities of dealing with and managing this difficult group on a day to day basis. Does someone have to lose their life in the execution of their duties for anyone in the government, MoJ or senior managers to pay attention? 

Why a private company would want their brand and reputation associated with this type of work is beyond me. There is a reason why the vast majority of this client group are involved with the CJS, conforming is not something they do just like that, it can take years to truly rehabilitate. And those that do desist quickly are the ones that probably wouldn't need probation intervention in the first place, they do it on their own, hence the low tier management and limited contact with their officer.


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Ha ha. They're going to have POs quality assuring in prisons. Only trouble is, there aren't enough POs in NPS to do this. So what? They're going to train a load of new POs who will have no experience and send them in to do the job. That will work well!!!

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Nothing will work well. It's already a train crash and is going to get worse, a lot worse.

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There is no need for any new PO's to be worried - in our prison there are no prison offender supervisors to quality assure anyway. They are re-deployed on a daily basis due to the fact that there aren't actually enough staff to run the prison! Problem solved!

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They've already done that in the field, employed loads of newly qualified staff who are struggling with how to manage a case load full of high risk offenders causing allsorts of problems for NPS. Serves them right for shitting on their loyal and experienced staff.

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Probation staff are from Earth, the MOJ are from Uranus.

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Dear MoJ Answermachine - you know exactly what was being referred to when the questioner mentioned the 11% pay rise in 2015; its the MPs pay rise. And, of course, 11% of £60,000 is considerably more than 0% of £25,000. But that doesn't compute, does it?

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Grayling is such a bully, in getting rid of Nick Hardwick, he is simply shooting the messenger. Whoever gets appointed is really taking a poisoned chalice because we will all be watching them and any sense that they are suppressing the truth will be jumped upon. How third world does it sound to have a Minister of State for Justice who suppresses the truth, manipulates Parliament and the press and oppresses prisoners?

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Case passed to me today (DV) with a caveat that the risk must be reviewed within 30 days. After some digging with the Court staff, it transpires that the Non Complex PSR was written without waiting for checks coming back from Social Services or the Police. 

After a somewhat heated 'discussion' with my manager, who was informed that if they thought I was going to do the job of the NPS Court staff then he had another thing coming, I refused to take the case. I know he was on the phone to the NPS manager, Court manager and my ACE. I'm expecting to get pulled into the office tomorrow. 

Being honest, and I am being honest here, I'm minded to tell them all to fuck off! I'm just not bothered any more and simply sick of having the piss took out of me. Cheers Chris, you've just destroyed the morale of another PO.

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It's not the fact (really) that I mind doing the checks. It's the fact that both the proposal and risk/RSR was completed without doing the checks!! I'm fairly sure that our new overseers will not be happy if this type of thing occurs post sale. 

I'm a bit pissed off at the mo' and hopefully will have calmed down enough by tomorrow so as to not make to gig an arse of myself in front of my manager. It's just that it's one small thing after another..do this..oh, just do that. Yes they are 5 minute jobs but they have an accumulative impact on my time; with nearly 50 cases, the majority DV, I just don't have that time any longer. If (and again I'm being honest) this gets any worse then the level of oversight I can give will be significantly comprised. I'm not sure if this will be a defence though. 

Speaking to the report author at Court, and it appears that he has it much worse, with only two writers at the mo', the other two being on training/leave. I'm not sure that their manager thought things through and it appears that we are now becoming a reactionary rather than a visionary service. It's all really sad.

I have had a nice bath and have a bottle of wine waiting. Hopefully my day can end better than it began :)


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I have posted a number of times about the case allocation and the risk escalation processes - I, like many NPS POs, was forced into this role and would never have applied to do this as a job! I have serious concerns, firstly about the very idea of such a ridiculous system and secondly, the IT process which is cumbersome and for which we have not had any training despite requests made to managers.

I personally am trying so hard not to allocate a case with a future review because I do not know what to do with it when CRC send it back for review. There is an IT process through deluis that must be used, but none of my court team colleagues can follow it. It is not clear in the PI, so we are desperately trying not to put future reviews on. 


It turns out every one of us are doing the case allocation/risk review system slightly differently we have had conflicting information from managers. They have tried to cobble something together to replace such a simple process that we all used to use pre TR ie discussion with our managers and err, continuity of case management....It is truly shocking. NPS PO

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I noticed this issue of lack of checks by PSR authors, hence problems for CRC staff and the unrealistic time pressures being put on PSR authors. All raised by Napo and GMB at the TRCF meeting at MoJ on 29/9 as it is a national issue and is being pursued further. Under the members section of Napo website (you have to register on the website to access this area) you can read summaries of the TR meetings. This one I mention is covered in BR117-2014 on pg 2. All the best to you both.

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I'm still waiting for the RSR to be completed on one of my cases. When I contacted the officer about it she said "she was just helping out by doing some PSR's whilst she was on leave" she forgot to say how much she was being paid.

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After a totally shit day including scary shit, boring shit and bullshit, I'd like to suggest that someone speaks to Conference about the multitude of arseholes that are involved in enabling TR. 

This particular arsehole can't make Conference because of care commitments, but there are plenty of other arseholes within & without Conference. Those who came up with the concept of TR; those who have been complicit in enabling TR; those who actively sponsored or promoted TR; those who baled out of attending; those who think napo needs to grow up; those who passively allowed TR in; and those of us (yep, me included - and maybe you too?) who are unintentionally allowing TR to live & breathe by being professional, dedicated, anxious, fearful & committed to our caseload, who are trying to ensure our cases are getting the service we've always believed they need to assist them effect change.

I have to concede that whilst I am furious with napo, I am equally to blame for giving oxygen to TR through my own efforts on behalf of my caseload. I am trying to work to rule, I am trying not to go the extra mile, I am trying not to collude with processes and procedures that undermine good practice, BUT... I have to acknowledge I'm as much of an arsehole as the next arsehole. I can't afford to walk away (or so I tell myself). So I think the proliferation of arseholes needs to be recognised.


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2 NPS POs off with stress in the Vale, SW1 for those wondering where. Their work shared between other POs so adding to their workload and stress. One offender not seen since July and during that time has been to Thailand. CRC Wales taking on 19 new PSOs. Only 4 male and no BME. No extra admin staff, who are pushed to the limits and in Cardiff are now also covering for the 2 security/porters who left a couple of weeks ago.

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My oh my, the torture never stops... Un-fuckin-believable!! "... I receive regular advice from senior, experienced probation & prison practitioners embedded within the TR Programme and NOMS." I suspect that (1) they aren't practitioners anymore for a very good reason (they never wanted to do the job, they just wanted to be managers) and (2) they're embedded somewhere else, my dear old thing, you're just too numb to notice.

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Guess what folks, latest news. Manchester and Cheshire CRC will be paying less for probation officer agency staff compared to NPS. From October majority agency staff will seize in CRC. From November the new payment rate will start. Welcome to the new world of fucked up probation.

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They'll be more than welcome in Manchester NPS...we're drowning, not waving. Looks like Manchester CRC is NOT the place to be this year!

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From the cgmcrc webÅ›ite: "The Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company currently has no vacancies." I'm confused now...

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Dont be confused! Agency staff are the 'disposable' workforce holding the fort until sale. When the bidders make staffing cuts agency staff have no contracts, so they'll go and the work they do will get shared around everyone else.

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This is just the beginning. Agency staff are the easy target and they will set the benchmark for others to follow suite. This is were it starts to get dirty. 

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BCST - This is the Basic Custody Screening Tool. It's an OASys programme to screen all new receptions to prison and is supposed to highlight areas of need - accommodation, drugs etc - which are then picked up by the CRC workers who will be working in the prison. Trouble is that pilots have already shown that they take far longer than expected, it is a tick box programme completed on screen at interview and leaves little opportunity for the interviewer to discuss anything outside the format - and how many of us would want to be sitting opposite someone who was focused on filling in a computer programme while feeling stressed about being in prison and wanting a human conversation? 

It will be completed by Band 4 officers, the SOs who will be Offender Supervisors. Any busy local prison can expect to receive dozens of new prisoners each week so the number of staff needed to complete this task is probably unlikely to be available given the current shortages and redeployment already stretching resources to the limit. It's a cumbersome way to get information and gives no scope for the interviewer, won't be available for a lot of other staff to read, further casenotes will have to be written on the national prison system so important information can be shared. 

All the staff I know who trialled the programme felt very uncomfortable with the way they were constrained by the sequence of questions, gave them no opportunity to respond to the interviewee and probably did not get any more information than the interviews we have been doing with new receptions for years.

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After 27yrs I was sacked for being off six months with work related CRC stress. Unison full time official said it was an open and shut case of unfair dismissal but then Unison refused to take to court for some gobbledygook reason. With help of my mental health worker became well enough for phased return but management refused to engage with Mind counsellor. My three month window for taking to tribunal is near past. The conspiracy theorist in me suspects that management waiting to see what happens in my case (will I wont I) before culling all those on sickness which they have caused. Watch this space..........

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How come they are saying that post sale, PO's in CRC can write reports for NPS at £150.00 per report, if we have no right to provide advise to the courts?

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I guess - and this is a guess - CRC POs writing reports for NPS post share sale will be contracted & paid by NPS so they will be employed by public sector to write the reports? It's not about being qualified to do it, it's about who employs us and you have to be public sector to advise the courts.

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I think you're right. I would imagine that CRC staff would be used as 'agency' staff by the NPS post share sale to write PSR's if need be. I would also imagine that we would do this in our own time. Not that I would ever try and paper over the cracks and do this, no matter how much they offered to pay me!

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Doesn't this just make a mockery of the wall thats been put up regarding access to information between CRC and NPS?

49 comments:

  1. 'Who Cares About CRCs?'
    Very interesting article by Emily Jolley who was Director of ACEVO Solutions, who interestingly has now moved to CLINKS as a Business Development Manager.

    http://www.clinks.org/community/blog-posts/who-cares-about-crcs

    The article refers to a GOV Consultation on 'Transposing The 2014 EU Procurement Directives', link below and she notes a recent Cabinet Office event discussing the TR Procurement and a trainer stated 'if a Procurement Team receives too many clarification questions it's an indication the Procurement process itself is flawed' interesting to note by the time the TR bids had been submitted the Clarification questions had reached 2000!

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transposing-the-2014-eu-procurement-directives

    Now call me cynical, it is interesting to note how key people are moving or being manoeuvred into positions to influence Voluntary Sector Tier 1 bidders who are nervous about what TR brings. To her credit she does mention how changes to TR affect Probation staff and the ongoing uncertainty at time of share sale for CRC staff. She ends by saying 'But we should all care how the commercial structures that sit behind TR contracts could affect the provision of critical public services'. Maybe AVECO didn't like her honesty for her blog with them? For those with the gift of accountancy some select delving into the movements of money to these Social Enterprises would make interesting reading. I note AVECO are specific Specialists in supporting those preparing for bids on TR. More investigative journalism required to uncover the web of corruption behind TR is much needed!

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  2. our CRC is carrying on regardless and doing their best to fit a square peg into a round hole. They are determined, at all costs, to make TR work. Recent instructions from management is to make sure all Orders are sent back to court for revocation for good progress as soon as they reach the halfway stage because :
    if someone's on a 12mth order and it's revoked at the 6mth mark then there is 6mths less chance of them committing another offence whilst subject to statutory supervision which would result in a 'fail'. It is disregarded that whilst the person is doing ok that they may need until the end of the whole 12mths as support. Also remember that the final 6mths supervision with a CRC only equates to 3 supervision appointments ie one every eight weeks so is it too much for offenders to not be entitled to this support which can be in the guise of accommodation or training & employment advice?
    Revocation at the halfway stage also drastically reduces the amount of breaches that will need doing - again another 'no no' in the world of private enterprise.
    Successful drug programme completions must be worth ££ too because we've been instructed to get the element revoked as soon as a few negatives have been put in. Again better to revoke whilst 'clean' rather than allow the element to continue and they maybe have a relapse which would be bad for targets. It seems ££ is going to be paid for not just the overall CO/SSO but the individual elements too hence the panic to revoke.
    Given the above then possibly some private companies may do well from TR but I cant help feeling that it's at the expense of those who are down on their luck, I also wonder about future sentencing options should they re-offend in the near future post revocation - if I were a magistrate and told that X had had a recent period of supervision then what's the sentencing alternative because they cant keep giving revolving supervision, courts will be looking at more punitive sanctions ie curfews or short sharp shock prison sentences.
    I just know when I go into supervision my SPOs going to be going through my caseload not interested in work I've done with offenders but checking why I haven't revoked X, Y and Z

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    1. So this how "professional judgement" is to be exercised in the future!! Need to bring to attention of local JNNC reps

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    2. Why the surprise? Creaming and parking is the way these companies work. We all know it and said so before TR started. Services will be designed to secure the illusion of outcomes. The needs of the offenders and our communities was never a consideration.

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    3. Supervision by the private sector has nothing to do with the rehabilitation of offenders.
      Successful outcomes will be measured by a claim of financial reward, and have nothing to do with the impact that period of supervision has on the individual being supervised.
      Indeed, rehabilitation is counter productive for private enterprise. What they really want to do is keep the individual out of trouble for the period of supervision so they can get paid, and then (fingers crossed), they'll reoffend again so you can get another pay check by supervising them again.
      I'm an ex offender myself although its been nearly thirty years since I even had a parking ticket, but I'm quite frightened by whats happening with TR, and indeed by Crisis Graylings ignorance, not only in meeting the needs of the offender, but by creating vast areas where manipulation of the system at the expence of the offender can occur.
      As I said above the ideal goal for private sector supervision would be to hope the offender will reoffend again once they've completed a 'successful' period of supervision.
      So, is it beyond the private companies to have arrangements with private landlords (which they would call 'sattilite accomodation'), providing a 6month tenency for those on supervision to claim a housing outcome, but where the landlord would refuse to extend the tenency beyond the original 6 months?
      Homeless again, no supervision or support networks, and the private company rubbing their grubby hands together waiting waiting for that individual walking back through their door for another period of rehabilitation?
      Could outsourcing companies be this callous, this manipulative of the system? There seems to me to be plenty of evidence to indicate YES THEY COULD AND WOULD!
      There are massive faults with this system leaving vulnerable people open to exploitation and abuse .They're not offenders to the private sector they are comodities and stock in every way. If you want a loan for the company against your projected yearly profit you tell the bank manager your company supervises 1200 offenders at x amount per individual so projected profit is y.
      Human commodities. It's disgusting!

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    4. Well said - we are already reading how some in CRCs are gaming the system by pressuring for early discharges rather than leaving a supervision order to run its course so that one can say to a client; - well you're doing OK now, we do not need to meet so often, but any time you've got a problem you're unsure about, give me a call, I might have an idea about helping - I don't want you to take any chances so you end up back where you were - or whatever - adjust wording for individual circumstance!

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    5. With regard to the voluntary and charitable sector, TR brings a fundamental change, that those organisations may, or may not have considered carefully enough.
      Information from charities working with offenders will have to pass information back to supervising officers. If that information should result in breach proceedures and a return to custody, then the charity involved in providing that information has actively participated in effecting the imprisonment of an individual.
      Although it may be all above board and legal, it (for me) fundamentally changes the perceived roll and function that charities perform in society.
      I mean would OXFAM say, be happy if the information they provided on offenders they worked with led to 60 people being imprisoned over a year?
      I think not. It just dosen't seem to suit what you do.

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    6. Why would charities for reasons of profit become involved with a government that is actively trying to remove itself from the Human Rights Act?
      And where do charities stand with TR if the individuals they work with are no longer protected by that HRA?

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  3. I have heard about one office where a CRC PO Temp is moving on, leaving 50 odd PO cases with no one to transfer them to. Coincidentally, at the same time CRC PSOs are being told they need to start taking on DV cases - something they have not done before.

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    1. I know CRC offices where crown court breaches have not been submitted because to do so would expose the bloody piss poor case management by temps that have exited stage left leaving the newly allocated officers to pick up the pieces.

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  4. Post split not enough Assessors and Trainers in either NPS or CRC to train up new recruits. Pre-split work covered somehow or other by committed L&D professionals. All well and good to announce plans to train new PO's -has someone seriously looked at corporate support needed, especially as CRC VR process creating slimmer structures.

    Whilst a lot of attention is being focussed on frontline operational staff - just take a look around at the emerging corporate support structures.

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    1. NPS has suffered badly through not having any corporate support post split.

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    2. Following posted on behalf of person having difficulty with blogsite:-

      The latest TR travesty in my NPS office (south yorks) is due to lack of PSOs to cover courts ,admin staff have been given temp contracts to fill gaps !! Heaven knows how they will be able to complete reports and assist the Court without training? The experienced and qualified PSOs assigned to the CRC are rightly disgusted ! The POs working in court tell us it's a shambles and we feel the reputation of the probation staff is becoming embarrassing !

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    3. Real issues with NPS support - IT regularly a problem, in court team with having to email a contact centre taking 3/4 hours for response. Former Trust IT support ( which was responsive and excellent) only for CRC now. SHAMEFUL Messrs Grayling, Allars et al !

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  5. I understand role of SPOs with PQF candidates is to increase-yet a further responsibility! (I'm not a SPO)

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  6. im fed up of management creeps volunteering for everything (covering colleagues on maternity or other understaffed CRC offices) and then moaning they're tired & overworked. Stop propping TR up and you wouldn't be !!

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  7. why can't we get the 'popular' tabloids to read these comments and see what horrors are building up for all of us? This blog still seems to be our 'secret' but can you imagine what the Mirror, for example, could make of it all? There have been worthy articles in the likes of the 'Morning Star', but it doesn't reach your average reader, and it is those who are already the most vulnerable in our communities who will be the most at risk, in particular, domestic violence families. Social Services are also struggling, charities and voluntary organisations are being closed down, the country is already failing to protect our children from sexual predators on social media, and we have unscrupulous, ambitious, unethical, dangerous........, running the justice system - there are none so blind as those who will not see. It's gone far enough, indeed far too far.

    Think of the children, and for pity's sake, let us get this message out onto the streets, to endeavour to protect them from even more harm. Give Cameron a kick up the arse and get rid of a monster of a Minister .And Milliband, open your eyes to what the opposition is doing to the country you are hoping to run in a few short months. Don't let it be a missed opportunity!

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    1. http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/404628/Government-cuts-linked-Swaleside-prison-officer-attack

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    2. A prison officer whose face was slashed last week in a blade attack was only providing cover because of major staff shortages.

      The guard was drafted in to Swaleside in Kent from HMP Dover after government cuts left warders struggling to cope, it is claimed.

      The family man was attacked when four junkie inmates, angry over increased cell lock-up time, vented their fury in a savage ambush.

      As the warder tried to lock them in their cells in the jail’s detox unit he was grabbed from behind and cut with a blade set into a toothbrush.

      The attackers slashed his back and his face. They and other prisoners then went on the rampage, setting fire to bins, wardrobes and mattresses.

      A riot squad and fire crews rushed to the prison to quell the flare-up on G-wing.

      The Ministry of Justice, whose Secretary Chris Grayling insists there is no crisis in UK jails, played down the incident. He denied claims the violence was linked to staffing.

      But the Daily Star Sunday can reveal there are fears the jail – dubbed “Stabside” after scores of similar assaults – is on the brink of a full-scale riot because of the staff shortages.

      A source said: "This has been threatening to happen for a while.

      "Because there aren’t enough staff to cater for the numbers, inmates are in their cells virtually 24/7 – especially at weekends.

      "That is down to one thing – the lack of staff. And that’s because of Government cuts.”

      Last year security chiefs found more than 35 makeshift blades in the prison.

      And an inspection last month highlighted the staffing crisis.

      Chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said: “Much-needed improvements, which go to the heart of the prison’s challenges, require staffing levels to be brought up to at least the agreed levels.

      "To do this the prison needs much more effective support from the centre.”

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    3. BBC and Channel 4 have been in contact with retired PO and they are desperate to speak to staff re: omnishambles.... Any volunteers??? They have promised full anonymity.

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  8. Yes, I will - how do I make contact ??
    PO

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  9. Me too. With pleasure ;)

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    1. Well one way forward is for people to either contact Joanna Hughes or myself and we will endeavour to put people in touch with each other. My addy is off the profile page.

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  10. Hi, my email address is joanna840@googlemail.com and my mobile number is 07854 668050. Anyone who wants to help with talking to Radio or TV please get in touch with me. Thanks.

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    1. Joanna thank you for all the effort put into EMs and negotiations over AGM! Hope you have had chance to relax this weekend.

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  11. According to an explanatory note appended to the recently published " The Offender Management Act 2007 (Dissolution of Probation Trusts) Order 2014 " : -

    " An impact assessment of the policy implemented by this Order has not been produced as no impact on the private or voluntary sectors is foreseen "

    http://www.napo2.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=844

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  12. Before you read this, just to say that I am not totally against private sector involvement in Probation. But I'd say that in West Yorkshire there is an uneasy and risky situation at present. CRC staff are getting very demoralised through caseloads of 90+ for PSOs and approaching 60 for POs (virtually all DV). That is untenable now and they will go under weeks after U12 months cases come on-line. I can't see why any private companies would want to take over as the reputational damage would be immense, they would be out of their depth and it would take an almighty amount of money to try to keep it on the rails. 'Staff mutuals' also wouldn't work because they are in effect management buy outs, and in WY they haven't got a clue about practice (they brought us post sentence assessment for god's sake as a way of making things more efficient. Doh!).

    Meanwhile, NPS has become focussed on prison resettlement and report writing. The system is only operating because a large majority of PSRs are being written sessionally for extra cash by CRC and NPS POs. If the contracts are ever handed out the private companies would soon put a stop to their staff doing them, and then we would be quickly stuffed......because that's the only thing that's keeping us afloat. NPS are also wanting to put POs into prison, hostel and court teams. All an additional need and cost because of the inefficiency of TR. Yet, there are no staff to move to these teams, and secondly, haven't managers realised that there will soon be cuts to NPS? Risk management is all over the place, inefficiency is increasing due to TR processes, partnerships are down the drain already, AND the financial numbers aren't adding up. What a mess. What a government made shambles. What a bloody peculiar and weird design for a Probation Service, never mind one that was previously high performing!! If you were starting from a blank piece of paper, this would have been the last design on the list, suggested by the mad bloke in the corner.

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  13. solution in my neck of the woods is one of the following: stick everyone on 8 wk reporting; refer everyone to a partnership agency (this means I don't have to see them and the contact counts) ; revoke everyone; put everyone in a monthly reporting centre. This frees you up to do oasys after oasys all day long zzzz

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    1. Isn't this utterly dreadful! - Can we at least know which CRC?

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    2. I have a lot of DV cases, some with 'live' Child Protection. I've been told to put them on fortnightly appts!!! Needless to say I refused. I plan to talk to the papers/Joanna/Jim as I have a load of socking stories. Jim, I also have some new info 'borrowed' fromour ACE's computer and regarding targets. I' ll get them to you this week. Not sure if you already have them but it might be a shame if the ended up with The Press ;)

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    3. The solution in my CRC is to offer the majority of clients 3 appointments with their officer for the duration of their Order. Aside srom this, it's monthly telephone contact and revoke at halfway!

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    4. Anon 23:35 - always grateful for info, but take care!

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    5. 21:06 is with reference to Merseyside.

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  14. Similar in my area ( north of you) POs transferred back into court teams to do the case allocation and risk escalation/review system, PSOs being made to write majority of court reports ( v few full PSRs being done, so no OASys). Staff in wrong locations still due to TR split eg one large office having to put every case ( CRC) onto reporting centre because only have one PO. Other CRC offices with PSOs carrying massive case load but one NPS office with PSOs asking for work with only 16 cases each. Managers fighting between themselves as CRC do not want some of the cases allocated to them.
    Oh and I agree, the requirement to staff the prisons with POs can't be met unless they take all CRC POs to do the jobs leaving PSOs carrying virtually every CRC case.
    What really , really worries me are the DV cases sentenced by 5 day reports (FDRs) when enquiries (eg police searches) are not returned in that timescale and yet they are virtually all allocated to CRC.
    Then my biggest worry of all SAFEGUARDING, I have heard CDOs say they do not have time to do sufficient enquiries - the scope for something really serious to go wrong is huge, it honestly terrifies me.
    What business undertaking due diligence would not immediately drop out of the bidding? It is DANGEROUS, RISKY and reputational damage is the least of prospective deliverers of probation services worries. Victim's families will sue them for every penny when they are responsoble for what is surely coming.
    STOP, RE-CONSIDER and DROP OUT BIDDERS!

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    1. Yes of course, one thing the CRCs can't control is what type of assessment they get from NPS. Our CRC staff are spending huge amounts of time making up the new shortfall in quality of PSRs that don't have OAsys with them - no SDRs anymore just FDRs for CRC bound cases. Best of luck bidders - you'd better have deep pockets.

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  15. Public Accounts Committee - How much Public money has been wasted because of TR to date? Here are some ideas for starters. Others may follow...

    1. Cost of time given by civil servants as demanded by ministerial directive?
    2. Publicity, webchat, document design, identity, brochures, meetings, conferences, workshops, grants (e.g to crc staff mutuals, etc), teleconferences - i.e how many hours of senior manager time?
    3. Consultants (£9m last count), recruitment agencies, temp staff
    4. EVR
    5. Existing staffing, e.g. relocation, travel to redirected base, promotion to new layers of management
    6. New policies & procedures
    7. New jobs created by crc/nps split
    8. Relocation of office premises
    9. Assigning key physical assets to crc

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    1. I am sure people can add a lot to this list. Just eth amount of time trying to read impenetrable emails must add up to millions. I have given up reading them. they are full of meaningless tosh and I will try to hold out for some training on the ridiculous NDelius system (none though coming cos it's f*cked and they know it!).

      The greatest cost though is not in the ridiculous additional little and large jobs that have been created, but in the loss of perfectly efficient systems, partnerships, and especially the skills, humour, motivation and dedication of truly excellent staff. The heart is gone, and the lights have gone out.

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  16. Pregnancy rate in our office has gone through the roof. Funny that.

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  17. In our office all that the PSOs seem to be doing is turning FDRs and Stand Down reports into OASys so-called assessments. I bet the private companies never counted on that - it's the biggest waste of time I have ever seen. And meanwhile nothing is happening with service users. What a pointless effing job.

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  18. In Staffs & West Mids, telephone contact with offenders has gone through the roof, even for DV and on the med/high cusp cases. More worrying, figures are being fudged big time, office visits where offenders have not turned up are being marked down as attended. It's a terrible and very risky situation.

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  19. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11154997/Childrens-groups-speak-out-against-new-borstal.html

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  20. From BBC website 8 Sept 2014. Relevant to today's actions.

    "MPs should get a 9% pay rise next year as planned, the body overseeing their salaries and expenses has said.

    Marcial Boo, chief executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), said MPs did an important job and should not be paid a "miserly amount".

    Their pay will go up from £67,000 to £74,000 under Ipsa's plan.

    The PM, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband called the hike unacceptable when it was proposed at the end of last year.

    The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour party leaders argued it would be wrong when public sector pay rises were capped at 1%.

    But speaking to the Sunday Telegraph in his first interview since taking on the job, Mr Boo said a review of evidence had shown that economic forecasts were improving while MPs' salaries had "fallen behind" others working in comparable public sector roles.

    The proposed £74,000 figure was now seen by some as being "at the low end", he claimed, adding that pay needed to be fair to attract good candidates.

    'Not excessive'
    "They are there to represent us all - to form laws, to send young people to war," Mr Boo told the newspaper.

    "It is not an easy thing to do. We want to have good people doing the job and they need to be paid fairly. Now, that's not paid in excess but it's not being paid a miserly amount either.""

    And NOMS want to introduce PRP to NPS... As an alternative to increments. And CRCs will undoubtedly cut staff costs to boost profits, while MPs and their families empty the public piggybank yet again.

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    1. Personally I think MPs should be paid more - it's a difficult and time-consuming job - but that they must be banned from undertaking any other paid work whilst they're serving in Parliament, and that all their investments are moved into a blind trust so that they have no way of benefitting financially from their position.

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  21. And from Torygraph las week:

    "Although George Osborne used his Conservative Party conference speech to paint a grim picture of the continuing austerity facing the country after the general election, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his colleagues appear not to be taking cost-cutting measures themselves.
    New tender documents reveal that authorities are to spend £360,000 replacing all the carpets in Portcullis House, where many of the more favoured MPs have their offices. In total, more than half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money is to be spent sprucing up Parliament, with £144,000 earmarked for “wood lacquering” and £180,000 to go on other fixtures and fittings in the Palace of Westminster. This work includes decorating, as well as “hanging specialist wallpapers”.
    Portcullis House was opened by the Queen in 2001 to provide alternative offices for MPs after space was limited in Parliament. It was originally meant to cost £60 million but by the time it was completed the figure had risen to £234 million. A House of Commons spokesman insists the work is necessary. “The carpet in Portcullis House was fitted 15 years ago, and now needs to be replaced. The other works are part of routine maintenance,” she says."

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  22. Perhaps they'll secure some special deals with Osbourne's family business? Lovely wallhangings for our MPs, pennies for a struggling business. Result!!

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    1. Obviously why they've just announced that they're selling off the 40% share of Eurostar that the government holds- to boost the public purse of course!!!

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  23. Phew! Looks like little George will be okay now. The Torygraph reassures us with this heartwarming story.

    "Osborne & Little, the luxury wallpaper and furnishings company majority-owned by the Chancellor’s family, has bounced back into profits.

    The international business, in which George Osborne owns a 15pc stake held in a blind trust, generated pre-tax profits of £712,000 during the year to 31 March 2014, a £1.45m operating improvement compared to a loss of £746,000 the previous year.

    The company said that sales grew by 2pc during the year to £33.9m while gross profits increased by 6c to £18.7m."

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