Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Future's Purple

Who the hell is purple futures?

Purple Futures? Is it just me? Sounds like a Heavy Metal tribute band!!

Yup, the colour one is left when battered and bruised.....seems apt don'tcha think?

F*cking Interserve for Manchester, to top it all I hate purple. I feel a notice going in. 

Interserve CEO, Adrian Ringrose said:
“The Purple Futures partnership brings together the best of the private, voluntary and not for profit sectors. Interserve will bring its business expertise, investment capability and public service delivery pedigree. Our four partners, 3SC; Addaction; P3 and Shelter, will bring a wealth of service delivery and community engagement experience. It’s an exciting prospect.
“Probation and rehabilitation services have always been embedded within local communities. By working closely with local businesses, voluntary agencies, local authorities and the police, which are all critical to successful public protection and rehabilitation, we believe we can make a real difference.”
Interserve and its partners have spent over 12 months co-designing services to reduce re-offending, working with local voluntary sector groups who will provide a range of specialised services in local communities designed to improve the life chances of offenders and help reduce reoffending rates.

Proposals include measures such as the setting up of new social enterprises, to provide employment opportunities for offenders and ex-offenders. Purple Futures will also continue to use the well established Community Payback model.
Interserve's 'Charity Charter' sets out the principals of what it, as a substantial commercial enterprise, can offer and what it expects from its voluntary sector and social enterprise partners. 
A client called me today to thank me for getting him through his licence and being so respectful. Unlike those 'Interserve shits' he said, who have given him twelve different work programme mentors in two years and done absolutely nothing for him. Very funny I thought, especially as they will soon be delivering probation services in our area. In fact he told me some real horror stories about his experience with them. Our more aggressive clients will look forward to those challenges I'm sure.

I forgot to mention - he got plenty of employment thanks to our Skills 4 Work advisors who got him on all sorts of useful courses that Interserve couldn't because they put up a different advisor every time he went.

Everyone that I have on the work programme run by Interserve highlight the futility of going to their appointments as they do nothing when they get there other than to tick the register of their arrival.

The internet is littered with unhappy customers venting their feelings. This from last year on David Icke's website:-
I have had the misfortune of having to attend a Government work program that is run by the company "Interserve".This company is supposed to help unemployed people find work placements and courses to attend. I have to attend every fortnight and failure to do so will result in my benefit being stopped.

I have been going to this work program (Interserve) for a year now, each time I attend which is every single fortnight I ask the same questions, "are there any job vacancies?" "are there any courses that I can attend?". And every single fortnight I get the same reply which is "No".

When I ask why there are no courses i am told there is not enough funding? Yet this same company Interserve received several MILLION pounds bonus from the Government last year ...but yet there are no funds available!?
This company Interserve also receive £400 for each individual person they get on to their work program. It's pretty obvious who is benefiting out of this work program and it certainly isn't the unemployed!
We know the work programme has a dismal performance record and Interserve has never been one of the better performing 'primes'.

Purple Futures on Merseyside?? Only two colours here - red & blue. In fact the blue army's slogan 'you're in my heart you're in my soul' is kind of a mantra to those dedicated to Probation work.

Don't be fooled by the new names. Purple is still a big multi national that is subbing to all the others in with them. Some of these subbys will be unbearable! Nacro have been a bit player for some years now. They will think they are the cat that got the cream. If I was CRR and MTC Amey I would have your lawyers on speed dial, not that I want you to win, but you have been had over by Grayling! SUE HIS ARSE.

What's the latest on Purple Sprouting Futures? Who's going to be CEO? I think Harry Fletcher was alluding that there was some dodgy connection.

I may have misheard but someone told me Yvonne Lewis who used to be a bigwig in NOMS is now MD of Purple Futures. I may have got the surname wrong because the only Yvonne at NOMS I can see is an Yvonne Thomas. 

Any which way, if somebody from NOMS has now got the MD job at Purple Futures and they have coincidentally won the winning bid it does raise some interesting questions.

Last week there was an email announcing the Managing Director of Purple Futures is Yvonne Lewis who was in her previous role the Director of Offender Management at NOMS. It said Purple Futures had a 'strong offender management background' (it will be interesting to see who these could be and I can only assume are possible ex-ACO or SPO?).

The email also said contracts would be signed before 17/12/14 and that before Christmas there will be new versions of Oasys and delius in order to allow for custody screening on all cases with the introduction of supervision for all those sentenced to custody.  

I actually think Purple Futures is currently scurrying around trying to recruit ex Probation management staff in order to bolster it's know-how because nobody else would be have offender management background unless ex-prison? I wonder if the reference to Yvonne Lewis should be Thomas?

It's a shame to give Sodexo all the negative press, lets look at Interserve. Debbie Ryan is the Director of Interserve. In 2007 she joined Working Links before rising to become the Director of their Justice Division responsible for all justice preparations and the realisation of the vision to support the governments justice reform agenda. 

2012-1013 she became Director of G4S Rehabilitation and Resettlement. When G4S were barred from bidding it is said that Interserve swallowed up the G4S justice Team. While at Working Links Debbie was the boss of Max Chambers who joined from being a senior research fellow in the Policy Exchange, who drove the policy to privatise probation. He returned to the Policy exchange in 2012 as the research director again pushing the privatisation agenda and is now, as of May 2014, a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. It's all very cosy in the Transforming Rehabilitation World.

Didn't Max do well? This from Policy Exchange site:-
Max Chambers is now Special Adviser for Home Affairs and Justice in the Number 10 Policy Unit. Before joining Policy Exchange, Max worked for a leading welfare-to-work provider, where he was recruited to help establish and grow a new justice services division. As Commercial Development Manager, he led the company’s bids for Ministry of Justice payment-by-results pilots, probation contracts and as part of a major programme of prison competition. Prior to this, Max worked for Policy Exchange as Senior Research Fellow, authoring seven influential reports on police reform, criminal justice and health. Max has also worked in Parliament for the Shadow Justice and Home Affairs teams. He read law at the University of Nottingham.
This from 'Omnishambles Update 29' when Debbie was at G4S:-
Talking of twitter, I really do feel it's worth highlighting the nonsense that Debbie Ryan, Director of Rehabilitation and Resettlement at G4S has recently been engaging in:-
I would welcome all & any probation individuals to come to G4S and see for themselves. Anyone interested?? R u passionate about probation? Want to help shape the G4S TR bid? I am ready to listen. Would u attend workshop to share ur frontline exp? If you want to contribute to the G4S bid. Have your say and shape the future - let me know. Happy to host workshops if enough interest??? Have had soo many tweets - emotions are high. Have your say and let's work together to make sure your experience shapes the future??

if you get involved you will know exactly what the future holds. You will help shape it. Take control. Get involved in The G4S TR bid. Help shape the model? Want to hear what you would do?? I agree the spec is key. But you want us to be transparent so help us to make this work? I know you are entrenched in this. It affects your lives and careers. My offer is for you to b able to input! on going experience is essential to manage risk and protect the public. Tell us what YOU think works.
Another historical gem from 'Omnishambles Update 10' last year:-
Interserve's criminal justice team is headed by Yvonne Thomas, just one of the small army of senior civil servants formerly at NOMS/MoJ HQ who have feathered their own nest by jumping ship and in order to make sure their bids stand a good chance of being successful.
"Yvonne will lead a formidable team which allies operational and strategic prisons expertise from both the public and private sectors. Adding operational expertise to its existing knowledge and experience, Interserve now has a complete end-to-end capability to develop innovative solutions in the delivery of custodial and community services. 
 Yvonne tells us in her own "SustainAbilities" blog:
As one of a number of organisations which has submitted bids to operate the contracts, we at Interserve believe that public service delivery benefits from the participation of a wide range of service providers and partners. We have therefore developed a fully integrated model with a range of partners including SMEs, the public sector, charitable and not for profit groups to create a more efficient and better value service while also fulfilling the MoJ’s ambition that such entities should be a key part of TR delivery.
A business of Interserve’s scale and capability brings business expertise, investment, infrastructure and vast experience of delivering front-line public services, for example in the welfare field. Our strategy is to engage the 3rd Sector Consortium (3SC) to create and manage the performance of our TR supply chain. The overall aim is to round up local, on the ground expertise to change the behaviour of individuals – fundamentally the only way to reduce offending. 3SC will manage more than 30 voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) delivering these services locally according to their strengths.
These groups, which include Shelter, Addaction and New Charter Housing, have been selected for their knowledge of local areas and have extensive experience of dealing with a range of complex offender needs. They have been drawn from the public and charitable sectors because they understand local environments and have a proven track record of successful local delivery.
We believe that this approach should encourage local communities to participate in the rehabilitation process.
Interserve has pledged to give VCSEs significantly more responsibility than current arrangements do to maximise the benefit of their local expertise to proactively deliver innovative services that make the critical difference to reduce reoffending.
We undertook a robust and lengthy due diligence exercise to assess our partners’ delivery capacity and decided on a volume of work for each partner that is realistic and commercially sustainable for both parties.
Interserve would manage the financial risks of the TR contracts, allowing our partners to benefit from the stable cash flow a company of our size and scale can provide. We have created and published a ‘Charity Charter’ which sets out what we can offer our VCSE partners and, in turn, what we expect from them.
Interserve prides itself on being a company which operates in a sustainable way. Our approach to TR aligns with the aims of our business-wide sustainability plan – SustainAbilities – which sets out ambitious targets for the business to achieve by 2020, two of which are to deliver public services in the public interest and to build more skills and opportunities.
These commitments are fundamental to reducing reoffending. We would aim to deliver these objectives for significantly less than the current costs and the nature of the Payment by Results element of the contract means that we would only be fully paid when results are delivered, namely that reoffending is in fact reduced.
These are old problems. It’s time for new solutions – this is what we commit to deliver." 
The Times offers this morsel:- 
Big shot: Yvonne Thomas of Interserve
Robert Lea Last updated at 12:01AM, February 7 2012 
Age 53 Position Managing director, Interserve’s Justice division  
When Ken Clarke next locks up the Ministry of Justice at night, he might want to check just how many senior civil servants he has left on the premises. The Justice Secretary’s privatisation and contract plans for the prison and probation services have prompted a flow of executives to the burgeoning private sector “offender management” industry.  
The latest to quit is Yvonne Thomas, operations director of the National Offender Management Service. Ms Thomas is off to run the justice division of Interserve, best known for being a caretaker of buildings from schools to Buckingham Palace. There she will team up with an impressive group of fellow defectors, including the former heads of Noms’ large prisons and high-security prisons, respectively, as well as the former chief executive of the Probation Association. Interserve has been shortlisted to run three prisons up for privatisation. It expects more, as well as the contracting out of probation and rehabilitation schemes.  
Ms Thomas makes the point that Whitehall cost-slashing is making public sector offender management unsustainable, but she argues that private sector justice services are not necessarily about looking after prisoners on the cheap. “You have to ask yourself: ‘Why do you want to do this, are you qualified to do this and can you do a better job?’ ”  
Ms Thomas spent four years at Noms after a decade at BT, a spell preceded by a decade in software sales. She took an English degree from UWIST, the old Welsh University, and retains a house in the Principality. And despite being English, she supports the Welsh rugby team.
An interesting comment on Yvonne Thomas ex MoJ now heading up the Justice team at Interserve: Found them all interesting, informative and entertaining - with one exception - the Yvonne Thomas from Interserve whose presentation I found lacked depth and insight and did not reflect much empathy for the client group - i.e. people who need Rehabilitation services.

This again from the 'Omnishambles Update 10' archives ref Interserve:-
“When the initiative was launched by the then employment minister Chris Grayling, he name checked a ‘voluntary sector organisation’ called Rehab Jobfit whose involvement was a ‘massive boost for the big society’. But Rehab Jobfit is in fact a joint venture between an Irish Charity called Rehab and Interserve, a distinctly non-voluntary sector PFI specialist, chaired by the conservative peer Lord Blackwell. 
Interserve has three ‘prime’ Work Programme contracts in Wales and the South West – but its public sector work is, alas, nothing to boast about. In 2009 the Office of Fair Trading fined it £11.6m for rigging the price of public sector building contracts after it and other builders carved up supposedly competitive bids on big public contracts such as hospitals. The fines followed an investigation into ‘cover pricing’, whereby companies put in artificially high bids to ensure another firm in the scam wins the deal. 
Interserve likes Work Programme contracts so much that last year it bought some more, taking over Business Employment Services and Training Ltd (BEST), which runs the Work Programme in West Yorkshire. Rehab Jobfit and BEST, now renamed Interserve Working Futures, receive at least £22m a year between them from Work Programme contracts.”
From London Evening Standard earlier this year, looking at outsourcing etc. & some familiar names feature:-
Companies that were awarded contracts to build and maintain state schools for 25 years have been doubling their money by “flipping”, or selling on, the Private Finance Initiative (PFIs) projects just four years after finishing them.The chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, described the huge profits as “a total scandal” and said it meant “we have all been ripped off”. 
The Evening Standard’s sister paper The Independent’s findings shine a new light on how private companies have made fortunes in pure profit from the rising value of the schools and hospitals they have built – value which critics say could have been retained by the taxpayer. 
Four contractors alone made profits of more than £300m. Of the companies studied – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Interserve and Kier – Balfour Beatty is by far the biggest beneficiary of the rising value of its Private Finance Initiative and Public Private Partnership deals. It alone has made profits of £188.9m.Only this week, it flipped the University Hospital of North Durham and seven schools in Knowsley, near Liverpool, generating a gain of £51m. In the case of the schools, it doubled its money from the £19m investment made when the 27-year contracts were awarded in 2007 and 2011. 
The Durham hospital, which was one of the first hospitals to be built under PFI-style private financing, was dogged with controversy about bed shortages and poor design when it opened. Carillion has made £12.2m, Kier £20.7m and Interserve £90m, according to stock market filings and company documents. Ms Hodge said: “It is a scandal, a total scandal that the public sector has privatised these projects so badly. We have all been ripped off. 
Isn't the Chair of Interserve Lord Blackwell, a Tory Peer? 

Is Lord Blackwell still the chairman of the board of directors for Interserve? Are they the lead for Purple Futures? Feels like XFactor when Simon Cowell isn't happy with the competitors so puts together his own group a la One Direction!

I do believe that CS Grayling is the constituency MP for The Lord Blackwell, a resident of Epsom. Clearly Mr Grayling is taking excellent care of his constituents' best interests.

Interserve buildings maintenance seem to be coining it. 3 separate people in 3 vehicles sent to the same place on the same day, one to replace a light bulb. Each paid as highly qualified electrical or other engineers, none doing work that required their level of skill and each paid for hours of work when the problem was resolved in approx 30 minutes.

Is it just me or is there also something inherently wrong with Interserve having the building contracts in areas where Sodexo are the preferred bidders? I can't understand how it can possibly be right that one company gives the keys to all its buildings to a competitor and allows them access when no one is there!

Interserve have got the keys to all the buildings in Northumbria...

Why? They may be prefered bidders, but they have no contract, and may still not get one.

They have the contract for building management. They do the cleaning and alarm services. We are actually a Sodexo preferred bidder area in Northumbria. Interserve meanwhile can come in whenever they want to and wander around at will when no one is there.

Hmmm, I think Interserve has the same deal for all Probation Approved Premises certainly they have in my area....so they appear to have a lot of NPS work too. I also think they do some of the NPS buildings...

As with lots of this, what the MoJ think happens and how things are organised on the ground is very difficult. The MoJ have no idea how local partnerships work for instance (or even that they exist), or how many of these have been destroyed by TR.

The thing is that Shelter, Addaction etc will come in expecting some of the TR pie, when actually the services they are hoping to offer are actually financed by local partnerships who will withdraw the funding. TR contractors will therefore have to find money for services which have seemingly disappeared. It's hilarious how naïve these companies are. They just have no idea of the complexities of how Probation works and how much good will we used. It is also not a service they will be able to skimp on. Just ask Atos. They're gonna need deep pockets and long arms if they're gonna avoid profit warnings to their shareholders.

Tell staff in the voluntary sector agencies they are about to get caseloads of 90+ and see what they do. They're not used to managing more than 20 at a time.


  1. As the manager of a regional medium sized homeless charity, I thought I would make a few comments about partnership with CRC.

    Firstly our successful under 12 month project with the Probation Service was scrapped on day one of the new CRC taking over, the explanation was “no resources”.

    The chances of us developing a partnership with a multi national billion pound company running a CRC, absolutely nil, why?

    Why would this charity expend resources to support a multi national, how could I go to my trustees, supporters or trusts and ask for money to partner these companies who have vast financial resources.

    We will continue to work with offenders but not through the CRC, we will not act as a reporting centre for them so they can achieve their PbyR targets.

    We will also not seek joint funding with them as again why should a trust support a multi national company and ourselves.

    The basis of all our work with offenders is not driven by profit, it is driven by the desire to offer offenders a basis from which to grow and develop, to start again, to rehabilitate, to reinvest with dignity. Money or financial rewards do not come into the equation, that is what the private companies and national charities do not understand. We do because it is the right thing to do.

    1. As someone very critical of the charities role in TR and in particular being used to create shareholder value by the large businesses to whose tune they have to dance, your post is really welcome. It is just great to hear you are driven to work with offenders for all the right reasons, not £profit. THANK YOU

  2. Kick Interserve all want - they clean the toilets in our CRC - but my CPA is a Sodexo one and I found something pleasantly surprising on their website:

    Ethical Principles

    Sodexo Justice Services operates under stringent ethical principles, and operates only in:

    Democratic countries that do not have the death penalty.

    Countries where our staff are not required to carry firearms.

    Countries where the ultimate goal of incarceration is prisoner rehabilitation.

    can't argue with that particularly as the USA would potentially be a massive income stream.

    Not saying I agree with any of the TR stuff but I'm happy to give it a go and am getting annoyed by the tantrums on here from the 'status quo' brigade. Things change.

    1. There's a tipping point for us all, I'm emotionally, logically and every other 'ally' committed o a not for profit service. I've given 33 years of my working life to helping individuals change their thinking and so change their lives. But if this all goes ahead, and I don't want it too, I have then to adjust. Hold on to what I can in the hope a future government thinks again. I am a manager I have to think of the team and their emotional health. They are all in the same position, trying to make sense of what is happening each day. Dealing woth their fears and concerns. Of course I hope it will fall apart I have to prepare in case it doesn't

    2. Sodexo: 38% of its revenue is made in the USA. It's ethical principles, like the UK Prison Inspectorate's independence, are therefore somewhat proportionate and expedient. And, of course, they were previously involved with U.S. Prisons, as they held a stake in CCA – Corrections Corporation of America. They have a history of bullying unions, low pay and racial discrimination. So, with these caveats, they are indeed a fine company.

    3. "I'm happy to give it a go and am getting annoyed by the tantrums on here from the 'status quo' brigade. Things change."

      Anybody from a Status Quo Brigade, ever back to the dawn of probation is in the wrong job. Probation work is about change, including organisational change which I was part off and sometimes drove or even initiated over 30 years.

      However what should not have changed is the uniformity of the employing agency who advise the courts and supervise the court orders, be they community orders or on licenced release from custody.

      The most dangerous of these new arrangements is not the introduction of private companies or of commissioning discrete work from non traditional probation organisations.

      It is splitting the service at the local level making continuity of contact even harder to maintain than it had already become since the growth of specialist teams after the 1991 CJA when automatic supervised release from prison was (wrongly) introduced.

      I say wrongly - regrettably with hindsight.

    4. To anon 9.55 are you for real or are you playing devils advocate. As far as I can see, there is nothing ethical about the companies we will now be working for if we don't win JR. Once employed by them, I have no doubt you will write back with a different view.

    5. I think anon 9.55 is being a pragmatist. We have mortgages to pay and families to support. If I resign on principle who pays the price?

  3. I'm in a sodexo CRC as well. So glad i'm not in a purple futures area. they do sound like the end of a bell

  4. Working Links claim the private owners (cap Gemini, manpower, mission australia) take no profits (which are supposedly reinvestes) and are involved only in the interests of corporate social responsibility. Yeah right... corporate social responsibility is a contradiction in terms.

    1. CAP Gemini has a lot of government consultancy business, including a recent review of courts, do we think they may have been one of the consultancies used by err Chris Grayling on err, the TR "project" ?
      So, perhaps another significant conflict of interests p'raps?

  5. I have been looking at the contract values provided at the initial stage of the process and there are two figures - the low end figure (minimum) and high end figure(maximum) that MoJ will pay to the providers.
    The low end figure is £406m per annum , the max £496m per annum.

    Presuming the contracts were secured on the lowest cost to MoJ , the percentages of the key players are as follows;
    Sodexo - 21.36% of contract value
    ARCC - 3.10%
    Purple Futures - 22.15%
    Ingeus - 13.45%
    Work Links - 14.09%
    Geo - 2.86%
    MTC Novo - 17.27%
    Seetec 5.72%
    Whether you use the max or min the percentages should be the roughly the same!

    What does this tell us?
    Well for one , none of the providers have exceeded the 25% of total contract value .
    MTC Novo - despite getting only two CRC have in fact achieved 17% of the market , the reason is that London is 14% of the total contract value itself, and this puts them in the top 5 providers who have 88% of the market together - ARCC , GEO, SEETEC are minor players and will ultimately be swallowed up by the others.
    This figures also put to bed the argument that there was a large number of potential providers when in fact the opposite is true, this is a national competition with no regard for local requirements and aside from minor players a vast majority of services will be provided by multi nationals.

    This information is based on the published contract values in February and the nature of such competitions would presume some level of discount for multiple areas, therefore the potential is there for the big players to have offered less than the contract value too.

    Then there is the matter of profit - one provider has alluded to a 10% margin over the period of the contract ( about £65million in one case) .
    That figure will also be variable according to the various caveats that are attached to the contract.
    What could the probation services in a publicly owned service do with such a figure? How much would that impact on the outcomes of our clientele ?
    Every year you will see the annual accounts for the 4 major companies and see a profit made by squeezing the services you are trying to provide and even the Working Links business will have an "excess" as not for profit organisation.
    In the secretive world of Grayling and MoJ we are unlikely to see the real cost of the selling of probation services but we can already see the direction of travel.

  6. I hear the Lib Dems have decided to progressively withdraw support from the Tories and it has started today with the resignation of Norman Baker from the Home Office. They have realised they will massively lose at next election if they do not start to assert themselves so this is a great time to approach Lib Dem MPs. It is just a pity Simon Hughes appears to be such a lap dog for Chris Grayling but now really is the time to push them apart. If the government folds contracts have not been signed.....
    Watch this space, this story should gain traction...

    1. I do not think the Lib Dems are in this instance, lap dogs.

      From what I have calculated by inference from reading others is that over this Lib Dems and Conservatives came together as happy bedfellows both anticipating satisfaction from the engagement.

      I think LibDems were very keen. I expect Hughes was to the fore as he previously took a keen interest in probation work - he was once a practising barrister.

      I think Lib Dems were desperate to get work done with under 12 month prisoners which failed under Labour but I think Conservatives, particularly from the Grayling school, were desperate to diminish the direct engagement with front-line work of any public service.

      So they came up with the daft idea - a real hotch potch and the fact it was LibDem driven is further indicated that the stupid - I mean stupid ORA2014 started its way through parliament introduced by a LibDem peer Lord (Tom) McNally who never seemed to understand what he was doing .

      They must have been very badly advised because there are two aspects that will not work and will cause chaos probably in the Appeal courts and maybe in the media - though seeing as the media have gone quiet on the Prime Minister employing a liar as his principal media adviser, maybe not?

      The two bits - that every one whether sentenced to two days or three hundred and sixty four days prison gets a whole twelve months supervision on release - clearly unjust.

      Then the detail of the supervision of those on Community Orders will be worked out by the supervising agencies - unpaid work - drug treatment - one to one supervision - clearly unjust because it further removes judicial adjudication from the courts of law where defendants have a right of legal representation to the offices of the companies who will earn profit from the rehabilitation activity requirements they impose.

      Parliament is stuffed with lawyers - they must have not been concentrating - those aspects will surely fail if they are implemented without first being amended.

      But they get the Lib Dems able to smugly claim they did something positive for criminal justice and the Conservatives to say they have freed up a bit more of The State.

      Interestingly Norman Baker, having forced his drugs report out of the Home Office has given up, I heard Malcolm Bruce listing all the wonderful things Lib Dems have brought us acknowledging the tuition fees debacle - did not mention in that list under 12 month supervision.

      Bruce is Lib Dems second in command to Clegg - maybe that is a sign they know they've got big problems with probation - I do hope so, because ultimately parliament will have to sort out the mess it has allowed.

      Tough as it is for practitioners, clients and victims, I believe that the 'sorting out' will come soonest - the more people with experience and skills withdraw from probation - at least for the time being!

    2. Parliament is stuffed with lawyers - who weren't good enough to make a career in the law

  7. Slightly off topic but just had this http://weownit.org.uk/take-action/ask-your-mp-back-public-service-users from We Own It please follow the link and ask Your MP to sign it.


  8. http://www.standard.co.uk/business/markets/anthony-hilton-hypocrisy-of-probation-outsourcing-9838246.html

    1. A good article that - worth reading - I added a response - it is also posted on Napo GLB Branch facebook page


  9. Sadiq Khan has been reported to police by a Conservative MP for using his mobile phone, texting I think. Needless to say the act is wrong but the timing is fascinating could be a coincidence or would politicians play that dirty? What are the consequences for all concerned. It was reported on Daily Politics 15 mins ago

  10. I've just heard from a former colleague that NPS staff are being forced to do RSR training version 13 which has been cobbled together in 2 days and were told by the trainers (one a PO grade who used to be active in Napo - shame) that this was a direct result of the Judicial Review and the MOJ are insisting everyone has to do it. However, half the staff haven't done it and the MOJ will say that they all have. Apparently, there are quite a few mistakes on it including one on a question on sexual offending where the answer has already been put as: last offence in 1866! The trainers didn't know whether this was affecting the final scores. Has anyone else any experience of this?

    1. Hopefully lots of participants will report their experiences to napo.

      Seems as if MOJ are firefighting but using leaky buckets and rickety ladders

    2. This is a prison service approach to inspection deadlines. Put 200 people in a room for an hour and then they are trained.

    3. Not true and not linked to JR. Momentum and political scrutiny were around before. Still fraught with problems though.

  11. Joanna, there is a real panic about the Case Allocation, RSR and Risk Escalation Tools. NOMS have sent a number of staff out to court teams ( where most areas have made this part of a POs duties), my understanding from the 2 colleagues picked to speak to this person (both non union incidentally) was that NOMS have realised this is being done very differently in areas - a big issue for JR me thinks. I have posted information previously about this and signalled to NAPO from June about the issues and lack of training. I have simply told the truth not embellished because it does not need to be. FAR too many young people are being sent to NPS - it is tick box assessment and does not differentiate between the behaviour in offences eg arson ( setting light to a bin as opposed to setting a fire at a school building, you get the point?). Also staff were previously told to use the 'professional judgement' override to allocate cases appropriative to NPS or CRC and have since been told this can only be exceptionally used.

  12. oops before any one comes back to me about the arson offences I have described, it is just meant to illustrate ranges of behaviour, I fully accept both COULD be serious....it is just that usually probation staff are capable of exercising judgements rather than one size fits all assessments....that's what I meant!

  13. Hi anon above, thanks for this. I have just passed my information on to Napo and they wondered if anyone has any formal documentation they can share with them about this issue.

  14. Probation contracts show the government does not value diversity

    Yet more in The Guardian as a failed bidder bleats!


  15. It's amazing how similar all this nonsense from the successful bidders is. Do they all have the same selection box of buzzwords to pick from? I thought this process was supposed to be about "innovation" - they can't even come up with innovative PR bullshit!

  16. Our CEO is far from innovative despite her spouting this word out more than I say No to my manager. She is Nero fiddling away as Rome burns. All her minions are too scared to argue with her. Hopelessly inadeqaute!!

  17. I'm a client, I'm always (heroin addiction for over 35 years) going to be a client. I'm always going to be your 12 months and under cohort. I'm not thick, my problem is addiction. But being sold on the private market makes me sick to my stomach.
    If you want to make money by buying me, then I'll bide my time, give you every oppertunity to do something wrong, and I'm screaming at the top of my voice how your abuseing me.
    I dont care what it is, if your buying me for profit then I'll seek any recourse I can to take money from you for failing me, and any charity involved in 'buying me' will be highlighted in any media outlet that will listen.
    You think buying people is alright to make profit?
    I promise you that personsally, I'll make more money from you then you make from me.
    Any bad press or reputational damage that comes ss a consequence of that is your business.
    If your commodity is human beings, you deserve everything that comes your way!

    1. A very interesting take on things and from a perspective that does not have much of a presence on here. Can you be tempted to expand on your experience of probation and the CJS in general?



    2. I've been involved in the CJs from about the time the sex pistols first made headlines.
      Then the probation services doors was open , even if unofficially I don't know, but there was always someone willing to help when you knocked the door. Probstion had their finger on the pulse, and had a link with every other agency in the local community that provided support. There was always help, and not because some target needed meeting.
      Then all the probation services git squeezed into factorys of criminal justice where access became non existsnce unless you were refered by the courts.
      Probation services were taken away from the coal face of the communities, and prevented from functioning in a fashion that served the community best.
      Now I'm not going to get help unless theres a buck in it for someone. So, thats ok! Its the way it is. My involvement with supervision is pretty much the same as my involvement with ASDA, I go when I have to, and do what I have to do. It's not going to help me.
      But if I'm being sold, and some multi national van make money from my sorry heroin addicted arse, then it's fair game to take every oppertunity I can to make money from them.
      There not there to help me through any sense of social conscience are they? As soon as I'm unprofitable I'm on my own. And the charitable organisations that once assisted for nothing else but a desire to help those unfortunate people in life, are now governed by targets and finance.
      Well fuck the lot of them- they'll get their just deserves in the end.

    3. I posted above.
      The real hardcore reality of TR is that you're changing a service that gives a lot for nothing in return, to one that gives nothing and expects a lot in return.
      Values are exchanged for value.
      But thats a tory fundemental I guess.