Sunday, 2 November 2014

TR Week Twenty Two

Searching for a HR offender on Delius I knew was there took more then 5 attempts last week...imagine if I was a temp admin officer responding to a request or enquiry from police.....therein lies the start of an event sequence which ends in an investigation with ACEs and CEOs trying to defend the system and therefore turning to the old favourite 'officer error'....senior managers have not spoken out against TR in the North therefore we can assume that they all support this which will mean that we will move away from identifying a system failure and instead look for a human element...senior managers do not use Delius so how would they know how dangerous this system is? Delius, the supposed all encompassing risk assessment system is in itself a dangerous liability...

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West Yorks almost going the same way as Manchester. Workload tool, old one, reveals most NPS on the 200 per cent mark or thereabouts. Expect a minor revolt of some kind this week as unions become involved. All staff to e-mail seniors to discuss unacceptable risks. Seniors shitting them selves. Little they can do however as cavalry being vetted and sickness levels rising. 

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CRCs meanwhile very little to do and too many staff in our area. Ripe for the Privateers to make wholesale job cuts. Scary for my friends and colleagues in the CRC.

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Not for some if they offer VER. Three in my office will be off like they've shot out of a cannon!!!!!

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And of course there will be no cuts in the NPS!!

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Well, the CRC is very busy in my area and more staff have been taken on. Although it's likely jobs will go in the CRC's, it's just as likely in the NPS. The civil service is a favourite area for savings for the government and there's no reason why NPS staff will be safe. Plus, it's rare for a service to remain part privatised and more of the service may well be moved into the private sector. Sadly, I don't think there's job security on either side anymore.

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There is a big push at present in DTV to get clients to 'reporting centres' where they will be seen enmasse. What I have found is that the time I am spending with them is less than five minutes each, with most not wanting to discuss any issues as they know I have no time to help resolve them as I have another umpteen people waiting to see me. There is very little in the way of partner agencies at the reporting centre so in the main I/we are 'it'. Now, I'm not 100% sure how we are supposed to monitor risk given this situation, however, I know our Chief Officer reads this blog and maybe she can give me a clue. 

She may have no time as she is busy looking up the words complicit and vicarious liability!!!

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I've just Googled vicarious liability and if I was a manager in Probation then I would be sh*ting myself.

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Was it not 'vicarious liability' that had David Scott CPO in London resign after the Sonnex killings when a former justice minister made public pronouncements? That came soon after the Hanson case which I think was involved with more senior probation departures and gained more than usual publicity because a victim was more well known than usual.

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I've googled it and no fucking way do I want a managers job now!!! It'll be arse spraying mayhem at the MM meetings :)

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It would be a shame, a real shame, if when (or if) the winning bidders were announced their business insurance companies got anonymous letter directing them to this blog or spelt out in detail the problems that they might have in the future and the FACT that most SFO's come from medium ROH offenders.

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Message from the director; filling in CAS & RSR forms is the number one priority for NPS. What about public protection & client engagement?

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I get emails every day with jobs all over the country. We are at crisis point and Grayling just ignores it. Loyal staff leaving in droves.

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Just been informed enforcement measures are no longer to be reported on, could this be because they are very poor and show TR failure?

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Somebody will die soon. Mark my words. Many clients falling through the cracks of this TR madness. 

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Please stop blaming the court staff for the state of reports. Most are now to be done on an oral basis - probably an hour start to finish, yes even high risk, read the PI if you don't believe me. DV, safeguarding checks? However, can anyone deliver them in this timescale? You have no idea how bad it is going to get. Paying for reports to be done properly? That is all stopping too. Everything on a oral report, that is the target.

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An hour is the starting point for a report. Benches, in my opinion, have always been happy for cases to 'go back to pm or the following morning' if checks need to be made. You make it sound like court clerks start a stopwatch as soon as they request a report and that is not the case and to suggest otherwise is untrue. 

I am just finding the main reason for poor reports is new staff who aren't probing interviewees enough or aren't putting the info on the FDR. Without going into detail they put statements and then don't expand ie if someone came from Poland to work then it is not too much effort to ask them WHEN they came and WHO with. (this is just a basic example). In addition, people are being passed fit for Unpaid Work when this is clearly not the case - people with heart complaints & arthritic joints.

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No, that is not correct. Court practice has really changed because benches want to deal with so called "stand-downs" themselves and courts do not have slots available in the afternoon or next day. Court teams are being instructed to do most reports as oral reports so delivered within the sitting (am or pm) of the same bench. IMO every PO/PSO should have to do court duty under such circumstances, then everyone would understand the pressure in the restricted time and criticise the staff less (but managers more). It really is a disgrace.

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Having arthritis or a heart complaint doesn't automatically make you unfit for unpaid work in the same way it doesn't always make you unfit for employment. I hate it when people make sweeping generalisations like that.

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Can I just mention that Oral reports in my area are typed on a template and so there's no excuse not to put basic information on the form that will be going to your COLLEAGUES in order to help them get the ISP up and running. Court staff have become very insular of late and I know for a fact that they are allotted time to type these up. No excuse for shoddy, half baked reports at all in my opinion.

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Can I just inform you that under the Probation Instruction in use, this will cease. Oral reports are honestly a tick box only with the offenders details and the offence type the only written information. National Service National delivery from now on! PLEASE check the PI, this is honestly being used in some areas now and is expected to roll out to all.

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If we as probation don't stop this practice now, then reports will be the next thing to go. The quality of assessment to be provided under the circumstances described is (in many circumstances) not going to be good enough and so in the end courts will do without them all together.

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The problem is we have allowed ourselves to be placed in a position where fast delivery reports are ever considered acceptable in any circumstances. My first experience in court (1976) was to observe the delivery of an oral report in which the distressing details of a mans life were laid bare to the bench and members of the public present. I welcomed NAPO's view that Oral reports should be restricted to requesting adjournment for a full report. Whatever happened to our policy (and principles)?

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Please colleagues just read the PI. Oral reports will make up the vast majority of all court reports soon, increasing in my area now to 70% target. They are tick boxes only, easily checked with the PI where the template is. "Allowed ourselves"??? We are being Instructed now.

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Just wondering...does the instruction state that there must be poor quality....does it state that if there are important enquiries to be made that these should be disregarded....does it remove the concept of professional assessment and that if more time is required it should be requested.....does it remove the possibility of using the time to complete an interview of quality, underpinned by skill and experience....does it instruct that the interview should involve reading out the question and ticking the box with the answer...

Does it offer the possibility of using the time to complete a quality interview/assessment whilst reducing the time needed to complete the actual report... 

Does it suggest that the Court can/could have the confidence to know that a skilled and professional person has completed an appropriate enquiry, has gained all relevant information and that on that basis provides a concise and applicable report and viable proposal...Just wondering ....

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I can't believe Court staff are on the same salary band as their case carrying counterparts. PSOs especially - the hours I put into each of my 90 cases and they are ticking a sodding form!! In addition they sit in courts just in case probation are needed - if their court runs out of cases they go back to the office and get off early. If they sit in a report court they basically are just gathering results and escorting the defendant to get their 1st appointment for probation. Most court PSOs I know would not last 5 mins in a case carrying team and how do I know this - because some of them used to carry cases and couldn't hack it so were shunted off to the court!!!

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Me also hears that they are going to start discipline/competency against staff who don't get eoasys ISPs up2date by Dec - 100's are o/s 2m

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I was flaming when I read that it's none of our business about the sell off!! I can't believe that areas are going start disciplinary re late ISPs. Talk about kicking us when we are down! I also think NPS management are clamping down on what napo activists may be saying in various forums. I can't say what it was or who took me to task, but at the meeting I merely posed the difficulties with the particular project given the split and resourcing being an issue and not knowing who may buy the area. And it's been fed back that I was making negative comments about TR.

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Bidders would do well to watch tonight's programme about Baby P on BBC1. I'm a CRC PO with around 30 children on Child Protection Plans or Child in Need status. Not a chance of home visiting, keeping up with Social Workers or even reading all the individual reports. Steer well clear. I know from experience that the death of a child whose parent you are supervising is a harrowing event that doesn't go away.

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If they start disciplining people who make negative comments about TR, I am going to be a very busy NAPO rep.. Starting with my CEO, SMT, Board Chair...

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Morale in my CRC is low and I can see it getting lower when the winning bidder is announced.

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I would rather the announcement of the preferred bidder be known sooner rather than later. Being in a CRC and not knowing who I work for, or if I need to look for another job, is stressful and worrying.

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I think more needs to be said about burnout facing myself and colleagues in NPS re workload, reports and serious nature of offences we have.

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I have just been phoned by a friend to ask was that my post! As you know, it's not mine....but the issue of work related stress really needs addressing. From those who say "we all feel it and we just get on with it" to the those at real risk of serious harm due to it who simply are not well enough to be at work. Stress is serious and can end lives. If anyone is in any doubt go to the Health and Safety Executive website. Our employer has a duty of care to its staff and IMO this has been completely forgotten BUT this is one responsibility an employer cannot abdicate. Remember the recent posts about vicarious liability? Staff health is being harmed by the employer.

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After 10 years of probation I know I need to go for sake of my Health and wellbeing. Also I feel like I cannot do the job I trained to do. I cannot cope with high case load of all high risk people and live in fear of an SFO. Has anyone any pointers on what other areas of work our skills may be transferred to?

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I have a case given to me in beginning of Oct with IDAP requirement, case transferred through TR, client dangerous DV perp, no start oasys from transferring officer who is off sick, case closed on 28/10, I had to do a start oasys and termination without seeing him. He is dangerous and has not been managed properly due to TR, he is a potential SFO. Constant breaches of harassment and court orders, and substance misuse. There are a huge number of these cases in the same mess. How can managers and MoJ feel that things have been carried out properly? What a load of bull. Public safety is at risk more so than it has ever been. It's frightening.

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My exit route is being planned - sadly I think many more will be planning the same.

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I'm planning my escape too but feel a bit trapped after 30 years of service. I feel like I am in no mans land. Do I hang on until I am 55 or make the bastards pay for me to leave? It's a tough one. But what I do know is that it's a sad sad day when such a brilliant work force and a wicked service has been totally shattered to smithereens.

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15 years Service - very much doubt I'll make 16.

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If there is more evidence needed to support JR and the safety issues, please start asking the new TPO's their opinions. Word has it that they have been sent off to various corners of probation with no plan in place, no sufficient bodies around to either meet, greet or support. Then some apparently on their second day told to interview high risk offenders!!!

Are NOMS and MoJ for real? How dangerous is this practice? They should and must deserve better than this and whilst it's not their fault, CRC and NPS are still doing the 'work arounds' and fudging over the cracks of this split. Our business of risk needs appropriate and stringent training and with this divide once 'work arounds' stop, I'm sorry TPOs, I really don't think you are going to get that. 


From PO's all over the country, I'm sure we can all quite sincerely say please, please be careful out there. We are worried for your safety, if the start of your training this month is anything to go by.


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I'm one of the lucky POs that will be vey briefly working for Sodexo before being made redundant. I will no longer do more than my hours or go the extra mile. The extra mile I'm doing is the detour I take to work as every day fills me with dread!

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Reference inspections - Well if they report the truth they should know that some cases have still not been transferred, and a lot of the cases that have been are in an utter state. The whole system is not working. But they will probably feedback a load of bull to suit their purpose.

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I'm in NPS and at last count we had 30 CRC cases. Also my colleague got handed a risk escalation case. It was a custody case which along with others was being held by one of the managers. The person just before release had made serious threats to ex and so it was deemed to be a high risk case by a PO in court/interface team. But no risk escalation paperwork done! Just an agreement to take case between CRC and NPS manager. Needless to say case was handed back to said managers and CRC to do risk escalation paperwork.

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I have every sympathy with any colleague trying to do the "risk escalation paperwork" it is a nightmare on Delius (v little on "paper" actually). It is the single most 'unfit for purpose' system/tool in 30 years of working that I have had the misfortune to encounter.

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I'll sign this off with two reminders. First, that BBC Radio Five Live from 11am today is covering the chaos we are daily facing as part of the TR omnishambles, and second the urgent request by Napo for more information by 5pm Monday if possible. 

I understand the information can be anonymous and some colleagues may prefer to take the opportunity of e-mailing today from a home e-mail address, rather than from work on Monday. The details can be found here.

55 comments:

  1. Reading these comments is so sad. Everyone bitching that their "side" (NPS or CRC) has it harder, works harder and is more hard done by than the other. Chris Grayling has won.

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    1. Has he fuck. Keep your defeatism to yourself thank you very much.

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    2. 06:37 has a point though. We are all at "the end of our tether". Keep telling how it is, but to belittle the contribution of other colleagues through perceptions of what seems 'easier' isn't helpful. Grayling is responsible for this, and yes he will be thinking divide and rule because he knew we would not bend easily. Resentment of others who have their own struggles - whether or not those struggles are immediately apparent - is just the sort of attitude the profiteers will seize on, encourage and exploit If they get the chance.

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    3. I categorically dispute that Grayling has won, that was my point Making simplistic comments such as Grayling has won is not helpful or in my opinion, accurate. There is a cohort of people who have colluded or at best have been apathetic who will still be in post now. However, there is also a great deal of people who continue to support colleagues be they in CRC or NPS.

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    4. I am on the outside looking in - MOJ must be smirking when they read the caustic comments -said in frustration I know - between the 2 sides -CRC and NPS - people who used to work together, share together and support each other as colleagues and friends - Remember the old, but true adage -DIVIDE AND CONQUER -wiki translating as 'triumph over', get the better of'', bring to one's knees'.... Keep talking and supporting, and smash the b........ds where it hurts! Now gonna listen to R5 prog.

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    5. Even if share sale happens and CRC colleagues and NPS colleagues work from different buildings Grayling will not have won-probation is a process which works best when we all work together-remember the onus now falls to Sadiq (I will scrutinise contracts that are awarded) Khan if he becomes Justice secretary in 6 months time-perhaps now would be a good time to remind Sodexo and Purple Ronnie of this fact....game aint over yet and Chris has 6 months in post left....

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  2. These are the comments of staff at the end of their tether and I have a sense that they just want to tell it like it is - the reason they say which side of the split they are on is to show the breadth of the chaos, all are affected.
    To write it off as "bitching" is wrong, unkind and anti feminist.

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  3. BBC5LIVE Breakfast Programme has previewed the 11am broadcast. Tjey muddled up what is actually happening and implied the 45,000 extra cases are already being supervised.

    They seem to be making a focus of 2 murders.

    Their studio text number is 85058

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  4. The reason managers in the north have not spoken out is because they have been SILENCED. In one large area of the North managers had to sign a written agreement not to talk negatively about TR or face disciplinary/dismissal...wouldn't want to damage the excellent reputation of Northumbria being damaged...oops
    The senior management team hate this blog.

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    1. this applies to team managers and above

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    2. One of the strengths of this blog is the anonymity it affords user. And despite this tag there is only incidental trolling, as overwhelmingly the contributions are grounded in experience of probation work. So, it is good to know that it is not appreciated by those in positions of senior management; good to know that they cannot control and manipulate the information flow. And this reduces their power and exposes them to having their corporate flaws and operational deficiencies exposed. The good thing about social media is that voices normally unheard can start to count and when there are enough such voices can achieve critical mass to make things happen that otherwise would not have happened. It means the Kevin's of this world have to watch their backs, because the dirty washing will be hung out to dry – in public.

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    3. This is just untrue

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    4. You really should expand on your assertion - this is just untrue - just give a clue to your thinking. If thousands read this blog daily, then I would say it's likely to be influencing opinion. Access to information alone can shape opinion. Leaking information makes a difference: think of the Belgrano and Clive Ponting, the Pentagon Papers, Wikileaks. Leaking is good for the public and bad for those in government.

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    5. The comment was aimed at the statement about signing a silencing document I am a manager and haven't signed anything

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    6. our team manager has had to sign a silencing document (northumbria). told the team about it.

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    7. Am a team manager northumbria and haven't ! So whose telling the truth

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    8. Not a question of truth and who is saying what - I am sure there are seniors who believe they have signed something which is or appears to be gagging order - as we have not seen it (yet!) let us assume they speak the truth and that others perhaps have not been told to sign or perhaps they believe it NOT to be a gagging order .......Would any Northumbria team manager be able to access the said document and we could make up our own minds?

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  5. I've never heard mine speak ill of TR either (im talking SPO grade). (NorthWest region) I've often found it strange as both SPOs CRC and NPS are quite straight-forward talking people. Obviously they've been silenced to create an illusion and sadly some if not many of their little sheep have followed them. I have heard things go in on the office that are dangerous and I've wondered why the incidents have not ended up on this blog. Therein lies another problem for Sodexho/Purple Futures, this blog is not the whole neatly-packaged story of what's happening on the ground and all I can say is that I hope you like surprises because you'll be getting lots of nasty ones when you start digging during due diligence.

    Welcome to Probation aka the Viper Nest. Enjoy your day!!

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  6. Bristol struggling to get people on TVSOP. Not enough TVSOP tutors to run programmes and some having to travel to Gloucester to do TVSOP (who I've been told are also struggling to run the programme). Unless more tutors found/trained, then the chances are some men won't complete the programme- lets not forget how long this programme is - 70 sesssons. The ridiculous thing is that we managed before but trained tutors sifted into CRC!!!!

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    1. im speechless at:

      a) it taking 70 sessions
      b) the sifting of tutors to CRC
      c) the distance people are expected to travel

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    2. At least 3 OMs from the former ASPT are being trained in SOTP to run it on top of day jobs and at considerable expense while experienced sotp facilitators sit frustrated on a the sidelines until CRC decides to get rid. NPS has at least one PSO it will call on for SOTP delivery. Glos have just one facilitator, Wilts are as bad off.

      Glos participants will have to travel to Bristol and vice versa.

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    3. I think it would be helpful to explain programme acronyms. I'm taking that this is a Sex offender programme?

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    4. TV is thames valley

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    5. The former aspt is training at least 3 OMs to run TVSOP on top of their day job while experienced facilitators sit frustrated on the sidelines until CRC gets rid. At least one NPS PSO has run the programme. Glos has just one TVSOP facilitator and wilts is no better.

      Glos participants will have to travel to Bristol and vice versa.

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    6. ASPT = Avon & Somerset Probation Trust
      TV = Thames Valley

      It would be helpful if you could give a rough idea of the distance between offices and also indicate if any travel expenses are given to offenders? In my area the main complaint is the time that is taken up travelling rather than the cost. It would be interesting if breaches for these accredited programmes were monitored to see how cost and distance are fast becoming barriers to compliance. Sometimes I feel that whilst probation trusts have had to spread themselves much more thinly they have, in the process, set some offenders up to fail.

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    7. Wow, this is worrying. I used to work delivering SOTP and I know how my practice developed after delivering several groups. Of course there will always need to be new facilitators, but this was normally working alongside experienced facolitators. Without being disrespectful to the POs, the first few programmes they deliver will not be as effective in creating the dissonance with the men as it will later in their programme career (even if they have experience on other programmes).

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    8. Merseyside no longer pay travel expenses regardless of distance or frequency of attendence, and bus fares are set at a standard rate of £2.20 whether your traveling one stop or terminus to terminus.
      It's a big issue.

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    9. I work in Merseyside and our office gives £2 contribution in bus tokens - that's if they live more than 2 miles away from the office. Like you said it's £2.20 one way but if you get an Arriva dayrider it is a flat £4 and you can use the bus as many times you want on that day.

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    10. Am v confused about grade of SOTP tutors: in my area all are PO grade (Band 4) and "sorted" into NPS. West Yorks recently advertised for Band 3 (PSO) Grade SOTP tutors - how can this be right? Two different grades delivering the same role????

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    11. I had a different role from PSO colleagues when I ran TVSOP as well as the other programmes. Then I was sifted to CRC and now I do the same as PSO grades, so I'm screwed. There are some band 4 roles that don't demand a PO qualification and this is how some POSs can get SOTP trained.

      By and large, SOTP is, and should remain, a band 4 responsibility.

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  7. One of the cases mentioned on BBC Five Live

    http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/murder-suspect-found-dead-nuneaton-7791343

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  8. I agree please avoid acronyms at all times all sorts of folk are visiting site now probation crisis is being mentioned in the media.

    Aftr all Jim does say at the very top: -

    " An attempt to help explain the mysteries and magic that are part and parcel of 'probation'. "

    Though there is a helpful glossary down the right hand side - but it seems to me acronyms are being invented with ever increasing rapidity as systems change and develop.

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  9. the probation office I work in is in a borough that is 60 square miles. Unfortunately, the office is not located neatly in the middle but more towards the outer end meaning a home visit can take up the best part of half a day and be a 50mile round trip - can anyone tell me where I am to find the time to do these when I have a caseload of 80+ ?

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  10. Where are NAPO officials on the 5Live programme?

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    1. yvonne pattison was on

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  11. Why is it always left up to Pat, where are the national officials?

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    1. To anon 11.59 what do you mean? Yvonne Patterson us a National Officer-it makes more sense using Officers rather than Officials where possible as they are still Probation staff and deal with front-line issues.

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  12. Pleased to have had a couple of my tweets read out on @BBC5Live - never give up the fight no matter which side of the fence you sit.

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  13. I sent 2 emails to Adrian - one mentioning a crucial issue which challenges CG's mantra of the under 12 monthers .. that Probation was DENIED the opportunity to supervise this group. WHY IS THIS NEVER MENTIONED IN ANY DEFENCE?- CG PUSHES HIS MANTRA SO MUCH IT MUST BE TATTOOED ON HIS ARM, YET NO ONE COMES BACK WITH A CHALLENGE OF THIS PIECE OF IDIOCY AND UNDERHANDEDNESS, WHICH MANAGES TO IMPLY TO THE UNINFORMED, THAT REOFFFENDING HAS INCREASED ACROSS THE BOARD. Why aren't people challenging that every time he says it? It should be screamed from the roof tops.

    I also saw a 'comment' on one of the on line reports this week (think it was the Guardian) from John North (think it might have been one of my retired colleagues) who said that years ago, the Service did supervise under 12 months on a voluntary basis, but was stopped when money was withdrawn. Can you vouch for that Jim/Andrew? - I only go back to 1990. We should be highlighting that.

    The second email I sent referred to the risk to the community caused by the changes in PSR's - from being thoroughly investigated, analysed and assessed, to ticky boxes which tell the judiciary nowt , and can result in inappropriate and potentially dangerous sentences.

    I also briefly mentioned the quality of supervision from the public service, which assisted people to take control of their lives, in comparison to the limitations on time, etc now and in the future.

    Neither emails were selected. But the ones that were, were very explicit and passionate. Good on yer.

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    1. The Service I joined in 1985 was called the XXXX Probation and After Care Service and assistance was offered voluntarily to anyone coming out of prison. We carried on doing it for years and don't really remember being told not to.

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    2. Dropped when we 'moved centre stage' 1991

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    3. Yes, I remember it being called Probation and Aftercare Service, at some stage in my early memories, when they also did Social Enquiry Reports, which were short and benevolent and descriptive and didn't much address past history. That ended in 1991 or 2, as the new Criminal Justice Bill/Act took hold and the Service became more 'professional', with the start of reduced 'benevolence', but still had plenty of scope to use your initiative. My leaning was to the old school but was trained in the new era.

      I do remember that when an Order finished we would write to them, (congratulating them for successfully completing their Order) and advise them in the letter and at their last appointment, to pop in if they ever had any concerns. We would even see and advise people who had not been on probation, but who would call in for help, after they had been rejected by other public offices - council, social services.... until it got too time consuming.

      I also remember people near the end of their Order, when all work had been completed, reporting to a Friday Reporting Group, where they could have a coffee and a game of pool! (but I bet the new en masse reporting systems won't include pool and coffee, (and the clients will never reach anywhere near the statutory end of their Order, as they will have long been terminated before they can re-offend, regardless of risk, or even, dare I say- because of risk.....)

      But oh - those were the days - thanks for the memory.

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    4. Yes - the days of client centered work - voluntary aftercare went with the 1991 Criminal Justice Act (the one where all the Home Office training material talked about "just desserts" (as in "I'll have the trifle") rather than the intended "just deserts". How we laughed). Happy days indeed.

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  14. Voluntary throughcare was around when I started in 1990. Option was available in Surrey for at least a couple of years after that.

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  15. thanks - I was working for a vol organisation, working with under 27's on probation, and based in a probation office in Nbria, from '90- '92, then l left to do DIPSW,( returning for the 11 weeks and 6 month placements) I wouldn't have known the intricacies of supervision before I went on training. Maybe it ceased with the CJA 1992. Or maybe it was operating selectively around the country. (I know someone who worked in Surrey then - I should have asked him!) You have confirmed it did exist tho'- thanks.

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  16. I joined service in 1982. Used to visit under 12 month clients in prison on a regular basis. All prisoners were offered contact.

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    1. Bizarre isn't it ? Back then we had caseloads of 50+, wrote 5-6 reports a month and were involved with partnerships..liaison roles with community organisations. We got to together and developed group work , spent time at Court , had time to attend lots of training and more..and yes we were in contact with people serving under 12 months imp.. now in a supposedly more efficient world we can barely manage basic tasks.

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    2. Oh yes, anon 1924 - the death knell for involvement in the community was the computer (not to mention the ubiquitous TARGETS). It might regiment recording, but so much became complex paper processes, taking up so much time. Compare Delius with the handwritten Pt C's which would be given to admin to type up. Not very impressive to look at but how easy it was to record both essential info, and useful info, and just scroll down the page to have everything in neat datal order. The computer has a lot to answer for. Just read Pt A's, B's and C's and you had the basic background in front of you before you explored the meaty files. With a case load of several high risk clients, my cabinets had cases which had info filling several files. I had one case of a young man who had been living in a complex family situation and abusing his younger siblings (6 active files, divided into sections, spanning one long sentence and licence period).I had previously supervised his very troubled sister and those files were invaluable . When I closed those files I would put on a big sticker DO NOT DESTROY. I sometimes wonder now how much of all that remains - minimal info on micro fiche?

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  17. perhaps NAPO should seek 'critically endangered' status for the species of the 'tireless probation officer' as we will soon be extinct. I will be awaiting the VR offer and will join the ever decreasing numbers of the species. After the dust has long settled there will no doubt be an urge to protect and reintroduce the species as governments are excellent in reinventing the wheel over and over again and spinning it along!! Good Luck to all my colleagues, and to everyone currently embroiled in this mess... take care of yourselves.

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  18. Sodexo: French company. Reminded me of this speech from Johnny English 2003

    Oh! Oh, it's cold! It's cold!
    What is the one commodity...
    the world never seems to run out of?
    Criminals, gentlemen.
    Lawbreakers.
    Every nation in the world struggles...
    with the issue of overcrowded prisons.
    So, what do we do with all these villains?
    Find the solution to that problem...
    and the governments of the world would pay you through their nose.
    Fortunately, I have found a solution.
    We empty every prison on the entire planet,
    we take the resulting tidal wave ofhuman scum...
    and we put it here.
    The moment I am crowned king,
    I will turn England into the largest prison...
    in the history of the world.
    210,000 square miles...
    of prime real estate...
    conveniently separated from true civilization...
    by 20 miles of ocean...
    and soon to be available...
    Come on.
    for the entire world to dump its human waste in.
    According to current projections,
    we will not run out of prison space for the next 500 years.
    So, tonight one, and only one, of you...
    will leave here owning 49 percent...
    of this venture.

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  19. Good radio programme and well done to everybody who contributed. Please please can you think about helping out with Napo's requests as it's really important for the Judicial Review.

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  20. So, we have reached Week 22 and far from systems "bedding in" and adjustment to the new working way everything just gets worse!
    1. IT moves from weakness to weakness with "workarounds" hastily brought in to at least get some semblance of process working now being removed progressively and staff again having to figure out what to do. Still no definitive tried and tested systems but rather bodge jobs that someone must have been paid an awful lot of tax payers money to develop.
    2.Courts now progressively moving to majority of reports being done by tick box orals, yes even High Risk, read the PI, it is the national system. Court staff instructed to do this against their professional judgement and OMs becoming increasingly angry at the hasty assessment done by court staff and the absence of information to complete ISPs with. Knock on effect is of course ISP targets being missed and v many likely to be of poor quality due to errr, lack of information. Best not mention that lack of information leads to poor risk assessment eh?
    3. Case Allocation and RSR tools proving to be a disaster with most areas having paid scant heed to the detail required and very many having been done incorrectly in the absence of clear guidance and training and of course, appropriate staffing levels. Three line whip on this I hear now with NOMS panicking and sending staff around the country to talk to court based case allocators trying to figure out why everyone is doing this differently.
    4. Risk Escalation - the Jewel in the TR Crown - takes 3 hours easily the first time anyone tries to use it ( that's CRC 3 hours plus NPS 3 hours) to replace a simple line management discussion. Official timing on this is 24 hours for a decision, previously took perhaps half an hour max?Now takes two PO/PSO grade staff and two managers (CRC/NPS side) so double the staff just to make the decision!
    5. Staff split - chickens are really coming home to roost - numbers wrong, locations wrong, roles changing without any discussion or agreement or even consideration of Equality issues. A great example is a NPS colleague trying to use shared services who has hearing issues and is told to email rather than phone ( yes this has happened) but email will only get a response in 7 days as opposed to hearing colleagues who can get a response instantly on the phone.
    6.Breach processes - CRC staff having cases rejected by NPS enforcement officers but not told why and only discover this by a delius entry because NPS staff told not to communicate directly with their former colleagues, there is not time.
    7. Cases still unallocated or being warehoused and held by managers so NOMS can say they have been allocated..but really they are held until a resource ( that's PSO/PO) becomes available. So remember for 'case' we really mean a person with complex needs and risks to be assessed. Perhaps sexual offending, perhaps domestic abuse,perhaps mental health, perhaps child protection...perhaps SFO???
    8. Duty of care...to service users and to staff being totally disregarded
    Truly an Omnishambles of Epic proportions!

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    1. Don't forget the never ending amount of emails that we keep getting telling us what processes we are now supposed to be following, what changes have happened, the latest instruction etc. Who has time to read them?!

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