Sunday, 25 January 2015

Bleak Futures Week 4

I am a PSO in a CRC, I hold over 50 cases and last week my workload was at 99%. We had to re tier our cases to new guidelines and my workload is now 60%. Nothing has changed, but I now have loads of capacity!!!

*****

It's all a big fiddle. We don't even have access to our workload management so I could be working 'over' and I'd never know. I don't trust managers to look after my best interests so will never have a clue if I'm being overworked. As for tiering, we've not used that for a long time. I thought workload management was using the amount of requirements per Order as a formula for the workload - ie the greater the amount of requirements, the higher the weighting per case. I know our admin staff are like vultures, always asking if we have any requirements to terminate so we can be passed more stuff and for a completion to be recorded. Hope I'm made redundant or got rid of as soon as.

*****

All custody cases retiered to T1. Statistical manipulation. No incentive to communicate with sentence planning until ready for release.

*****

Just re-tier them once you discover you have been allocated them. Make them a T3 due to the complexity of multi-agency, ie you, the prisons, the old lags who meet them at the gate, housing and DWP. Primes are not the only ones who can manipulate stats!!!

*****

Due to the recent changes in Probation, it seems that anyone can now be called a Probation Officer, whatever they do, whatever they are paid and whoever they work for.

*****

About the transfer of cases! I previously commented on here about a young man transferred into our OMU from another county. We accepted him and his JSA (jobseekers allowance) was also transferred. But, we could not get the work programme in the other area to transfer their responsibility to a local work programme. Two different organisations, two contracts and one not willing to lose him from their number/contract, even though they were no longer offering/delivering the client a service! It's all about the money, money, money (Jesse J)!

*****
I've recently attended a ORA/TTG briefing and am shocked at the level of chaos that surrounds this new legislation. We couldn't even get an exact answer to when this is due to start. Some say February 1st, others say April 1st, others May??? I didn't realise we could pick and choose when legislation comes in? This is going to cause confusion among NPS and CRC staff.

At Court we are (yet again) going to look like total fools as not even management can provide us with details of how this is going to work. We are supposed to be the experts aren't we? I think that's how Grayling referred to us? This confusion will continue to allocation, at the prison, upon release and even at the gate. The turn around for the screening tool is ridiculously quick and unrealistic in my view. What made me laugh is that the resettlement plan isn't even going to be risk led! Ah ok, good luck with that. I'm a probation officer...get me the hell out of here......!!!!

*****
As a CRC PSO my understanding is currently that EVR is not available as job is not being done away with. I, like many others I am sure, would jump at opportunity to take EVR. Instead we are less than 2 weeks away from takeover and terms & conditions will slowly dwindle, and pressure be too great, that more and more will walk. I feel for NPS colleagues too, because a similar fate awaits, particularly if the Tory party get back in. Award winning service shafted by ideology clap trap.

*****
Workload's ridiculous, mistakes are being made due to almost being 'set up to fail' and capability and disciplinary are being used whereas a few years ago things would've been dealt with at line manager level. Many people looking for the escape route now.

*****
Oooops! Handed another case today of a violent offender (CRC) who hasn't been seen since sentence in November 2014 - only came to light as she was assaulted by her partner and he was appearing in Court! Oh joy!

*****
I am an NPS PO and would take EVR like a shot! My job description bears no resemblance to my post split role, isn't that in effect having my old role made redundant??

*****
There won't be another round of EVR. The remainder of the £60 million has indeed gone to CRC's coffers. Don't build your hopes up as the golden goose has flown. Just knuckle down and get used to this shit - or ship out! I know what I will be doing!

*****
With respect to all parties, what works comes as no surprise to anyone with any significant Probation experience. The problem is the politicization of the agenda and the need to 'look tough' and to manage with woefully inadequate resources. Proper professionals, quality time, decent referral routes into drug treatment and mental health services, bereavement counselling, counselling for adult survivors of child sexual abuse etc. Trying to do it without proper resources, against a hostile political background and an ideology that builds in creaming and parking; I see no real chance of progress.

*****
Has anyone seen the questions when applying for probation officer jobs via the NOMS website? A complete joke! The questions are not reflective of our role...

*****
That's because they are designed for civil servants. Good luck with the website. Last time I tried to apply, when I went back in it said I had no application. I gave up.

*****
I have been wary of clients many times but only properly scared twice. Both were first time offenders, domestic violence perpetrators, assessed as medium risk of serious harm. Colleagues intervened on both occasions and both ended up being managed at MAPPA Level 2. I'm a woman in my late 40's. I dread to think what will happen when we are meeting men like this outside the safety of our CRC offices in the wider community.

*****
When I was first trained to use it, I was told that OASys was an attempt to 'standardise' risk assessments as far as possible, trying to 'even out' individual officers subjectivity as a means of making them fairer for all of those they were written about. It also came in at a time when there was great pressure for probation to 'evidence' the thinking behind decisions. This seemed no bad thing in itself. As an experienced officer the completion of it never informed me of anything I didn't know but it did confirm my thinking somewhat. I remain however baffled by the 'weighted' scores. Alcohol use-low weighting...what?... 'relationships' don't seem to figure but 'education and employment'? Now there's a way to boost your risk up (feeding into the drive to get people into work of course and it must be their fault if they don't have a job).
 
Now; what was meant as a tool to inform the assessor has become the oracle with some people thinking that if they can complete an OASys they can assess risk. Others seeing it as fundamental (often mangers who have never completed one) but when did completing an OASys prevent an SFO as against spending time with the person? What started as a risk assessment 'tool' is now trying to fit too many purposes in my view. For example its become a way of recording all of the historical information that used to be held on files, (in part 'A's 'B's etc for those that can recall them.) that would be lost otherwise.

 
I agree wholeheartedly that the OASys generated 'template' PSRs were the kiss of death for the great skill of report writing. People overworked (or who knew no better or had no integrity) would just pull everything through and end up with a disjointed document, full of information that shouldn't be there and would omit the stuff (relationships!) that did inform so much. No wonder PSRs are felt to be less use in court. 


As for the 'risk assessment' your left with? How many umpteen offence analysis reviews have you seen that (end of sentence even) start with '..he stands before the court today...'

I can't bring myself to just pull everything through and put my name to it (although someone, another very experienced PO asked me why it mattered as the whole thing was so meaningless now anyway). As a result of my 'thoroughness' an OASys takes me at least the best part of a day, more if it's for a parole review considering the emphasis that seems to be put on it all. When I do one it's thorough. I also complete the SAQ and spend time explaining the crap wording '...go to places that cause me trouble..?' But in truth I hardly do them due to other priorities. My task box overflows and of course they disappear from this if they're left too long so you forget them! Hurrah! I could be all up to date and tickerty boo if I just pulled it all through and if management start leaning heavily, that is what will happen. All of my team (NPS) are in the same position. No one is being very 'timely' these days. Get rid and let us work with our clients again.


*****
'Amnesty' is an odd word to use in this context. Who is NOMS at war with? They will never make OASys fit for purpose. It's labelling and data gathering aspects have always been greater than its contribution to risk prediction. Its pseudo science attracted many gullible followers and it gained some undeserved validity, but in time it will be shown to have been as useful as phrenology. A waste of time and money.

*****
Too true. Who ever thought that the phrase 'Proven risk of Reoffending' actually meant something? Pseudoscience indeed. 

*****
Does anyone know what Probation is actually supposed to do now? a PO (NPS)

*****
Hit targets and don't ask NOMS (or your own private company) awkward questions. Or cost them money. Or be ill. Or have a child. Just strap yourself to your desk, plug in and nutrients will be delivered directly to your stomach via the tube shoved up your arse. If I've missed anything, please feel free to add it :)

*****
I think a lot of people didn't realise quite how far reaching these reforms were going to be. Its scary.

*****
Now it's started, it's like a human form of Japanese knotweed.

*****
On the scale of uneccessariness, ranging from 1 (crucial) to 10 (we can muddle through without) NOMS must be right up there at 11

*****
The fuckwits have taken over the asylum. Independent opinion in the courtroom has finally been abolished. A long time ago my probation tutor explained how the SER (aka PSR, SDR, FDR, OR) offered the only true independent assessment of a defendant's position. She pointed out how the sentencers already had the starting point of "guilty"; the Clerk was only there to offer legal guidance to the sentencers; the prosecution were there to secure a guilty plea/verdict at the highest possible level; the defence were acting on the instructions of the guilty party. Beyond that the press wanted the best angle for a story & the public were Inevitably biased by virtue of being related to either the perpetrator or victim. Who, therefore, could realistically offer the sentencer an unbiased and truly independent assessment? 

Sadly the role of the PSR was systematically undermined by NOMS & a generation of management who hated client contact and hated being in court - the perfect opportunity to build an anti-PSR groundswell of opinion at liaison meetings, in policy documents and in practice. And now they've more or less achieved their objective after 15 years of chipping away. There's patience & determination for you.


*****
Another nail in the coffin of the probation service that I have known and mostly loved for 3 decades plus. What is it about any more? I certainly don't know and pretty much have got to the point that I don't care any more. I'm just going to be a nodding dog type from now on. Do my job to the best of my ability without any hope of things getting better whilst waiting for leave and each weekend. A wholly disillusioned PO.

*****
Yes indeed I understand what you mean when you say you do not care anymore. What I do care passionately about are the people on my caseload and all of my colleagues (I refuse to be divided - us and them CRC/NPS). However in terms of trying to absorb, let alone implement the impossible processes, I have given up and do not care anymore either, because we are on a hiding to hell. I refuse to become a mere functionary, "machine say, me do". I have completely stopped putting in the extra hours, I now go out at lunch and actually walk around talking to people again. I come in each day and do the absolute minimum I can in order to feed the idiot box that sits on my desk, see my people which makes me feel I am doing a "proper" job and basically go home - that's how it is for me and most of my colleagues now. 

In my office there is a widening disconnect between the regime and practice. No one has a grip of the process anymore with so much interference and so many people required (when you can finally track them down) to complete a basic task. Where once you could pick the telephone up, talk to someone who knew what you were talking about and could do the task, now you are either left high and dry or shunted all over the place. it is falling apart after being smashed by Grayling et al.

I try to remain positive but there is a growing feeling of uneasy calm before the tsunami finally hits us. Talking of no one seeming to know what they are doing reminds me. I was in Court this week and when I mentioned ORA to the solicitors they looked at me as if I was crazy. They and the magistrates in our Court were oblivious! Feb 1st! I don't think so somehow.


*****
If this is the direction of travel it won't be long before the report is done away with altogether and falls in to the remit of the defence solicitor.

*****
...and how many just précis the report instead of doing their own homework? A defence barrister in the Crown once asked me when I was on duty '..how can I mitigate without a report..?'

*****
The long standing lament of the PO. I've just had a Barrister, earning x times my salary, reading my PSR to the sentencer, who should have read it already, as mitigation!.

*****
The arrogance of these people astounds me, even after 30 years. I have worked in a Crown Court. Barristers and solicitors who know absolutely nothing about the person they are supposed to be defending, shitting themselves in case there isn't going to be a PSR, however formulaic it is. Judges who don't actually know what sentences they are legally allowed to impose, whose arrogance knows no bounds and who never give a milliseconds thought to the person they have just sentenced. A plague on all their houses, bunch of arrogant, ignorant tossers.

*****
Since I joined the Probation Service some 16 years ago as a TPO and then PO, I've seen POs removed from courts, back in, out again ad infinitem. Having been thrown to the corporate wolves in a CRC, I now hear about the latest court target for my poor beleaguered colleagues in the NPS who have been totally overwhelmed by PSRs whilst 'managing' high risk cases et al. It seems that the new 'target' for PSRs of all ilks including SDRs is 100% on the day and they are about to put POs back into courts to achieve this.

Meanwhile, in the CRC, we already have 'Oral Reports' that aren't worth the paper they're printed on, FDRs no longer requiring even the most cursory of OASys assessments and all of the essential detailed assessments displaced to the field to meet court requirements of 'swift and speedy justice', whilst NOMS reintroduces a 10 day 'target' for initial sentence plans.(FFS)


To add to this NOMS/MOJ applied fuckwittery, I attended a briefing 'event' on Friday where our new CRC overlords outlined their 'vision' for the future in my very large CRC including new integrated robust simple IT systems by September (yeah right, who remembers C-NOMIS?) to enable us all to move forward. Very slick, very personable, well intentioned white folks in suits (no really, every single one of them) with no clue.


And to add to the chaos, we have the new Offender Rehabilitation Act, where magistrates no longer have to consider the impact of short custodial sentences meaning no Probation Service input or supervision because every single sentence of more than 1 day will mean 12 months probation. I wonder what the magistrates will do then?


*****
In my NPS area the bosses are moving resources into the court teams to do virtually every report as an Oral. The PSR really is over.... and given the constant erosion of role boundaries, so is the professionalism of our service.

*****
In our area they are increasing the size of the PSR team. Sounds like its going to be postcode lottery justice. Re ORA,  I'm already worrying about all of the released after short sentence but now HOMELESS people with only £46 in their pocket (usually spent by the time they get to our door) who believe we can actually help them to find somewhere to stay. Just watch those re-offending rates rise....(esp when the 'through the gate' people start running for the hills...)

*****
Sadly I do not believe I will ever be able to do 'a better job' again. How are you going to tell what is most likely to reduce the risk of harm without assessment? How do you assess what the risk of harm is in the first place without interviewing someone? Already with dumbed down or rushed 'reports' we have people on orders which they cannot complete due to work or mental health issues, we have people who don't have a grasp of what they have been sentenced to, people who should be on sex offender programmes but are not and some who are that shouldn't be. (all on my current caseload in the new NPS - some of my interventions might well be taking the blasted orders back to court for amendments.) 

Pity the ones who end up in custody to be assessed afterwards. Too late then and moreover the content of a report and the level of risk directly affects what happens to people in prison. I could go on... I've always believed that the process of preparing a report, that period when someone is in crisis, who might never have discussed the offence before, is absolutely crucial to how people respond to whatever they are sentenced to afterwards. 'Do good work in the environment we are in..?' It'll be a repair job then given the size of the rock that Grayling and his cronies have lobbed at us.

*****
I gather that the Reducing Reoffending Partnership intend to introduce a new IT system, volunteers in Court, reshape needs analysis but keep OASys risk assessment, multi agency teams in prisons, mentoring services for through the gate, co-locating services, a strengths based approach, sharing services, possibly rebranding the term probation, assessing the fitness of the estate and a partnership approach.

*****
From Inside Times:

Prisoners now have the equivalent of zero hour’s contracts – Star Letter of the Month

I would like to point out the lengths that some prisons are going to in order to meet Grayling’s demands that all prisoners must work. Everybody knows that the maths just doesn’t add up; there is around one job for every 10 prisoners in the system so there is no chance of full employment in our prison system. What they are doing is creating part-time jobs in order to fiddle the statistics. Here at HMP Littlehey they have been very imaginative with job creation with such illustrious jobs as Games Rep, Wheelchair Rep, Gym Rep, Gym Induction Rep, Gym Wing Orderly and Gym Orderly. All the gym jobs were originally done by one person before being turned into 4 different posts! I also hear that the job of ‘Catalogue Rep’ is very demanding! I have been given the incredibly named job of ‘Energy Champion’. My job consists of turning off half the lights on the spur and making sure the lights are off in the shower when no one is in there. For this I get paid 50p per session, a maximum of £7 per week. So most of us are doing make-work that will have absolutely no value in helping us to get a job in the outside world – this is Grayling’s so-called ‘Rehabilitation Revolution’, is it? What a joke!

32 comments:

  1. SkyNews scrolling banner has it that Chris Grayling has told them that he wants to tackle the problem of legal highs in the prison system which may be behind prison violence. (no admittance the violence may be due to boredom, poor conditions, inadequate food etc etc its everyone's fault but his)

    http://news.sky.com/story/1414260/crackdown-on-prisoners-caught-with-legal-highs

    ReplyDelete
  2. Given that the P.I. is supported by various bodies one of which is obviously the MoJ itself, then isn't it time for all the other parties to reconsider their continued support for the P.I. now that an arm of the MoJ in the form of JSI are becoming involved, and trading with countries that stand accused of human rights abuses?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/25/ministry-justice-contract-saudi-arabia-prison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is hoping to profit from selling its expertise to the prison service in Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for public beheadings, floggings, amputations and courts that regularly violate human rights.

      A new commercial arm of the UK justice ministry, staffed by civil servants, has bid for a £5.9m contract in Saudi Arabia. Just Solutions international (JSi) will soon start setting up a probation service in Macedonia, and is also in the running to build a prison in Oman.

      Human rights groups have raised concerns about the MoJ working so closely with a regime currently under scrutiny over the botched execution of a woman who died protesting her innocence and the harsh punishment meted out to a liberal blogger.

      Allan Hogarth, Amnesty’s UK head of policy and government affairs, said: “Amnesty has serious concerns about Saudi Arabia’s justice system, given its use of the death penalty, the prevalence of torture in detention, and its use of cruel and degrading punishment.

      “So we need to know – how is the MoJ’s scheme going to help improve the situation?”

      The ministry said that all JSi projects had to be signed off by the Foreign Office and the local embassy after an evaluation that covered human rights, but declined to provide further details on the grounds that the project was “commercially sensitive”.

      A spokesman said full details of the contract, including human rights safeguards, will be made public if JSi is successful, although the organisation’s website does not carry details of any previous deals won by it.

      Delete
  3. My blood boils whenever I hear about the Probation Institute and especially that NAPO remains supportive. It is an utter sham, a bloody disgrace and should be boycotted by every probation professional. Sorry folks, rant over...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree that Grayling and the MoJ, NOMS and this secret new JSI are going down a road that many (if not most) that work or are connected to the CJS in this country will find not only astounding, but also abhorant.
      Those that can, and I feel many organisations are in a possition to should be very vocal in opposing this new venture.
      It must be if great reputational damage to some of the voluntary sector that are about to become involved with TR to be engaged with a government department that is willing to obtain profitable contracts from countries that are accused of human rights abuses, that thise voluntary sector organisations porport to stand against.
      My personal opinion is that the MoJ by entering into dealings with the Saudis, have given interested parties withun the CJS an open goal to highlight and expose the true nature of what our CJS has and is becoming under Chris (theres a red under the bed) Grayling.
      Let thise that can please not miss the oppertunity.

      'getafix'

      Delete
    2. https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/colin-lawson/happy-to-do-business-with-prison-service-that-flogs-stones-and-beheads-its-i

      Delete
  4. A new Blog Post from Jack of Kent headed "A conflict of interest – the Saudi state and the UK’s Ministry of Justice"

    http://jackofkent.com/2015/01/a-conflict-of-interest-the-saudi-state-and-the-uks-ministry-of-justice/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Probation Officer25 January 2015 at 13:57

    There is a gloomy feel in probation offices at the moment. 1st Feb can't come soon enough. At least then it's over and we're put out of our misery and can just get on with it.

    We should expect immediate changes by the new owners in terms of staffing, procedures, objectives and office relocations. Organisational restructuring can take place anytime from 1 minute after takeover and I'm sure it will, making existing terms and conditions null and void. I dread the outcome based supervision which will be time limited and thereafter require multiple forms and spreadsheets to be completed for each offender to evidence hard and soft outcomes.

    Probation, "real" probation that is, will be the NPS and there will emerge very clear divisions to the 'other' probation companies. We will increasingly dance to the tune of the MoJ and quickly fall into step with the new requirements, report formats and other supervisory processes. Data protection will mean that the current informal info sharing about offenders between CRC and NPS ends on 1st Feb and our separation will be very clear to all.

    Yes the future is bleak whether NPS or CRC. What's hit me lately is that the time for fighting and moaning is over and now we just have to get on with it. I suspect this blog will risk becoming a place for moaning about that which we cannot change, and these posts and opinions will not matter to probation leaders that will either be uninterested or unable/unwilling to do anything depending on whether they're CRC or NPS. The Probation Institute will become nothing more than a MoJ rubber-stamp, and the jury is out on whether Napo will sink or swim.

    I'm actually quite interested about the MoJ creeping into Macedonia and Saudi Arabia. Maybe there'll be secondment opportunities to escape the chaos for a few years!? I'm not too worried about living/working amongst a system that condones injustices against freedoms and human rights, as I've already become used to this under David Cameron, Theresa May and Chris Grayling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as a female PO would secondment opportunities be available to me in Saudi Arabia???

      Delete
  6. I was going to write a bit about some of the bits of oasys I found positive when it first came out - because surprisingly I thought there were some at the time (pre oasys PSRS were not always brilliant you know - as a court officer I remember several I refused to put before the court due to their abysmal quality). But then I realised just don't have the energy to defend something that is purely a pretence at standardising risk assessment within arbitrary timescales. All I know right now is that, while my caseload is actually at a reasonable level for once in my many year career, the extra work - that doesn't show up on any workload management tools- is horrendous. Lots of delegating what used to be middle management tasks because our manager is too busy doing business focused tasks and we have to be seen to be the 'best' team on the performance lists. As a generic team I get to do regular court duties - but one day in court doing oral reports generates enough paperwork for 3, we are expected to train for and run sex offender programmes, pick a subject to be team 'champion' for which involves getting involved with setting up new initiatives to improve multi agency working, ensure our cas, rsr, oasys and delius entries are completed instantly, write all high risk psr's in oasys (then get it into Court late because you can't find a manager to sign it off and if you don't it says draft all over it) and actually do what we can to manage risk and build relationships with our clients by increasing home visits and structured interventions during supervision. Some of this is stuff I'd be interested in doing by the way but altogether is totally overwhelming. I have no idea what my job is anymore. I work in a pretty small team and there has been several times recently where there has been NO staff in the office to deal with emergencies because we are all out doing prison/home visits, in court, at oral hearings or child protection conferences or MARAC or bloody ORA training or whatever else fun the people who have no clue about what is like on the ground have dreamt up today after giving us 2 days notice.
    I refuse to leave because I love this job but I am constantly infuriated by the incomprehensible incompetence constantly being 'cascaded' from above. Probation as a vocation won't die until there's no one left who cares but I feel the powers that be are like a dv perpetrator repeatedly strangling their victim until they just don't answer back anymore.

    Apologies for the rant. I'm actually in an excellent team with a very good manager so I'm aware I'm in a much better place than lots of my colleagues. Where ever you may be I hope you know that your colleagues around the country wish you well and that we all have the strength to get through this mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also love my job but there will be a massive conflict of values come the 1st Feb when it will be all about profit, that I just cannot see me sticking it out much longer :(

      Delete
    2. I'm only here for the redundancy. Doesn't have to be EVR. Any redundancy will do me fine.

      Delete
  7. I agree this blog could be the go to place to moan, but I also hope it will be a place for colleagues to be supportive-I've generally been referred to by d'management as a loose cannon, but it's done me no harm, as they can't complain about my work, I have never courted the greasy pole of popularity or senority, so they can kiss my arse! I will continue to champion best practice as I know it, not the shite coming from noms.; and continue to prioritise our first and most important stakeholder ( see the language has not passed me by) but I mean those creative, funny, risky and sometimes dangerous clients!

    On the subject of fear- I frighten my clients and my managers in equal measure! We must continue to give each other courage and support in staying true to our professional values! Don't let the fuckwits get you down!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here's the thing...NONE of us know what we are doing any more. Managers, POs, PSOs or Admin, no-one knows systems or processes. Yes we all have job descriptions and have transferred to our new employer (NPS or Probation-For-Profit sector) on our existing T and Cs..but really does anyone know what their job entails at this time?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Probation Officer25 January 2015 at 15:29

    Anon 14:57. I'd suspect only to supervise women offenders, which shows a clear correlation in thinking between Saudi Arabia and Baroness Corston!!

    Anon 15:06. I do not doubt that none of us know what our job description is these days!

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Does anyone know what Probation is actually supposed to do now? a PO (NPS)" Actually from an offender's point of view I don't think any of us have ever had any confidence that anyone in probation knew what they were supposed to do in the first place

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been both, and started working in probation only after support some years previously by great probation staff. Did you know a number of officers come into probation this way??

      Delete
    2. Je suis naughty boy turned PO

      Delete
  11. Anon 14:36.....we're gonna get ORA training? I thought all we would get would be another B*%$*y bulletin! (I've got a file of them with no time to read.) Our area had better move sharpish then.

    Re JSI- We'd better watch out for Chris G getting ideas FROM the Saudi's-a few might appeal to the hang and flog brigade who will be voting for this shower again in May.

    Apologise...any sense of good taste has long gone....

    On a more serious note, long may this blog continue. It is supportive and informative. It will also stand as testament in future as to what has been happening and what has been wasted on the alter of ideology.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Holy Mother of Someone Precious, I hope Grayling hasn't been watching BBC 1 just now. It was a programme about thieves & muggers in Cornwall - and other urban areas. They had tags on, they were eating junk food, they were overweight and seem compelled to steal and mug - mainly old people and children from what I saw. Some even came out at night, finding ever ingenious ways to get access to peoples' properties, climbing washing lines, digging tunnels, rooting through bins.

    I can feel a new justice bill coming on - maybe its something he could sell to the Saudis? Or Putin? Or the Macedonians? Or Hannibal?

    (Nature's Boldest Thieves - BBC - exploring the phenomenon of how "they" are stealing our food and discovering what makes them such good thieves).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or was it a Tory Party Political Broadcast?

      Delete
    2. Sounds like a family of squirrels I have in my back garden - the thieves, not the politicians although it is difficult to tell the difference much of the time!

      Delete
  13. Agree with Anon 17:05. As for the later replies to that posting I wonder if you were under Probation supervision in say the last 10 years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like Social Workers not quite cut out for the cut and thrust of real Social Work...

      Delete
  14. Oh God, just accept there are many motivated people in this job who genuinely want to help service users lead positive lives with all the support a professional relationship affords....quit the blame game please, we already have our managers, NOMS, MOJ and Turd man doing that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, I'm willing to accept that the majority of you are genuine and want to help, I also expect Mr Grayling also genuinely wants to help.

      It's whether you in actuality can help and the brand of help that is on offer...

      Many of your Clients have enough on their plate without some voyeuristic PO sticking their nose in as if their personal life is an extension of some reality TV show...

      You deliver punishment, not rehabilitation.

      The brightest people in your "profession" do not care.

      Delete
    2. My PO goes out of her way to make life difficult for her clients. She even cheerfully tells them that her job is to make their lives as difficult as possible. She has provided no help or support whatsoever. Everything she has promised to do she has either failed to do or reneged on. She misrepresents licence conditions to potential employers and voluntary placements making it impossible to get either sorted, she pretends clients have mental health problems when they do not and have never been diagnosed with any causing problems for her clients as they are then placed in difficult positions and have to fight being wrongly labelled and stigmatised, she lies about the content of what was discussed in client appointments as information gained by way of data subject access requests clearly shows, she fails to keep accurate records and deliberately misrepresents everything in someone's file. This list goes on ad nauseum infinitum. Unfortunately she is typical of most people's experience of probation: judgement and punishment, lies and misrepresentation and zero help or support. If clients get treated better under the new regimes (and lets face it it is unlikely it could get any worse than this lovely specimen of a PO) then I think no client will mourn the demise of public sector probation. Sad but true. From the client's point of view there may be some decent officers but you are unfortunately few and far between and the majority of you need to spend some quality time on the other side of the fence to learn a few valuable lessons on the effect your behaviour has on the people you supervise.

      Delete
    3. Well put. I wholeheartedly agree.

      Delete
  15. Reading about situation regarding supervising offenders with the mini bus problem, as in the CPC drivers card. Well seats in the mini buses are being ripped out as we speak. To get around the CPC driver card. The supervisors can only carry 8 offenders. While 6 are in the back the other 2 sit up front with the driver. I remember reading a few articles about offenders in police cars and vans pulling on the hand brake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. report this my friend, as established previously in this blog ripping seats out does NOT get round the LAW

      Delete
  16. VIVA SYRIZA!!!! THE FUTURE BEGINS NOW!! FUCK OFF AND DIE NEOLIBERAL BASTARDS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. 22;28 Just got back from election celebrations. markets will fall and bankers will call doom but the reality is there is now hope for ordinary people.

    Spain and Italy next, then Portugal and Ireland and come the next election the UK and Germany. Come on people join the resistance.

    papa

    ReplyDelete