Saturday, 31 January 2015

ORA Special

The Offender Rehabilitation Act comes into force tomorrow and the predominantly clueless 'caterers and cleaners' officially take over the running of most of the former world class Probation Service. 

Disgracefully, it would seem 'probation' as a household name is already being 'airbrushed' out of existence. Within the Act and guidance notes, the term is being studiously avoided with talk instead of 'responsible officer' and the like. Perhaps even more significantly there was absolutely no mention of probation in yesterday's Guardian article by Zoe Williams on the excellent work being undertaken at HMP New Hall. It's not as if she doesn't know her stuff either, seeing as she's a trustee of the Butler Trust:-

"Everybody knows that prisons are not as simple as sending people away and having them slip back seamlessly into society afterwards as if nothing has happened. Women’s prisons are particularly complicated, and this week the justice minister, Simon Hughes, acknowledged the problem when he announced the rollout of a scheme to keep women from ending up behind bars. The female prison population has shot up since 1995, more than doubling by 2010; there are now around 3,800 women inmates. Yet, in that group, Hughes said, “There are so many women who ought not to be in prison. About half ought not to be there at all.”

But they are, and many who serve one sentence will go on to serve another. As everyone agrees, the prevention of reoffending is the key aim of the penal system. From that starting point, everything else will flow: all successful rehabilitation, all prevention of crime and all avoidance of creating more victims will come from the prison estate dealing imaginatively with what happens after inmates are discharged. The big untold story in all of this is how much is down to individuals: prison officers, psychologists and people from the third sector working inside and outside the prison walls. These people are often working way beyond their job descriptions, not to targets or directives, not to improve a measured outcome, but because that’s how they are."

It's widely accepted that there's been hardly any preparation for this brave new world and the most commonly heard refrain is 'we haven't got a clue'. Before I selectively quote from a 53 page NPS ORA briefing document, here's some reader reflections:-  

"The sentencers will be required to impose a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement based on a number of days. The CRC will, post-sentence, decide what activity is to be undertaken. The contentious part for me is that the CRC can, if it deems it appropriate, 'complete' an RAR WITHOUT USING ALL OF THE DAYS. So the sentence is, in fact, determined by the CRC OM, not by the Court. Also, a 'day' is any single event and could be 10 minutes or three hours. It's all up to the CRC. The only checks and balances are the contract management process and we know about the MOJ's record on that. The potential for abuse and tokenism is massive. I fear for the credibility of community sentences, I really do."

"35 hours a week 'job search' (which is compulsory anyway if on JSA), will become part of the rehabilitation activity. All the privateers have to do is register the client with their employment team. Job done!"

"We had a 1.30 hour briefing on RAR and Through the Gate on Tues am. It sounds as though its going to be chaotic. We got a communication from NAPO chair today saying that one of the successful bidders for CRC had thought we were already working with the Through The Gate lot and was shocked to realise that we weren't - their bid had not taken into account ADDITIONAL work."

Overview of the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 and Through the Gate

The Offender Rehabilitation Bill received Royal Assent on 13 March 2014. Two sections of the resulting Offender Rehabilitation Act (ORA) came into force on 1 June 2014 (creation of the new enforcement officer role for breaches of court orders, and a requirement that contracts for probation services set out provision for female offenders). The remaining sections of the ORA will come into force on 1 February 2015. The ORA makes changes to three main areas of the sentencing framework:

1) The expansion of licence to offenders released from short custodial sentences of less than 12 months.
2) Creation of a new Post-Sentence Supervision (PSS) period that follows licence for offenders released from custodial sentences of less than 2 years.
3) Changes to Community Order and Suspended Sentence Order requirements, particularly the introduction of the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR).
Most of the new provisions of the ORA (with the key exception of changes to the drug testing requirement) will only apply to offenders who have committed an offence on or after 1 February 2015. Eligible caseloads will therefore take some time to build up.

The ORA will have several operational implications for the NPS with process changes and developments in practice required to embed the new provisions. The operational impact on court staff, report writers, staff involved in supervising offenders sentenced to community penalties and custodial sentences including the enforcement of these sentences, has been outlined in this Guidance.

Through the Gate (TTG) is the resettlement service that CRCs will provide for all those received into custody. TTG services will commence fully on 1 May but in some establishments services may be mobilised earlier. TTG begins with the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST):

BCST Part 1 is a needs assessment and will be completed by prison staff within 72 hours of reception. Questions in the BCST link to the 7 resettlement pathways, which are:

Education, employment and training
Drugs and alcohol
Finance, debt and benefit
Children and Families
Attitudes, thinking and behaviour

BCST Part 2 is the resettlement plan and will be completed by CRC staff for all prisoners (including NPS) within 5 days of receiving BCST Part 1. The CRC will then know what resettlement needs a prisoner has, and decide how best to meet that need. There are a suite of resettlement services that the CRC will be contractually obliged to deliver to all offenders, and will be paid for this on a fee for service basis. These are:
Accommodation & employment brokerage
Finance and debt advice
Support for sex workers
Support for victims of domestic violence 
The CRC must also provide pre-release activity no sooner than 12 weeks before release. In addition to this, the CRC will provide additional rehabilitative services that they believe will reduce reoffending, and so gain payment on a Payment by Results (PbR) basis. These services will be available to the NPS on an ‘elective’ basis where it is an appropriate and cost effective response to tackling specific offender needs.

Pre Sentence Report Writers

The approach to report writing continues to be informed by the existing framework of assessment involving reference to Sentencing Guidelines, offence seriousness, risk of conviction/reoffending, EOASys Risk of Serious Harm (RoSH) screening and full analysis when required, together with RSR, OGRS, SARA and other specialist assessment tools, offender's criminogenic need and responsivity issues.

The ORA makes no direct change to this existing framework for report writing. The report writer will continue to inform the Court of their comprehensive assessment and make a proposal as to what particular risk factors and offending related needs may require addressing but not specifically ‘how’ this should be done. There are however a number of changes, either made by the ORA or the wider Transforming Rehabilitation programme, that report writers will need to take into account.

The first is the fact that the rehabilitative services offered by CRCs – either to offenders they are supervising or, in some cases, to NPS-retained offenders – are likely to change in the coming months as new providers put in place what was in their bids. Clearly, assessments and recommendations to the Court regarding public protection and rehabilitation can be better informed by an awareness of what interventions are available to offenders both in custody and the community. The range and availability of local interventions on offer will be regularly communicated by local CRCs to NPS report writers and sentencers. The nature of this communication will vary depending upon the CRC.

The second is the creation of the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) by the ORA, which replaces the existing Supervision and Specified Activity Requirements for offences committed on or after 1 February 2015. Under the RAR, the Court does not specify the activity or activities the offender must participate in. Instead, this is left to the discretion of the Responsible Officer (RO). The RAR therefore allows the RO the freedom to make their own professional judgement about the most appropriate means to address the risk factors outlined in the PSR and as such make decisions about the form that supervision will take. However, where a Court is considering imposing a RAR, report writers will still need to give the Court an indication of the type of services CRCs are likely to offer in that case. Report writers should assume these services are unchanged on 1 February unless the CRC has communicated a change to the interventions they offer.

Report writers may also need to consider likely allocation decisions as this may have an impact upon their completion of EOASys, the content of their report and their Court proposal, for example if it is a case deemed to be of high public interest.

Finally, in light of the new ORA requirement for offenders serving community orders or suspended sentence orders to seek permission before changing place of residence, it is of increased importance that Court staff and report authors gather sufficient information regarding the suitability of the offender's address. Relevant information should be recorded. There is no specific expectation at the point of sentence that NPS court officers will need to confirm suitability of address for the purpose of the PSS resident requirement where offenders are released direct from court.


For offences committed before 1 February 2015 the options available for report proposals are as outlined in the relevant legislation, in particular CJA 2003 and LASPO 2012.

For offences committed on or after 1 February 2015 Supervision Requirements and all Specified Activity Requirements (SARs) will no longer be available. The ORA introduces the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR). Other requirements DRR, ATR, Mental Heath Treatment, UPW, Curfew/Electronic Monitoring, ACO, Exclusion, Residence, Prohibited Foreign Travel, Prohibited Activity Requirement) are still available and should be proposed where appropriate as before.

A RAR allows for the Responsible Officer (RO) to instruct the offender to attend activities, appointments, or both. The Court sets the maximum number of days of activities that the RAR can involve. The number of days stated is the maximum that the offender can be required to undertake but the allocated RO can decide to use fewer days at their discretion. By contrast, there is no limit set by the court on appointments, which can carry on for the duration of the RAR (which last for the length of the overall order).

It is for the court to first decide whether a Community Order (CO) or Suspended Sentence Order (SSO) with a RAR is an appropriate sentencing disposal and then to set the length of the sentence and the maximum number of activity days. Please note that the RAR does not allow for a minimum number of days only a maximum. The allocated RO is then responsible for deciding the content of the activity days, how they will be delivered, how frequently the offender attends and to whom. In some instances the content of the RAR activity may be decided pre sentence where there are bespoke interventions in place. So the Court may be aware of the proposed content, however the Court cannot set what specific rehabilitation activities should be delivered under the RAR.

Where a DRR, ATR, Mental Heath Treatment Requirement or an Accredited Programme is being proposed good practice suggests a RAR should also be proposed if there are additional needs. However, the requirements recommended should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence. ROs can instruct offenders to report as needed under the auspices of the CO/SSO if there is no RAR in place, by virtue of sections 198 and 2220 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (which require the RO to make any arrangements necessary for the requirements of the order, and which place a duty on the offender to keep in touch with the RO in accordance with any instructions given).

ROs can utilise the RAR activity days to require offenders to attend Accredited Programmes. However, if at the pre sentence report stage it is assessed that a particular Accredited Programme (known to be on offer) would be a suitable intervention, it would be regarded as good practice for the report writer to inform the Court. This therefore enables the Court to impose a named Accredited Programme requirement as part of the CO or SSO. 

Community Supervision

Rehabilitation Activity Requirement

Section 15 of the ORA introduces the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) for COs and SSOs. The RAR replaces the Supervision Requirement and all Specified Activity Requirements (SARs) in cases where the offence was committed on or after the 1 February 2015. However, the Supervision Requirement and the SAR remain for legacy cases where the offence was committed before this date.

The RAR is designed to provide maximum flexibility for probation providers to deliver rehabilitation activities during the sentence that address criminogenic needs and achieve a reduction in the likelihood of re-offending. The RO has discretion as to how use the RAR and as such decides what interventions are suitable for the offender to undertake. Activities which were formally covered by SARs can be included into the activities undertaken within a RAR.

Activity Days

A RAR can involve the RO instructing the offender to participate in activities, up to a maximum number set by the Court when sentencing. The RO can decide to use fewer days at their discretion. The Court specifies the end date of the CO and the end of the supervision period of the SSO. This is the date at which the RO stops being able to require the offender to attend activities (even if the maximum number of days has not been reached). The RAR therefore differs to unpaid work, where if the hours set by the court have not been completed within 12 months, the order automatically extends until they have been completed. The RO has the ability to complete the activity element of the RAR at any point before the end of the order.

An activity day is not defined in legislation, but it does not mean 24 hours of activity. Therefore, if an offender attends to an activity at 11.00am for 1 hour and then again at 2.00pm on the same day for 30 minutes then it counts as one day. If the offender attends on one day for an activity of 1 hour and then next day for an activity lasting 45 minutes then this counts as two activity days. The number of maximum days of activity set by the court cannot be exceeded.

Appointments and Activities

The RAR can be used for both the delivery of 1-2-1 supervision appointments and activities as required. In contrast to Specified Activity Requirements there are no set number of appointments that can be made by the Court. The RO can instruct the offender to attend appointments either with the RO or with someone else nominated by the RO. The RO still has the length of the CO or SSO supervision period to continue to supervise the offender by way of appointments if they so wish. This means that an offender can complete their activity days and still be required to keep appointments with their officer. It is therefore important that officers ensure that the content of the activities, the reporting requirements for these activities and supervision appointments are clearly recorded in the plan and understood by the offender.

The range of activities that may be included in the RAR is broad and the flexibility afforded by the requirement allows for innovative interventions to be delivered however they must be focused on rehabilitation. They can fulfil other purposes in addition to this – for example reparation or restorative justice. Whilst a RAR can include the delivery of an accredited offending behaviour programme. If the information regarding suitability is available at the pre-sentence stage it would be regarded good practice to provide this to sentencers. This will give the opportunity for the Court to specifically include a particular Accredited Programme as part of the CO / SSO.

A RAR should not be used to deliver any other requirements available under a CO / SSO – for example, drug treatment or unpaid work. This is because these requirements have particular safeguards associated with them that the RAR does not provide for. For example, the treatment requirements available under a CO / SSO require the offender’s consent, and the unpaid work requirement has safeguards with regards to the offender’s suitability.

The range and availability of local interventions on offer will be regularly communicated by local CRCs to NPS staff and sentencers. The nature of this communication will vary depending upon the CRC.


  1. Sharp clients will be keeping a very close count of their activity days

  2. Correct me if I am wrong but it appears to me from reading the above that all of this will apply only to those sentenced after February 1, 2015. Or am I wrong in this assumption? What is going to happen under this new regime to those who are already on licence or serving community sentences etc? Will anything change for them in terms of their supervision or activities they are supposed to undertake? Can someone please clarify what the changes to the CRC/probation will have on those already on licence and/or serving community sentences?

    1. You are correct. This post is taken from a large briefing document on the ORA and I'll cover other aspects such as you raise in further posts.

  3. Thanks. The total lack of information given by probation officers to their existing clients on how the changes will impact them is highly disturbing because we have as much right to know how the changes will impact us as the staff do.

    1. it wont impact on existing clients - it is for those who commit offences on or after 1st Feb

    2. I agree absolutely, but to be fair, please remember this is a total car crash omnishambles and ignorance is extremely widespread! In effect, stuff is being made up as we go along and as was said in a meeting recently 'just suck it and see'.

    3. It is absolutely necessary to state here that clients seeking clarity from their OMs will be disappointed. NPS DIRECTORS don't know what is going on. The simple fact is that they have pressed the red button and are hoping for the best. The Courts do not know shat is happening. The infrastructure is not established and the left hand, at this point, doesn't even KNOW that there ISa right hand. The meddlers who have disrespected Probation and thought they could do better are days away from realising their folly. It will take a little while to filter through but this train wreck is about to make The Work Programme mess look like a spelling error. Grayling will be gone by then of course but his CV of failure will become a political liability.

    4. while legally it only applies to those convicted for offences committed after the implementation I can see many case management decisions on existing clients being influenced by it- for example why breach for a missed appointment on an activity requirement when in the new orders you may not even require that number of attendances? Given the practical difficulties of breach proceedings busy staff will let things go rather than operate two regimes.

    5. I for one have tried to pass on as much information as possible to my clients about how they will be affected by all the various changes over the last 12 months. I see it as only right and proper that people should be kept informed about how structural changes may affect their supervision, because it's about their lives. Some have been more interested than others, I have to say - and on a couple of occasions I've even said "look, if you need any more incentive not to commit a further offence, make sure you don't after 1st Feb 2015 because it'll be an even bigger shambles."

      The reason that we haven't been able to give any more information is quite simply that we haven't been given it ourselves. No-one knows what's going on.

  4. It will only apply for offences committed after 1st Feb - no changes to existing licences/those currently serving prison sentences or community based sentences

  5. Existing clients will be managed using existing arrangements. This has been the case whenever there has been a significant change in sentencing practice. The big unknown will be what effect this will have on sentencing and sentencer's views on RARs and ORA post sentence supervision. It also depends on other developments such as the effectiveness of TTG providers, many of whom are untested. One big fly in the ointment that I can see relates to the fact the TTG services don't kick in until there are 12 weeks until release. Most sentences are MUCH shorter than that and assessments and plans will need to be done in DAYS not weeks. Can they deliver? My experience to date raises doubts in my mind.

  6. im an OM in a busy metropolitan area - huge caseload etc etc. I've not heard my manager mention a dickiebird about TTG; ORA or anything. This is going to be a disaster as potentially, am I right in thinking, someone sentenced on 4th Feb for shoptheft on 3rd Feb could, for example, get 6 weeks custody and so this will mean 3 inside; 3 on licence and then 46 weeks on supervision?

    Am I also right in thinking there is now way around this because it is law and Courts have to mark court orders as such? I'm literally scratching my head wondering how we are going to accommodate these cases.

    1. You are right Anon 10:11 ref your example. Although those sentenced pre Feb 1st (or even those sentenced later for offences committed pre Feb 1st) will in one sense 'not be affected' as their Orders/licences are governed by the earlier legislation, we should not underestimate the pressures and massive increase in workload of managing essential two 'different' groups of people. I know we've run core leg alongside each other (CJA 1991 and 2003) before, but the preparation has always been a million times better than it has this time, and the required operational changes have not been so acute. As to 'does it all have to start on Feb 1st?' - well yes it does. I'm sure that I've read somwhere in ORA that beyond Feb 1st the courts mustnt use the earlier leg for relevant defendants- full stop. There seems to be provision for the SoS to delay aspects but he has to apply for this under certain schedules, and it is only certain bits - and I've not found any evidence that he has does this to date. So, whether the Courts are ready or not, tough, its 'on'. I certainly will be keeping an eye on all new allocations to make sure defendants have been sentenced under the correct leg and sending those back to court as illegal Orders that havent. Its the least I can do......

    2. great observation deb re: illegal orders - I'll also do this and make sure others in my office are aware of this. I cant help feeling that when breaches go back to court solicitors can be using the line 'the breached the order cos the RAR was inappropriate and not part of an original sentence' therefore as OMs we need to justify everything we do to cover our arses. I'm wondering what happens if Education, Training is part of an RAR and they get a job ie that will obvs mean the end of the requirement but what if it happens not long after the RAR happens, im guessing it will be a box ticked. This scenario will be even more prevalent if we use accommodation as an RAR. It really is all smoke and mirrors.

    3. Posted on behalf of a third party:-

      In response to 10:11 - in our area we had a 1.5 hour briefing last week. (No training). The presenters were not in a position to answer our many questions and concerns - as they did not know. All our questions were written on the issues board for onward transmission. The service is in chaos and their immediate response is panic. There is no planning just knee jerk reaction to the next scenario that is thrown at them from whoever and whenever. We were given three possible implementation dates for ORA 1st Feb, 1st April, 1st June. Take your pick - it seems we can now implement legislation when we choose. Unbelievable.

      I think what you describe re being sentenced on the 4th for an offence committed on 3rd is probably right - but to be absolutely truthful I am still not certain. I am in a Court team - and this is going to be damned interesting to watch. We do not know what we are doing; the Court and Solicitors in our area are completely unaware of ORA and TTG. In the past when we have had major changes (2003 comes to mind) the Court used to adjourn and ask me to assist the court! Well I know I am definitely NOT in a position to assist anyone at the present time, let alone the court.

      What have we all said on the blog over the last year?? Well the entire train crash is unfolding in front of our eyes. I wonder how Grayling will exit - exit he will of that I have no doubt - election year - becoming an increasing embarrassment for the Headmaster (readers of Private Eye will know this is how they refer to Cameron). I suspect Grayling is chuckling to himself while he is signing his many contracts to sit on the boards of several very grateful companies who have "won" contracts.


    4. @ Anon 10:11 You're nearly right: 6 weeks custodial sentence = 3 weeks custody, 3 weeks licence, then 49 weeks post-sentence supervision (PSS) to take it up to a maximum of 52 weeks supervision.

      Within that, you have to remember that you as the OM will be setting licence conditions for the 3 week period, plus PSS conditions for the 49 weeks - which are not necessarily the same because a lot of the restrictive licence conditions are not available for the PSS portion of the sentence.

      And of course the enforcement processes are different, with different penalties for breaching the PSS period compared to the licence...

      What a firkin mess this will be!

    5. Basically whatever your licence is must be topped up with however many weeks added to it would equal 52. time served counts for zero - well wtf is happening inside - shouldn't rehab etc be starting in custody? This is nothing short of a dogs dinner!! And CRC contact levels dictate that we only have to see people every 2 months if there's no issues. Jeez !!

  7. There has been a rumour doing the rounds in my CRC that Paul McDowell CI of probation has been sacked by Grayling ahead of the sale! But no public announcement.

  8. Yes. He was due to come to our office on Thursday but no one turned up & managers were saying they thought he had gone.

  9. Up until 29 of Jan Paul McDowell heard he was involved in inspection of nottingham CRC probation

  10. I am really anxious about all this as I've not had any training yet about the ORA. I know our court team have but in case managemt we are not getting ours until the week after next .

  11. This is the point when all we have warned about on this blog will come to pass in tangible, demonstrable ways. Probation staff and managers face excessive challenges to try to deliver probation services including
    a) interface across the divide eg case allocation, risk escalation and appropriate information sharing
    b) implementing differential supervision to service users due to the changes in ORA, in effect having two streams of supervision
    c) keeping the service users informed so that they understand the requirement of their individual sentence and ensuring they are supervised accordingly
    d) data protection issues - protecting the confidentiality of the service user balancing the need to know and rights under data protection legislation
    e) victim liaison - the province of NPS but with obligations to CRC cases and the data protection issues that could arise
    f) the capacity for disputes to arise between NPS and CRC as it is evident the CRCs now gaining autonomy will rightly challenge what is seen at times to be imperious decision making by NPS
    g) performance against targets and income deriving from this, the pressure officers will be under to demonstrate performance rather than individual attainment for each service user
    h) the change process gathering speed without allowing "bedding in time" so instead of building on a firm base consolidating learning, practitioners are disorientated by piecemeal processes
    i) changes to working practice and job descriptions with unions and management losing sight of rights and responsibilities. For example, NPS being very confused about HR processes and which policies apply. We are seeing examples where civil service HR partners do not understand the terms and conditions of probation that carried forward and have given incorrect guidance.
    There is a very real risk that by operating in the vacuum caused by insufficient/non existing training, practice will develop differentially based on "best guess" rather than knowledge. I do not refer to the different organisations that now exist, although that is a known TR issue, rather taking the Case Allocation tool as an example it was evident that areas within NPS, one national body now remember, implemented this differentially. A hastily arranged audit had to be undertaken to try to resolve this but it amply demonstrates my point about practice developing in a vacuum. There were many cases allocated incorrectly as a result.
    Sorry if my post looks like a guest blog but these are utterly confusing times and I would urge all staff to keep a personal diary alongside your work diary and makes notes to keep yourself safe in the blame climate that will start to emerge in response. Naturally NOMS will refer to this as accountability but we know they mean blame.

    1. An excellent piece of work Anon 11:30 and if we could encourage you to expand and consider a guest blog please? Thanks.

    2. 'g' is particularly concerning

    3. Targets are indeed very concerning. Earlier in the week I saw a list of the cases where the sentence plan target had been failed. The numbers ran into the high three figures for my county - and we're not a big area.

      CRC targets for things like sentence plans and enforcement are in the vicinity of 97% - fall below that and the CRC gets docked money; fall below 92% in any month and a CRC improvement plan gets implemented by NOMS; fall below 92% for a second month and the contract can be terminated.

    4. As someone mentioned earlier, their will be a focus of hitting these targets most probably to the detriment of actually doing any real work. Still, nice to see where the priorities lie!

  12. That is a very useful read anon 11.30 and helps to be aware of the likely problems when we compile our diaries

  13. I'm turning up at work on Monday with exactly the same level of knowledge of ORA as I left with on Friday; none!

    I have a feeling that, no matter how many RARS get given it will make little difference to how the case is managed and if you complete none of the RARS then as long at the cash linked targets are met then little will be said by managers.

    The problem is going to be further exacerbated by the ever increasing number of OM's going on the sick due to stress. Even by a conservative estimate I anticipate a doubling of my caseload and have not ruled out it trebling. Simply put, we will not have the time to do anything and come July/August when this has bedded in and custody releases start being added I cannot see OM's doing anything other than turning people round in reception as they will be stuck at their desks completing Oasys. The potential for SFO's is also likely to increase and if anyone thinks that re-offending will decrease then they are sadly mistaken!
    Still, as pointed out on here, Grayling will be gone and someone else will have to clear up the mess. I just hope that my clients don't ALL decide to email him on

    1. 13.50 ...I love your last sentence!... hint hint...

      I think offending will decrease, in CRC carefully constructed evaluations anyway, which of course is all that REALLY matters, isn't it...... as the CRC's will be using the same newly polished magic wand, handed down from the MOJ, which they used last year when surprise surprise, they found the useless old Probation Service, had been allowing crime to INCREASE!

    2. I think offending is going to increase massively for two reasons:
      1. The increase in benefit sanctions which contributes to petty crime such as shoplifting (I use the word 'petty' in context).
      2. The decrease in the use of Police cautions for 'petty' crimes.
      There's a perfect storm brewing, and we're all gonna get wet!

    3. yes, no doubt in reality, crime will rise, but that's in the real world, which won't count for companies, but will count of course for MoJ, who will refuse to pay them, for failure to meet targets!! But then, how will they present this to the public, given that this is also their Brave New World, where crime will drop like grouse in August. But of course, in that old real world again, one won't happen but should, and the other shouldn't happen- but will. )

      With regard to the comment on staff shortages due to sickness, a friend/colleague tells me that in her area, CRC PO's have been invited to move across to NPS, to fill the shortfall following staff walking out, and several have accepted. There are now fears in her division, that PO's will be taken out of CRC offices, to be put into those CRC offices in other divisions further away, to fill the gaps 'where there are now no, or hardly any PO's left' !!

      Incredible to think that an office is/are/could be left to run with NO PO's, because of NPS shortages.

      Ml- concerned bird, animal and human lover

    4. In our crc the private company has said staff will not have to complete oasys as they are getting rid of it. They haven't said how they will record information to meet targets or how they will transfer a case to another area or risk escalate to nps.

    5. Can we know which CRC please? It can't be a state secret.

  14. hilarious email from CRC management last week on Message of the Day:

    the gist of it is: all Attendance Management Review (ARM) (sickness meetings) will be held in a rented office rather than HQ because they are worried about the continuing high levels of sickness!!!

    Like it matters not one jot where the sodding ARM is held - would having the sickness meeting in building A make people return quicker than if it was held in building B? do they think as it is an alien building it may intimidate people into believing they are going to be pushed out of the door??

    1. I think they're gonna need a bigger building!!!

    2. I had an absence management meeting a while back and was told to improve my sickness record. I laughed at them and asked them for some SMART objectives I could use to guarantee my health. As it is statistically proven that health problems increase with age, the absence management 'sanctions' are innately discriminatory. I have no problem with the use of such meetings to support staff but to sanction them? They can kiss my increasingly ailing a***

  15. any absence over 20 days (I think its that amount) you automatically get an advisory note also known as a warning. Maybe that's why everyone on long term sick has as close to 6mths on full pay as they can - why rush back when you get the same punishment if its a one month or six month absence? Bastards

  16. Dear Anon 15:38 I am not sure that is correct because the policy that applies should still be your old Trust policy I think, not the civil service (NOMS), happy to be corrected if I am wrong?

    1. For NPS new Attendance Management procedures apply, it isn't one of the retained policies. Not sure about automatic warning letters, or at least letters being any more automatic warnings than they were before. The monitoring periods are quite different though compared with the policy that operated in the Trust I worked for.

  17. Yes targets are a major issue. NOMS issued General Technical Notes to the CRCs on Friday but for only 10 metrics. They may be struggling to complete the notes on the others. It is very likely that performance will be drilled down to individuals.
    As for the new changes I hear that in my CRC that the managers were expecting the new owners to have a model for TTG based on outcomes from a Charity loved by Grayling. However that was not the case and a small team worked all the hours available to provide literature for service users, the NPS report writers ,courts and CRC staff. The RAR is still a work in progress while resources for TTG are a mystery with the expectation that current staff will deliver a service for this group. The numbers on license are not known. It is a mess and our managers are running around trying to provide guidance to staff while Noms continue to issue performance challenges. My message is is do your hours and no more as profit and not service is the message.

  18. Is it true that prisoners will be guaranteed accommodation up release as part of TTG?