Thursday, 26 November 2015

Probation Institute Debate

I thought it would be useful to summarise the recent debate and exchanges concerning the fledgling Probation Institute. It was kicked off by a comment I re-published from Facebook by Napo's David Raho. The ensuing contributions raised some serious questions and I'm grateful to him for openly responding:-

It has been suggested elsewhere that we continue to sign our correspondence PO PSO SPO as per employment contract and in addition start listing professional qualifications. In order to preserve our professional status including designations we need a recognised professional body that registers our qualifications courses etc as CPD. It was hoped that the Probation Institute would perform this role in the same way as the Institute for Learning does. Unfortunately the Probation Institute got a bad press (mainly due to Grayling dishonestly attempting to take credit for its establishment) and continues to be unfairly maligned and undermined and weakened by a small number of very vocal critics who have failed to recognise its potential importance to our profession.

I would encourage anyone concerned about their professional status and probation as a profession to join the PI in addition to NAPO (who are a professional association) who recognise the Probation Institute as aspiring to be a centre of professional excellence including all those with an interest and/or involvement in probation including academics, leaders, politicians, voluntary sector etc. Some of us have been calling for a PI for years and now we have one we need to join it and support it. 
David Raho

******
A Probation Institute with licence to practice powers rather than mere 'registration' may have been welcomed as it would have protected excellence as the PI aspires to become to a 'centre of excellence'. Though supported by the Napo leadership it is quiet support as I don't recall any strong promotion by Napo of the PI. It never gets mentioned by the general secretary and I don't see any evidence of Napo urging members to join.

There are trained and experienced staff seeking to transfer to the NPS and being told they will revert to the bottom of the pay scale. On this issue and other issues that affect conditions of service and livelihoods the PI is silent.

The MoJ spent 90,000 on the PI because it was good PR at a time when they needed to show their commitment to maintaining professional standards in the post TR world. No wonder its critics saw it as more fig leaf than supposed centre of excellence. The PI enjoys more traction with academics than practitioners. Is this just because practitioners have been deterred by a small number of very vocal critics, or could it be that in general it is regarded as a cosmetic: lipstick on the TR pig?

******
The practitioners I know see very little benefit in joining the PI until all the grand words about being a centre of excellence translate into concrete action towards achieving a proper register of licensed practitioners. Until then, and particularly whilst corporate entities and those with no background in probation can simply buy themselves higher levels of membership than frontline staff, to most people it will remain little more than yet another quarterly glossy magazine.

******
The PI should have been free to all frontline probation staff. Not everyone has to buy a registration, as does the humble NPS probation officer. CRC's had it paid for, NPS did not. The PI's 'code of ethics' didn't have a problem with this.

The other way is to be handed it for free by your friends. Funny that, the PI was set up by probation Chiefs and now they're awarding themselves "fellowships". This list of current 'awards' is packed with probation Chiefs (I'm not counting Andrew Bridges as he's the only one that's deserving in my book). I hope they enjoy writing C.O.R.R.U.P.T after their names.
http://probation-institute.org/about/fellows/

******
CRC's staff may have been offered free membership to the PI but I don't know anyone that took up the offer in Kent. Maybe this was offered as compensation for NPS staff being given a day off for the Queen.

******
I disagree with David Raho on the Probation Institute (PI). It's a bit unfair to blame the critics when there are many flaws in the set up and operation. It failed us, we didn't fail it!

The PI may have worked if it'd been properly established in the first place. It's silly it was started by absorbing those of the Probation Association and Probation Chiefs Association, those that did nothing to fight the Govt destruction of probation. The PI has still not spoken against TR, it is silent against every new/additional Govt attack on probation, and I have never seen or heard it speak publicly in defence of probation. 

It's committees/boards are heavily packed with persons from Community Rehabilitation Companies and private firms. The PI has had ample time to combat/correct all of the above but seems to be only interested in increasing member fees and issuing silly 'fellowships' which include those that helped the sell off, and have nothing to do with, probation. Its professional register might have worked if it were not so intent on bowing to private companies by registering and giving silly post nominal letters to those without probation qualifications, and even volunteers those not working in probation. I don't see why it's partnered with Uservoice either, or why it needs to be propped up by Napo.

I agree probation needs a professional body, a format for registering qualifications and professional development, a credible place for identifying and accessing research and training, and a probation focused authority to speak on behalf of probation practice. Sadly the PI in its current form is not it, and has tried to be too broad and therefore too vague. Rather than blaming its failure on the critics it should go back to the drawing board. There's a lot we all could say on the PI but it would already know this if it tried to listen.

******
I agree with David Raho on much, but his comment that the PI "continues to be unfairly maligned and undermined and weakened by a small number of very vocal critics" is rather odd.

Who are these critics, except for those on this blog? Do we really have that much power? The PI has had a huge amount of establishment support, and its failure to gain traction is the result of the fundamental flaws in its design - particularly the offer of corporate memberships - as well as the PR problems that was the initial £90k seed money from NOMS and Grayling's early championship. The fact that it seemingly can't overcome the challenge of a few naysayers is a mark of its fundamental weaknesses, not the strength of the critics.

We do need a professional body, separate from the trade unions, but not this one. As Probation Officer says, to be credible the PI needs to be seen to be standing up for probation values and actively challenging the TR wrecking ball - but the current PI is financially dependent on the CRCs and will end up being complicit in the destruction of what it professes to value.

******
I intend to contact David Raho directly to explain why I am so opposed to the Probation Institute. I will express myself here anonymously because this is social media and being NPS I would be sanctioned for having the temerity to express my views. Yup in the land of Magna Carta, in 2015, I dare not speak out because I am a (second rate...no access to the better pension remember) Civil Servant. Not once has the PI ever spoken up about the truly shocking experiment-turned-reality of TR. Not once has the PI expressed any concern about the impact of TR upon victims, communities, clients/service users/offenders. Not once has the PI ever raised concerns from practitioners or managers.

******
I work in the NPS and horrified by the PI which incidentally was set up and funded by Chris Grayling's department, the MOJ. PI has no credibility and no teeth to uphold probation 'core' values. The only thing PI is interested in is using this organisation as a marketing tool to advise the aims of the private sector and supporting companies that are out to make a profit.

******
The PI was introduced as a smoke screen to smooth the muddy waters that the MOJ knew would follow TR. What they didn't envisage was us mere mortal front line PROBATION staff seeing right through it. I am quite frankly shocked by David Raho's statement, I always held him in high esteem.

******
It's a bit unclear. All this E3 nonsense is actually an opportunity for the Probation Institute to find itself. The PI, if it's reading, should tell the MoJ, NOMS, the NPS and CRC's - what best practice is, what probation practice must be and the role of the Probation Officer, how professional qualifications and standards must be maintained, how justice cuts will affect standards, the problems and effects caused by TR and privatisation, the restraints and robotisation of being civil servants, etc.

If the PI wants to be a "centre of excellence" and "voice" of probation then it needs to put in the work. Get rid of the premature partnerships, give the MoJ back its £90k, get involved in a few news interviews about crime, punishment and rehabilitation to promote and defend probation work, and then build in the right direction. Look how the police have taken the current terror threat and spoken out about justice cuts! I respect the likes of Paul Senior and Sue Hall but they're not doing enough if they want it to work. I'm an NPS PO and there is literally no point in joining, in fact I don't even know what it is except that it tried to run before it could walk. I'd love to help them make it work but clearly the PI's priority is membership fees, glossy magazines and pampering the self-believing 'elite'

******
I expect unions to fight for terms and conditions. I expect the PI to promote and preserve probation practice. Being a probation officer has always been and still is a profession. It is more than 'just a job' and therefore should not be subject to silly models and initiatives that strip it bare. This is not idealistic or a "fantasy", the fact is that with many 'professions' such as doctors, lawyers, police, surveyors, counsellors, social workers, etc, us professionals on the frontline should and must expect to be able and supported to do the job we are paid for and held accountable for. The reason for the superstructure of specialist unions, institutes, inspectorates, etc is to ensure this.

******
I am happy to talk to anyone regarding my current dealings with the Probation Institute. Like many I was sceptical at first but the PI will only be as effective as those involved in it and to a large extent prepared to give up their spare time to further its aims and projects. I am fully aware of how it was formed and the relatively small contribution from the MoJ. I think it has value as a means of networking and bringing together different people with an interest in probation that would not necessarily be comfortable dealing with trade unions. My experience has been that there are good people involved such as Paul Senior that those who have been around a while will recognise as good friends of the probation profession and will aim to do no harm. As a profession we need to engage with a wider audience and we need recognised infrastructure to do so. I am happy to hear from anyone directly.
David Raho

******
David Raho, total poppycock. That silly "only as good as it members" line may work in excusing the sham of the Napo exec/leadership, but the PI is not a union. It is in fact the responsibility of those running the PI to make it effective for and attractive to those that make up the profession it seeks to represent. If the PI cannot realise this then it is not ready to be an organisation/institute. There are many posts above stating the failings of the PI and what it could do to change. These points and more have been raised many times over, here and elsewhere. Let it show us how it is a voice of probation and centre of excellence, as it claims, because "networking" is not enough.

******
You are right to say the PI is not a union but some of those commenting do not make that distinction. It does however strive to be a democratic organisation and members therefore have a say. I do not expect it or similar institutes in their infancy to behave in the ways described or as a radical pressure group. However, I think some of the work currently being done may be influential. Nothing is ever as perfect as we want it to be and whilst it is easy to be negative about what exists it can at least be worked with rather than simply dismissed as irrelevant. 

If the PI fails it will be as much a casualty of TR as anything else and will be seized upon by those who's interests are served by deprofessionalising and silencing voices speaking up for the probation profession. As I said before I was initially a sceptic but I can see the sense in engaging with a wider group through the PI who would not necessarily feel comfortable engaging directly with NAPO as a professional association. I'm happy to do this. Without a professional institute there is no obvious home for specialist networks etc to find a home and those with interests in probation would rely on ad hoc professional conferences etc to communicate. So in providing the means to have a forum and network the PI fits the bill. They currently rely on members subscriptions and as far as I am aware do not get any money from the MoJ. My own hope for the PI is that it does provide professional services in the way the Institute for Learning does to te teaching profession. If it's membership increases so will its potential to have a stronger voice and a bit more clout and may well be more critical of policy makers. It is not however and should not be seen as being a trade union.
David Raho

******
If it makes you feel better to say that, congrats. The fact is it was badly set up and is doing little to nothing for our profession. If it's a "professional association" then it should be it now, and not 'when it has enough members'. You may say it's a catch 22 my friend, I say it must put in the work and the members will come. Look how the police spike and fought against cuts and are now protected until 2020. We've not heard a snippet from the PI on TR, sodexo, E3 or the looming cuts, but it claims to be the voice of probation but will not while it bows to the MoJ and romances its privateer friends. As I said, the comments are above and elsewhere, and the PI has done nothing to rectify this. You're not its spokesperson so you can't answer any of this either, so little point debating with me on an old blog post nobody else is reading. I'd love the PI to be an institute of probation, the fact is it is far from it.

32 comments:

  1. In fairness to Probation Officer I did write the following in response to his last comment.

    'Writing about anything generally makes me feel better as I am sure it does for you judging from what I have read under your pseudonym. I think you make some sweeping assumptions about the PIs relationship with the MoJ that I have not witnessed in my limited experience of these. You also seem to assume that the PI has more resources than it in fact does. I do not think, again in my opinion, that the PI is wrong to try to establish working relationships with the new owners and CRCs as this is a wise move in the new landscape. As far as I know it is not within the PI's remit to negotiate improvements in pay and conditions but is interested in practice development and there is scope there for those at the frontline to tell it how it is to those with influence in different areas to Napo. As you say I am not a spokesperson for the PI and my original comment was posted out of context from the middle of a comment stream from another members only social media site so I have to an extent been brought into the debate somewhat selectively. I have though merely given the advice I would give to anyone who wants to change something (whether it is the Labour Party, Napo or anything else) i.e. try not to follow leaders in a blinkered way or put all your faith in leadership but try instead to understand the issues and make your own mind up. The other thing is that I welcome a discussion and would encourage anyone to engage in a debate about issues but there is absolutely no need for personal abuse, vilifying, hounding, or name calling (trolling) that has discouraged many persons from actively participating in discussion threads on this blog even when they could have had a potentially valuable input.

    Personally I'll use what help I can get to further the things I want to achieve and the PI certainly aren't against us.'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Probation Officer26 November 2015 at 10:53

    David Raho said it himself, the main priority of the PI at the moment is getting members cash. So can we expect it to continue to romance the private sector, NOMS and the MoJ, and all their silly initiatives that are in total opposition to 'what works' and 'evidence based practice'? Anybody remember SEEDS?

    The fact is that the PI cannot be an 'institute of probation' or 'centre of excellence' if it doesn't speak up against TR, Sodexo type models, E3, government cuts and everything else that is downgrading and obliterating probation. Until there is a shift, the PI simply remains as "lipstick on the TR pig"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I said the PI was funded by members subscriptions. I did not say that their main priority was getting members cash. However, it would be sensible to assume they wish to increase membership and participation and I wish them well with that. I am not the PIs spokesperson but it appears with the notable exception of JB there appears to be an anti PI sentiment being expressed by those dominating the comments section so I guess this may discourage people like Professor Paul Senior from commenting again. Personally I think that is a great pity.

      Delete
    2. David,

      I agree, it would be good to hear from the PI directly, but as you say, each time the subject is raised the comments are over-whelmingly negative and Paul Senior did write a piece on here some time ago.

      I appreciate that given the lack of support expressed by readers on here it might be felt by the PI that responding would be counter-productive, but as far as I can see the debate has been relatively calm and considered, despite the obvious anger over TR.

      Although not a spokesperson, I very much appreciate you taking the time to try and answer the difficult questions being raised and sincerely hope that the debate might continue in a calm and collected manner so that the PI might consider responding officially.

      Thanks again David and I hope you forgive my putting you on the spot, but the stakes are so high I feel the subject simply has to be tackled in some forum or other.

      Jim

      Delete
    3. Jim,

      No problem at all. Like you I believe in democracy, truth, and as much freedom of expression as possible. There is a lot of anger around about TR and I know that you are aware that I and others fought as hard as we were able to with the resources available to us.

      I share much of the anger expressed regarding the TR process that like many of Grayling's initiatives was poorly thought through and as a recently retiring CRC CEO put it 'a real dogs breakfast' although in London CRC we have at least been spared some of the worst problems experienced in other areas -so far. Unfortunately my colleagues and I in Napo London continue to attempt to deal with the fallout from TR on a daily basis as professionally as possible that seem to be particularly acute in the NPS. Many of the sentiments and issues expressed on the blog are all too familiar.

      I always encourage Napo London members and those I meet with an interest in the probation world to read this blog. I too hope that the PI will feel able to do a guest blog post to address the many issues raised as I think this would be both informative and interesting. I also hope that if they do so then the response to this from regular commentators will be calm and considered.

      David

      Delete
    4. Rubbish. The London CRC hadn't been spared, it is currently being hammered by MTCNovo. In my office admins are being reduced to 1, with the remaining handful of jobs being in a call centre somewhere which they can't travel to. The offender group has been split into cohorts and from December staff will be moved to be based where their cohort is. You may think this is great but imagine working with just young, old or women offenders. The expectation is hot-desking in the office rather than a fixed desk, and supervision carried out outside the office. Most offenders are put as Tier 1 so caseloads are huge. Even worse, all the "compliant" PSS offenders are sub-contracted out to be supervised by a local agency and just seem to disappear. It's an utter mess but it's ok because the management have little badges that read BIONIC - believe it or not I care. The PI have said nothing about this or the impact on practice yet the PI and you are rubbing shoulders with the MTCNovo CEO while you discuss how to replace us with electronic monitoring.

      Delete
    5. The Probation Institute would gain a little credibility if they just issued some public statements about basic policy of this and the last two Governments such as splitting unified local probation agencies and moving their managements further from the clientele and courts they serve makes the set up more dangerous and less accessible to those who rely on its work.

      Delete
    6. 20:46 Rubbish. What David Raho said was that 'in London CRC we have at least been spared some of the worst problems experienced in other areas -so far.' He says that there are no plans in London to replace probation staff with electronic monitoring and he is one of the few people who really knows the ins and outs of the politics of electronic monitoring and is on record as making sure that biometric reporting was discontinued in London and indeed is critical of the inappropriate use of electronic monitoring. It is already being used and there are moves afoot by the MoJ to use it more. When I have heard him speak about this situation he emphasises that we need to engage more proactively with those who might impose things upon us rather than simply reacting loudly in complaint when things are imposed. Of course he is rubbing shoulders with MTCnovo bigwigs and also magistrates and leading politicians and the like as there would be little point in him preaching to the converted. You are angry about the use of a cohort model that creates specialisms. Some people like this and some don't and this has been a debate for years (generic vs specialism) Actually most people in London got their choice of cohort. This was well managed unlike the split during TR. Agile working is now used successfully in many workplaces and it is becoming the norm. Whether it works or not we don't yet know and this remains to be seen. I could probably go through each of you points and suggest you are either misrepresenting something, exaggerating or simply wrong. But if it makes you feel better to have a rant then go ahead. I don't buy all the anti- PI stuff as probation professionals should support it as it is our institute. I look forward to their official post and would commend the courage of those who refuse to simply jump on a bandwagon.

      Delete
    7. The PI, with its parade of ex-chiefs and CEOs, is the bandwagon here, not those of us who welcome the idea of some form of professional institute yet are sceptical of this particular variant's ability to deliver its own objective of being a centre of excellence.

      Delete
  3. There's a FAQs section on the PI website. One question asks:

    'Will the Institute be able to argue against poor practice?'

    The answer:

    'Any evidence of poor practice will be taken seriously by the Institute and vocally opposed. However, the Institute is not a campaign organisation...'

    It would be enlightening to know how the PI intends to define 'poor practice' and to learn about the gymnastics of being 'vocally opposed' in a non-campaigning mode. Apart from the vested interests, there was deep opposition to the TR split which most opponents – terms and conditions aside – regarded as institutionalising poor practice.

    If an entity is promoting itself as being an independent centre of excellence, it must surely have a view on whether the split is an example of poor practice.

    The probation service was not broke and did not need fixing. It was broken up for ideological reasons. Is destroying a world-renowned public service an example of poor practice?



    ReplyDelete
  4. The PI also claims it applies professional leadership for probation workers. For any other "professional institute" this would include commenting on and influencing activity, from press to parliamentary affairs, from public relations to policy development.

    Maybe the PI will respond? While visiting its website for an answer I noticed the PI's latest article on expanding electronic monitoring has nice glossy pictures of the CEO's of BeNCH CRC chief and MTCNovo. Interestingly they seem to think the PI is asking all the right questions about that.


    A tumbleweed rolled by .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like David Raho was there too. I'm not surprised CRC's are all over tagging. Reduced staffing costs and more contracts with Serco/G4S - Ker-Ching!

      http://probation-institute.org/workshop-highlights-potential-for-electronic-monitoring-to-support-desistance/

      Delete
    2. David Raho has never advocated increases in tagging. He has however argued in favour of integrating tagging more with probation practice. This something that the MoJ probably don't want to do despite the evidence it would improve matters. He certainly does not support any form of corporate malfeasance.

      Delete
  5. I am impressed by Paul Senior but will not join the Probation Institute whilst my qualifications and experience are not fully recognised and whilst Fellows don't need any qualifications at all. What kind of professional institute does not recognise the professional? I would be delighted to join PI if it recognised my profession and the professionals in it. Until then, it's more of a hindrance to me than a help and I'll be staying well away. NPS PO.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am wholly unimpressed by the Probation Institute. If 'professional standards' means anything that can be justified by people who have no investment whatsoever in the outcomes achieved, then it will remain a part of the problem and not a part of the solution.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Look, I am a qualified PO with a few years under my belt and PI just has no credibility when, as already identified above, "Fellows" do not need any qualifications.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've no qualifications in probation but I get paid more than all of you fools so why can't I be a fellow. I'm an entrepreneur. The full package. Top shelf. Do I want to be in the PI. Simple answer is YES. It's the place to be for top brass and everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Promoting good practice is all well and good, but of little value unless the Probation Institute can challenge bad practice at an institutional level. Not a single whimper about Sodoffxo's slash and burn approach to staff - the loss of hundreds of years of experience at a stroke, and what do we hear from the PI? Nothing. They are dependent on corporate money and as such will remain toothless.

    Compare this with, say, the various Royal Colleges of Medicine - they at least have clout: the Health Secretary was at the point of threatening to remove their royal charters unless they backed him against the junior doctors - until he caved in himself. The PI needs to be independent of government and independent of private sector employers, but nothing I have seen so far indicates that this is remotely a possibility. HM Inspectorates of Prisons and Probation are more effective independent and critical voices - at least for the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's rather strange that an institute for probation professionals asks the qualified professionals to pay to be ranked lower than the non-professionals. Even more strange is that using the same system it ranks a management diploma over probation officer qualified status and probation/social work degrees.

    I don't mean to sound elitist but the PI's registration is very confused (except for managers at Sodexo). Qualified probation officers are ranked in the same category with those without any qualifications at all (Registered Members). Anyone working in probation and rehabilitation as an administrator, worker or manager with a masters degree will register at Level D which is higher then qualified probation officers (Level C). 'Fellows' are considered experts but can be unqualified and also rank higher than qualified probation officers.

    Can someone tell me what the purpose of the PI is for probation officers? It doesn't rate probation officers, it cannot influence or challenge policy and it cannot dictate practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And why are all of the "Fellows of the Probation Institute" white British?

      http://probation-institute.org/about/fellows/

      Delete
    2. Another thing to note is the comment "Joining as a Registered Member carries an obligation to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) and to provide evidence for this on re-registration." Is it just me, or is the PI essentially creating a market for its own product by making this requirement?

      Delete
    3. That is standard for any bona fide organisation with whom registration is required to secure and retain particular jobs e.g registration required for social workers,physiotherapists etc.

      Delete
  11. How are the crc's going to manage risk when we no longer have oasys. It's going to be embarrassing attending child protection conferences or marac and we are unable to access previous history. I had a phone call last week asking for information about a previous client. I was unable to access the information because I was unable to read the nd record.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically you shouldn't be giving updates on that client as you're no longer supervising them and now work for a different organisation. unfortunately this is the predicament they've left us in. I think other agencies already recognise the mess we're in.

      Delete
  12. Many of the comments above seem to miss the point; a professional body is not a a trade union, nor should it seek to be. The Probation Institute should offer a professional view, and opportunities for inclusive discussion on professional issues. These could quite well include matters affecting staff safety and the effectiveness of working arrangements. The PI should encourage and point to professional development opportunities, It should work with a range of partners to ensure that good CPD is in place and accessible The Probation Institute should be the body which can embrace practitioners across NPS, CRCs, Tier Two and Tier Three providers, and the wider voluntary and independent sector bringing practitioners and managers together in the post TR world of probation and rehabilitation. £90,000 is a relatively small sum; what matter is that the PI is able to become self sufficient and is not seen as an instrument of government. Probation Officers have a specific registration level on the Probation Register, reflecting the specific professional qualification, but the register recognises that across the restructured sector there will be increasingly diverse progression routes. The Probation Institute must be about the whole probation, community justice and rehabilitation workforce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is that the PI does not only fail to "offer a professional view", it seems to fail to offer any views at all.

      The blurb on the home page of their website reads: "We support effective services. We promote evidence-based policy and practice and the professional development of our members. We explain the work of probation to the media, parliamentarians and the public." I cannot recall the PI making any comment at all in the media: at the very least there should have been some sort of response to the HMIP reports; and in my book, if the PI claims to support effective services, yet fails to comment on Sodexo's scorched earth HR policies, it's tacitly endorsing them.

      It's all very well conducting studies of the efficacy of electronic monitoring and reporting kiosks, but these take time and rarely come to definitive conclusions; we need the PI to stand up for good practice NOW - and if that means calling out the privateers on their nonsense operating models, and challenging NOMS about the erosion of boundaries through E3, then so much the better.

      Delete
  13. I along with other members of the PI Electronic Monitoring Group were speakers. If you read the article you will see that it was a discussion seminar and many views were expressed. As a committed trade unionist I believe in protecting jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt it, and all those privateers weren't in the audience for no reason. I've read the PI's articles on electronic monitoring (EM). A double standard I think that the PI and its EM group full of CRC CEO's past and present is happy to speak on the impact EM may have on probation but remains silent on the impact TR and MoJ policies ARE having on probation. No surprise there though. Oh look, you're part of it too!

      Delete
    2. 15:42 Perhaps you should join the PI and start a group looking at that

      Delete
  14. I'd like to keep the debate on the PI going and I'm able to report that there will indeed be an official response some time next week to the issues raised here. The whole subject is clearly an emotive one, but in the spirit of seeking light rather than generating heat, can I respectfully request that we keep the debate calm, considered and measured.

    Thanks,

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good news - but only if it is something of substance which acknowledges the issues raised and goes some way towards addressing them. I have seen too many anodyne statements which simply dismiss concerns in favour of carrying on regardless to have a great deal of optimism here.

      Delete
    2. And if they don't, I'm seriously thinking about how a group of practitioners could set up our own 'institute of probation practice'. Built from the frontline, by practitioners and for practitioners. More difficult in the current climate than would have been a few years ago, and there'd be opposition from the managerial investment in the PI, but I don't think it's impossible. I'd like to see the PI work but this current set up is not much use if they're intent on running something very different to what [real] probation needs and wants.

      Delete