14th June 2016
To: Branch Chairs, Vice Chairs, Secretaries & Convenors
Family Court SEC / Northern Ireland (For info)
Cc: Probation Negotiating Committee
Napo Officers and Officials
Probation System Review – urgent request for information
This memo alerts Napo Branches to the launch of an important review by NOMS.
Branches are urged to assist us by working with your NPS Link Officer or CRC Link Official in gathering key information about the state of the NPS and probation landscape. This will be included in a Napo submission to NOMS. Ideally this information should reach Chivalry Road by 30th June.
Background to the review
Last week NOMS announced an important review into the probation system. This follows critical findings from independent reports published by the National Audit Office, the Cabinet Office and the new HM Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey.
Napo is using the findings in these reports to press our agenda with politicians and senior NOMS management – for example, asking Secretary of State, Michael Gove to instigate a full post-implementation review of Transforming Rehabilitation on the back of last year’s HMIP reports. That was previously turned down on the basis that the Minister wanted to see the outcome of the NAO and HMIP reports and consider what actions, if any, he needed to take. Consequently, whilst we continue to await a meeting with the Minister, it’s encouraging to hear that the NOMS Contracted Services Directorate are to conduct a Probation System Review.
An opportunity for Napo
Napo are asking Branch Officers and Representatives to work with our Officers and Officials in pulling together some empirical evidence about the realities of life in the NPS and CRCs.
Obviously, the current pressures faced by our members mean we do not expect you to spend huge amounts of time compiling evidence, but below are a number of key questions that we believe should help form the focus of a Napo submission to the review.
As always there’s an urgency to get information together quickly but our aim is to ensure we are able to validate the issues that Napo has been bringing to the attention of NOMS/ MoJ, politicians and the media – namely, that despite the improvements noted by the NAO and HMIP, the TR reforms are not delivering against the objectives (see below) and urgent remedial action should be put in place.
Government’s Stated TR Objectives:
- Opening up the market to a diverse range of rehabilitation providers including Mutuals;
- Incentivise providers to innovate through payment by results linked to a reduction of reoffending;
- Extending rehabilitation in the community to an estimated extra 45,000 short sentence clients; and
- Re-organising the prison estate to provide a ‘through the gate’ service to give continuous support from custody into the community.
We have been advised that the Probation System Review will assess what adjustments, if any, can be made to the CRC contracts and wider probation system to support the achievement of the original TR objectives as summarised above.
In seeking to address the observations and recommendations within the National Audit Office, HMIP and Cabinet Office reports, the review will focus on six particular areas:
- Allocation of cases
- Payment mechanism
- Performance mechanism
- Financial and commercial health and
- Contract management
It would therefore be appreciated if Branches and NEC members could compile information using the questionnaire below so that Napo is able to offer the review an accurate, real time contribution about our members experiences.
We are hugely grateful for the work that you are able to put into this exercise. Branch Chairs are asked to contact your Link Officer or Link Official in the first instance if you require more information.
Ian Lawrence Chris Winters & Yvonne Pattison
General Secretary National Co-Chairs