Monday, 4 July 2016

Evidence Required

Apart from the odd MoJ troll, regular readers know only too well just how bad the TR omnishambles is and here's a timely reminder that evidence is urgently required for the review currently being conducted. This from Napo news online:-

Probation System Review puts providers under scrutiny

The National Offender Management Service has announced the launch of a review into the state of probation systems. Whilst it is claimed that the main aim is to examine contract delivery 12 months after the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, it follows the publication of recent independent reports from the National Audit Office and the new HM Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey. These indicate that despite some improvements being noted by the NAO and HMIP, TR is still not considered to be delivering against the objectives.

Napo has moved quickly to ensure that we take every opportunity to submit evidence to NOMS, and Napo Branch Chairs have been asked to do all they can to work with Napo’s Officials to gather information from our members about their direct experiences in the NPS and the 21 CRCs. This will allow Napo to highlight the fundamental flaws that still exist in the post-Transforming Rehabilitation landscape and allow us to continue to bring real time evidence to politicians and senior NOMS management.

TR objectives

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, which the government claimed at the time of their implementation would:
  • Open 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;
  • Extend rehabilitation in the community to an estimated extra 45,000 short sentence clients; and
  • Reorganise the support from custody into the community bythe provision of a “through the gate” (TTG) service.
Since then, TR has been the subject of continuous debate amongst parliamentarians, stakeholders within the criminal justice system and of course Napo members, who continue to feel the impact at the sharp end in both the National Probation Service and the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies.

Areas of the review

It is expected that the review will report to the secretary of state and NOMS chief executive Michael Spurr, by the end of July, and there are seven aspects of the probation system that are being scrutinised. These are:
  • Allocation of cases;
  • Payment mechanisms ;
  • TTG;
  • Performance mechanism;
  • Financial and commercial health; and
  • Contract management.
Finally, it will also take into account other wider initiatives within the MoJ, such as prison and courts reform, and the NPS E3 project and how they impact on the CRC contracts and delivery thereof.

It seems that there is some nervousness within NOMS and the Ministry of Justice about the performance of CRC contractors as well as the higher than expected caseloads within the NPS, and that the strands of the review have been designed to obtain a comprehensive picture about what is actually going on across the service.

This is especially relevant in terms of the impact that reductions in the Weighted Annual Volumes (WAV) have had on service provision and the ability of CRC contractors to make their expected profits. This has led some CRC owners to plan for huge numbers of staff reductions and the introduction of some radical local operational practices which Napo are currently challenging across a number of the CRCs.

An opportunity to maintain pressure

I have sought to emphasise the importance of this review by writing personally to Branch Chairs to ask them to help us to compile detailed information via a questionnaire that focuses on the key operational difficulties that our members within both arms of the service have been regularly bringing to our attention.

Contributions should ideally come through Napo branches, but I would be pleased to hear in confidence from individual members about their experiences (ilawrence@napo.org.uk). In all cases any information – which will be anonymised – should come via non-gsi emails.

Only time will tell if this latest review is to have a positive outcome for our hard pressed members, many of whom are still struggling to come to terms with the impact of TR on their profession and the threats to their jobs as a result of this hugely unpopular privatisation. Many of you tell me that it’s time that the owners of the CRCs were brought to account, and we can only hope that this review will start to help achieve that objective.

Ian Lawrence
General Secretary

33 comments:

  1. A new blog from the Napo Gen sec offers financial advice and cinema tickets and other stuff that Looks uninteresting to me.

    No Thanks, but it maybe of use to some, I suppose.

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    1. Napo - a rank organisation. (Man bangs large gong).

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  2. im very worried about a recent development in purple futures CRC. There is to be a quarterly audit covering the case has been adequately managed with:
    risk; contact; flaggers; sentence plan; enforcement.

    A random case file is to be selected and Delius and Oasys cross-referenced with the case by a senior colleague. If any concerns a further 5 random cases will be audited to see if there is a pattern in the poor management of cases or to see if the original file was a 'one off'. If there are concerns with the other 5 cases then capability is to be commenced! Fortunately for me I work with reasonable managers but if you're in an office where your face doesn't fit or whatever then this is the ideal way to manage people out of the company.

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    1. Clearly nothing to worry about here. The PF Interchange Managers are so far behind in their knowledge about case management they will struggle to even know what they are looking for to even hold anyone to account. Their lack of experience with regards sentence planning and or case management etc etc are legendary, most are out of their depth. If you are doing what you are supposed to do,nothing to worry about

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    2. Lord help my PO then if she gets audited as when I do my yearly data subject access request for my file the number of mistakes in it are always astounding

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    3. as if we're not under enough pressure. I've seen this on our Intranet - its basically a bean-counting exercise and giving someone in head office a justification for their scale 5 post. NAPO should be all over this.

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  3. This is laughable. Napo and jim begging for evidence TR is not working. Brilliant. If you worked at the coal face your know things are better than how they were before

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    1. "If you worked at the coal face you know things are better than how they were before."

      Should be easy to give some examples then.

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    2. No problem.... TTG. More interventions. Support for the under 12 months custody cohort. Lean operating models.

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    3. Care to expand beyond just giving list?

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    4. Ttg is laughable; interventions are diminished, operating fewer accredited programmes less frequently with less experienced tutors and are more difficult to get to; the under 12 month cohort is an exercise in seeing how fast the revolving door can revolve before it comes off altogether;lean operating models = operating substandard, deprofessionalised or unsafe practices on a shoestring.

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    5. The operating models are far far from being LEAN

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  4. enrolled another guy on to a programme - waiting list so long I've no alternative but to take the Order back to court to extend so that this can happen. 40+ mile weekly round trip for him to attend the Programme for 18 weeks and it's ridiculous.

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    1. Whats going on.this guy has offended so needs rehabilitation regardless of the 40 mile round trip. Getting silly now

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    2. On reflection 40 miles is far but the issue of travel has always been an issue pre TR in some areas. This issue is not a result of TR

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    3. Travel has always been a problem in areas like Devon and Cornwall, Northumbria etc. Nevertheless, it is clearly a fact that some areas have closed offices and people who used to go to local offices to receive a service, they now have to travel much greater distances. Also, timings of groups are compromised so the inconvenience to individuals is increased, thereby putting in barriers to successful completion. Long journeys ARE a problem but not just because of the inconvenience to individuals who live a long way from offices. Long journeys at the end of a working day with not time to eat, no refreshments on arrival. finishing late and then having a long journey home etc. means offenders START the groups tired and will inevitably struggle to gain anything from them. Obviously, that no longer matters as the completion and resultant funding is the only objective that is now considered. If they actually benefit from them, well, that seems to be a fortunate by product rather than an intended consequence of attendance.

      In short, you can justify any form of bad practice if your attitude is 'they committed an offence and this is the consequence/if you can't do the time....'. The purpose used to be to facilitate rehabilitation not to punish, restrict and just be mean to them because they deserve it.

      As an ex-SPO (I took redundancy), I am simply appalled at the continued efforts of some to justify these cadaverous remains of service delivery. It's crap because it is underfunded and managed entirely by people who do not understand the work and who certainly don't value it. There will always be pockets of good practice and quiet little victories but, in terms of a strategic approach to working with offenders, what is left after TR is almost entirely a universal disgrace.

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    4. Anon 6.36 - you must do better if you want anyone to take you seriously.... What's, or what is going on? You use this character when asking a question. (This) - when starting a new sentence, you need to use a capital letter..this guy (what? a real person?) has offended (haven't we all?) so needs rehabilitation ( oh dear, much of the population needs rehabilitation then?)regardless of the 40 mile round trip. (Are you not making a few too many assumptions here? (That said person has the means, time, money,and physical capacity etc to get there?). Getting silly now - who is? what is silly?. Good to now we have such diligent, caring, compassionate colleagues out there; after all we do not inflict punishment, that is the Courts job and we do not delight in the misery of others.

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    5. 17.53 you have far too much time on your hands!

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  5. I attended Probation before TR. Seemed very uncoordinated and staffed by unprofessional persons then. Appears little has changed.

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  6. Spot the trolls. Can't even be bothered making a decent wind-up. 2/10.Must do better.

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  7. I'm not attempting a wind up. I'm talking from experience. It would be interesting would it not, to gauge the reaction and true feeling of offenders when what they say could not be used against them? Of course this blog has scarcely ever gone into detail about the highly skilled work you practitioners perform on your patients. I wonder why?

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    1. 'perform' and 'patients' aside I would not write in detail on here about the specifics of the work because it would identify the people we are working with and betray their trust (or should I say I wouldn't have when I was working as a PO which I am not now)

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  8. 9 16- just maybe it's because decent POs/PSOs don't brag about the good work they have done, they just get on with it as the norm. The comments on here are largely about how, under the current drastic cheapskate changes, they are unable to work to their own high standards. This blog provides that vital offloading facility which can be shared with other despairing colleagues. Not many other ears are listening.

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  9. Interesting listening this morning to Working Links phone discussion by Senior Management. Many changes to happen soon.

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  10. Yep, in our area band 4 to be cut by 50% and band 3 just about the same. Looks like phone interviews on the way for the majority of clients.
    Re 3e - Any Nps people been given any indication of how many posts will be available in each section - ie three x band 4 and five x band 3 etc. Seems to me that this information is needed before making an informed decision. If it goes to competitive interview and, for instance, all OM posts are filled, then you face being shipped elsewhere. This could cause issues if care responsibility or travel issues.
    Lastly, and I apologise if this seems insensitive given colleagues up and down the country are losing jobs, but the E3 guidance to managers says that whilst ver is not being offered, even if it were,then it would be a civil service scheme. Hence only backdated to the split in June 2014. How is it they are cherry picking? Local gov pension scheme, trusts policy on maternity but we are civil servants when it comes to losing all your years service if ver and also for being moved God knows where, in what ever job, if you are viewed as surplus. Give us the option of ver.

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  11. Does anyone know more about these 1:1 interviews and where can we get advice about whether we have to comply. NAPO are keeping very quiet

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    1. Napo sent a circular out on 3 June giving advice to members about 1:1. Didn't you get it ? If not ask you local rep for it....if your a member that is.

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  12. It's easy to abuse people when you are making money out of it.

    I'm suffering the ill effects of psychological abuse perpetrated by Probation employees. So as far as I'm concerned you deserve E3.

    Think of it as a blessing, redundancy money or no redundancy money. Think of it as less people that you're possible of bumping into at some future date who you half recall the face of, but you don't recall the name of, one less person who let you into their world but whom you didn't let into yours, one less person who opened up to you and offered the hand of friendship, but that you rejected. One less person who committed a reoffence due to the robotic stance of persons employed in the business of helping them.

    If you believe your Bosses are driving the service into the ground then what the fuck are you doing taking their orders and placing them on others?

    Did you ever believe that your interventions were some world class award winning spawn of a genius then I'm sorry but you are nothing short of deluded.

    In any career of a piss-artist formerly known as a Probation Officer, the amount of people that would have a positive thing to say about you compared to the amount who have something less than complimentary to say would speak for itself.

    But if you are being paid then what concern is it of yours the effect that you have on those you come into contact with?

    It's not as if you're trying to get anyone to think of the negative effects that their behaviour has on others now is it?

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    1. You're an idiot. Everyone else is to blame but you!

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    2. You're clearly a Probation Officer, or whatever name you have nowadays. Only a Probation Officer could make such an intuitive, in depth, rounded, reasoned and down right inspirational statement regarding my own personal experience of the service as was delivered to me.

      You must be right at the top of the tree along with the rest of the Probation Monkeys, eating your own shit.


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    3. "One less person who committed a reoffence due to the robotic stance of persons employed in the business of helping them."

      It was your offence - your responsibility.

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    4. Boom 18.08. You are on the money. Well put!

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  13. Evidence Required:

    WMD are just 45 mins away
    TR will massively improve rehabilitation
    I never want to be PM
    Vote Leave is worth £350M a week to the NHS
    Boris, I love you
    Tony is worth every penny of the £MultiMillions he's accrued
    The moon is made of Cheese
    God told me to do it
    En - ger - land, En-ger-land, Eng-gurrr-land!!!

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