Friday, 8 July 2016

How's TTG Doing?

From the recent proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee:-

Q41 Caroline Flint: 

Before I pass on to my colleague, Mr Pugh, we heard earlier, Mr Heaton, about the new system for those with less than a 12- month sentence. Through-the-gate services have now been running for a year, and this is to enable the process to start while people are still in prison, before they leave. How do you think the community rehabilitation companies are performing? 

Richard Heaton: My impression, although others will come in on this, but my impression is that this has not quite settled down and the story is probably mixed. It is not a part of the service that I am 100% confident about— 

Q42 Caroline Flint: Why’s that? 

Richard Heaton: Just because I detect inconsistency, that’s all. I am not 100% confident about any of this; that is why it is such a difficult programme.

Q43 Caroline Flint: 60% confident? 

Richard Heaton: Yes, all right, if you like. 

Q44 Caroline Flint: Do you want to put a number on it, Mr Heaton? 

Richard Heaton: Mr Spurr or Mr Porée will be able to come in on this, but I detect some inconsistency. I think it has been slow to get off the ground, and it is one of those areas where we have caught up quite a lot recently, but that is an impressionistic view. 

Michael Spurr: As I said earlier, I think this is an area where there is a significant amount of variability in provision. There are some good examples: there are a couple of private sector prisons, HM Prison Parc and HM Prison Forest Bank, with very good inspection reports. Talking about how the CRCs operate in the public sector, Lewes and Durham are good examples. In other areas there has been a real difficulty for the CRCs in making those services work. There are a lot of reasons for that. Frankly, I think that we probably expected greater investment in this area early on. That has suffered because of the volumes, so there have been delays in investment. We had expected it to be earlier. That is part of the conversation that we are having now with providers as we look to restructure the contacts. 

The other issue is around the complexity of providing resettlement services, working with the whole range of partners. I think that the Chair asked earlier about our engagement with second-tier providers and others, and Mr Porée gave answers on that. We are very conscious of the impact of provision with a lot of voluntary and social sector engagement, but then there are also a lot of local third-tier providers in prisons who feel to some degree that they have been squeezed out by other, larger social sector organisations such as Nacro or Catch22. Clinks has done a review of what the impact has been on those third-sector organisations. A lot of that is about prison provision, where there has been very niche provision in some prisons which feels squeezed out at the moment. 

I spoke at the Clinks AGM to the social sector about how this is developing and how we are encouraging providers to work with smaller, niche providers where that works and where that can really add benefit. That is not yet all at the place where we want it to be; it is still developing. A year is a reasonable time, but we need to think about the scale of what has been taken on in terms of providing these services at a time when their volumes overall are lower than anticipated, and as a result of that their cash is also lower. That is where the hit has been, frankly.


  1. Good stuff, JB. The hearing is a goldmine! Basically, it ain't working.

    Spurr - "It has been particularly the case for CRCs where volumes are lower than has been anticipated—that has been a change in case mix. There are more violent and sexual offenders being managed by the NPS, and fewer what we would call medium or lower-risk offenders in the system. That means volumes are lower than anticipated and that has impacted on cash flow for the CRCs, but they have begun to put some innovative practice in place."

    Read "The NPS/CRC caseload split was woefully wrong, the lies are finding us out & the CRCs are pissed off with us."

  2. Michael Spurr: It was a huge part of this programme and one that, I think, that had general support. There were lots of parts of this programme that were not generally supported but, in Parliament, and actually professionally, and with our trade union partners, everybody recognised the importance of trying to do something different with this short sentence offender group."

    Salesman: "Do you see how quickly & effectively the snake oil soothes your ailments? Everyone agrees it is a miraculous cure."

  3. So was the caseload split done properly or have NPS been snatching cases from CRCs?

    Spurr: "There is a proper algorithmic piece of work that has to be done for every offender, and we have looked at what our expectations would be against the type of offenders we have, going through that objective process and allocation. We have looked at that in detail over some time, over a lot of cases. We are confident that the reality is not that the Probation Service has determined, through overriding the normal process, that these people should stay because we are worried about the risk. It is not that. The reality is that there is a higher number of people—looking at the offences, there is a higher number of sexual offenders, a higher number of violent offenders and a lower number of people who traditionally would have come out on the medium or low-risk assessment. It is not that we were not alert to that or did not think it might be an issue: we have been very conscious of it and have monitored it very closely."

    Uh? So we now have an unexpected & sudden high rate of sexual & violent crime than ever before? A significant & fundamental change of offending behaviour that was neither predicted nor accounted for by the highly paid consultants & experts who drew up the TR contracts?

    And this is why TTG is failing... Because TR is a crock of PR shite. Their lies are finding them out at the expense of everyone else, i.e. loss of employment, loss of professional service provision & loss of public money. Spurr even says they are about to hand even more public money over to the CRCs by way of "compensation" because of the IT fuck-up. They weren't so keen to honour the EVR package for long-serving professionals. Arseholes!

  4. Eeerrr, it's shite!

  5. Further proof that you can't polish a turd ! But you can " restructure the contracts" when the promised up front investment by the privateers hasn't materialised! Disgusting comment the lot of them

  6. Giga-shambles from Day One! The left hand and the right hand in our CRC clearly don't even belong to the same organism, as we have received various contrary emails over the last two weeks regarding third-stage redundancy meetings (originally mooted in January 2016)- everything now put on hold yet again, at the eleventh hour - our 'owners'/managers/failed bankers or whatever they are have only had six months to get the actual figures right.. words fail me - any vague notion of Probation as a career is in tatters. How much worse can it actually get - really?! Useless gits with no idea of the work we do.

  7. I think you deserve them. You were an unprofessional abusive service before TR. Now finally a few of you are realising that what you do does not help. You are proficient at tick box excercises, not suppprtive holistic human relationships. Probation as a career should be in tatters, you lost heart and soul a very long tome ago.

    1. Ex-Napo member8 July 2016 at 17:46

      A bit of friendly advice: if you stopped generalising your own experiences - as genuine as they may be - and making wild, sweeping statements, you might find that people are more willing to listen to you.

    2. 10 23 - well if we were an unprofessional abusive service before TR, how come so many PO's, including myself, got so many thank you cards from grateful clients, and be told, 'I don't know what I'm going to do without you' on many an occasion. I retired 5 years ago and I still keep in touch with a couple of clients, by text, email and phone, who are leading successful offence free lifestyles. Do not judge everyone the same, there are good and bad in every sector.

    3. I didn't think you were allowed contact with clients outside service time?

      Maybe I just got a bunch of shit people for supervision.

    4. It sounds like yo had a bad experience and observing some of my colleagues I can believe it ! But we are not all like that and I like to think I have good relationships with my clients some lasting over 10 years I still get regular calls from my lifers no longer supervised to chat and invite me round to catch up

    5. to 18 11, like 1940, the ones I stay in touch with are no longer supervised, and in my case have not been on probation for over 5 years, in fact since before I retired. Then they become just ordinary citizens with the right to have a friend who may or may not be an active probation officer, as long as their Order has ended. One ex-client has emailed me photos of their baby son (I knew his partner too) and I am invited to their wedding. He has also risen from being unemployed to being a manager in a major construction industry, which he got just before the end of his Order and has worked his way up and I think, maybe, just maybe, I may have been an influence in his achievements.

      And I'm sorry you seem to have had a hard time. Some POs concentrate more on the offence than the person who committed the offence, and why. Good luck for the future.


  9. And what respect is shown to the Committee by the Four Horsemen?

    "Chair: Sorry, Mr Spurr. Could colleagues turn their phones off? Apparently that might make a difference. It would be a shame and a nuisance for Hansard if we don’t have a clear recording of this. I am sure the Ministry of Justice and NOMS will manage without your contact for an hour and a half."

    As someone said earlier - Arseholes!

  10. We are in a bad place now and only more harm can come of it. But the top one percent are making money out of the growing misery, that all that counts in our neoliberal world. We are close behind America and looks what's happening in Dallas today. The political fools have cocked it up good and proper. Social unrest is on its way, Brexit was but a sign of things to come.


  11. the recent upgrade of Delius is being blamed for terminated cases raising from the dead!! Printed my caseload & enforcement off today and lots of blasts from the past appear haha

  12. I heard that the Committee got whisked into a prison for the wasn't in the Palace of Westminster as per usual. Problem was they all still had their mobiles and laptops with them.

    Can anyone tell me what the maximum sentence is for taking a mobile phone into a prison?

    1. Joyous though it would be to see NOMS nobs in court...

      "Crown Immunity: Crown servants

      Directly employed staff and other public servants (servants or agents of the Crown) are exempt from prosecution for offences under sections 40B, 40C and 40D of the new Prison Act if they contravene the provisions of the Act whilst carrying out their normal, designated work-related duties. This level of authorisation is applicable in circumstances in which it is clear to both management and staff that the act of conveyance or use of the prohibited articles is wholly within the normal duties of the individual concerned."

  13. Won't be the first time 'dead' cases are counted as 'live' for statistical purposes! Am I being too cynical?