Saturday, 9 July 2016

Life Goes On

We may still have a zombie government and a zombie opposition and the Minister of Justice may be pondering his future having failed to become prime minister, but the wheels of government are still turning and those mandarins at the MoJ are cooking-up all kinds of things. What's happening in Manchester may be a sign of things to come in terms of yet more change nationwide. This from the Guardian:-

Greater Manchester to get devolved criminal justice powers

The acting mayor of Greater Manchester is to sign a deal with the government, committing to the transfer of criminal justice and offender management powers to the new devolved authority. In his March budget, the chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the Greater Manchester combined authority, which comprises the region’s 10 councils, would gain more powers over local courts, prisons, rehabilitation and probation services. The deal will see Greater Manchester, the Ministry of Justice, the National Offender Management Service, the Youth Justice Board and other partner agencies commit to the devolution of new powers by April 2017.

The agreement is the latest in a long line of devolution deals agreed under Osborne’s chancellorship. In April, Greater Manchester became the first local authority in England to take control of its £6bn health and social care budget – an experiment that has been criticised as ill-conceived. Plans to devolve justice powers have been similarly criticised as being designed to pass responsibility for budget cuts on to Labour-run local authorities. The justice ministry plans to halve its budget and the courts service must reduce spending by a quarter over the next four years.

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s acting mayor and its police and crime commissioner, said justice devolution would strengthen the work the conurbation was already doing to deliver “effective local justice and reduce offending and reoffending.This is not just about devolution, it’s about transformation,” he said. “We will work together to see what needs to change and co-design an effective criminal justice system that meets the needs of local people and our conurbation. This is a new dawn for the justice system in Greater Manchester.”

Manchester crown court was rated worst for trial effectiveness by the National Audit Office in a recent report and MPs on the Commons public accounts committee have raised concerns that devolution of justice powers could exacerbate the situation rather than improve it, creating a postcode lottery.

The prisons minister, Andrew Selous, who will sign on behalf of the government, described himself as “a firm fan of devolution” and said he was pleased to be involved in Greater Manchester’s journey towards “a justice service that is run by locals, for locals”.

“The government remains of the firm view that decisions taken at a local level, by people who know best how, when and where to spend their money, can bring lasting, meaningful, improvements to communities,” he said. “It is this transformation that will allow us to design together an effective criminal justice system that better meets the needs of Greater Manchester.”

In May 2017, Greater Manchester will elect a “metro mayor”, who will have more powers than the mayor of London. The position is expected to be won by the Labour candidate. Lloyd, the shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, and the MP for Bury South, Ivan Lewis, a former government minister, are battling to be selected by Labour members for that position.


It looks like the MoJ is finally getting its act together in terms of a new generation of electronic tagging. This from the Guardian:- 

Satellite-tracking schemes for offenders to be trialled this autumn

Pilot schemes involving the satellite tracking of about 1,000 criminals will begin this autumn – but they will not include the “weekend jail” scheme highlighted by the prime minister in his recent prisons speech. The schemes will focus on using the next generation of location-monitoring electronic GPS tags for defendants on bail who might otherwise be remanded in prison.

The pilots are intended to give the courts an option to toughen community orders and encourage prison governors to make greater use of temporary release schemes. However, they will not include plans to test the introduction of weekend-only prisons, which David Cameron floated in his prisons speech earlier this year. He said the new tags could “help some offenders with a full-time job to keep it, and just spend weekends in custody instead”.

A justice ministry source confirmed the weekend-only prison option will not be tested in this year’s pilot schemes, and that work on the plan is only in the “very early” stages. “This is being considered. No decisions have yet been made,” the source said.

However, the Ministry of Justice is “exploring” how satellite tracking could provide additional safeguards “that might enable offenders, some of whom may be women with babies, to be given a community sentence where at present they would be sent to custody”. In his prisons speech, Cameron said it was a “sad, but true, fact” that last year 100 babies were living in prisons in England and Wales. 

The latest satellite-tracking pilot schemes will last for 12 months and will take place in eight police force areas across the Midlands and in south-east England. Plans to introduce satellite tracking of offenders were first announced 12 years ago. The technology was tested in official trials that concluded in 2007 and questioned whether the benefits could be delivered at a price that justified a national rollout of the scheme.

The justice minister, Dominic Raab, announced the details of the new schemes in a letter to the justice select committee. He said they would be used to test the GPS tags on a range of offenders and suspects. However, the timing of the pilots means that only offenders who can already be tagged under existing primary legislation can take part.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: “Earlier this year we announced our intention to launch a GPS tagging pilot to help us develop new approaches to the management of offenders in the community and help reduce reoffending.

“GPS tagging will allow us to monitor the movements of high-risk and persistent offenders who often cause so much harm in our communities. It will contribute to the creation of a safer society with fewer victims. This work is in its early stages and the results will be used to help inform future use of satellite tags.”

The GPS tagging pilot schemes are separate from the delay-hit programme to provide a new generation of electronic tags to be used for the up to 14,000 offenders who are already subject to this monitoring at any one time. A decision was taken in February to terminate a £32m contract to develop a bespoke electronic tag in favour of buying off-the-shelf tracking technology.


Especially for the contributor who continually states that TR is a roaring success, some very strong words here from HMP Send's Independent Monitoring Board report regarding London CRC not delivering on TTG, of course the very essence of the Transforming Rehabilitation revolution:-

11 Resettlement 

2015 saw the introduction of the CRCs. 

The Board has been very concerned that London CRC, the CRC dealing with offenders being released in the London area, has largely failed to meet its commitment to these offenders. 
  • Not one probation officer provided by London CRC for HMP Send has remained in post for more than a few weeks, resulting in a lack of continuity and support that has meant that very few prisoners have received any help at all from them before release. 
  • The Board deeply regrets that HMP Send’s own former system for preparing prisoners for release has had to be dismantled in favour of the CRC system which is failing in every respect. If it were not for the work of several charities, as well as the prison’s own efforts, many prisoners would have been released with nowhere to go. 
  • KSSCRC, the CRC dealing with the few prisoners being released in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, is meeting its obligations satisfactorily. 
The Board is concerned by the number of prisoners arriving at HMP Send with incomplete or expired Offender Assessment System (OASys) reports. 

In common with other prisons, HMP Send has seen the number of women available for external resettlement work remain at a low level. Following changes in prison rules, numbers have reduced from an average of 40 prisoners working outside on any one day to an average of 14. However, the Board is pleased to note that by encouraging eligible prisoners to apply for Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) the prison is working to increase the numbers in external work.


In his most recent blog post, Rob Allen picked up on what was going on behind the scenes at the MoJ whilst the minister was otherwise engaged:-  

The next day, the Justice Committee heard from three criminal justice inspectors and the Prison Ombudsman. With six so-called Reform prisons underway from 1st July, the Committee were understandably interested in how their progress would be measured. So it turned out were the Inspectors, who struggled to explain what governor autonomy would mean, what the baseline is for measuring performance and what minimum standards were in place. Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen seemed concerned that under the current arrangements, prisons had accepted almost all of the recommendations in his reports about complaints and fatal incidents but often failed to implement resulting action plans. Would the new Reform Prison be any more likely to do so he wondered?

More generally, the inspectorates do not seem to have been overly involved in developing what was an “evolving” policy although Prison Inspector Peter Clarke mentioned meetings with the Bill team. The previous day Mr Heaton had said he expected to be able to publish a White Paper “before the end of the year” so, wisely perhaps unlike the headlong rush into “Transforming Rehabilitation”, prison reform is progressing at a steadier pace. Who know whether it will match the speed of electronic monitoring: satellite tracking pilots were announced this week almost 12 years after they were first promised?


Of course the referendum result means a major re-think in terms of much government policy, including prison reform. This by Andrew Neilson of the Howard League on the website:-  

Brexit could put an end to prison reform before it's even started

It's already a cliché to say the vote for Brexit was seismic but there you go. It was. There will be reams of articles over the coming weeks on what Brexit means for whole swathes of social policy, just as there are already reams of articles on the economic consequences. Here is one contribution on a particular niche of social policy: penal reform.

The state of prisons and the need for radical change has been a great theme of the Cameron government since the 2015 general election. We saw a major speech on the subject by the prime minister himself at the start of the year. The prominent Leaver Michael Gove has been developing a new policy agenda at the Ministry of Justice and a great deal of effort has been put in to promote the need for change through the media. A Bill was expected in the autumn. Now, however, David Cameron has resigned and Michael Gove is hoping to replace him. Having waited two decades for its moment, is penal reform over before it even began?

We are certainly facing a challenging period of uncertainty, as is everyone else. Clearly if there is a snap general election then that period of uncertainty could lengthen the sense of political paralysis. Even without an election, the civil service will be placed under unprecedented strain as Brexit negotiations get under way. Given the prevalence of European Union influence on our laws, the Ministry of Justice will be one of the departments most affected. At the same time, an adverse economic reaction to Brexit may bring pressure for further budget cuts. None of this seems conducive to a domestic focus on the prisons.

Yet the case for reform has not gone away. The prison population will continue to grow. The violence, self-injury, and deaths will not go away. Beyond a handful of reform prisons which may benefit from some limited autonomy in the absence of supporting legislation, most institutions will continue to flounder without leadership from the centre.

Meanwhile the forgotten siblings of the prison system, the national probation service and the community rehabilitation companies, are still struggling to make sense of Chris Grayling's botched Transforming Rehabilitation privatisation.

Even with the political leadership of the government in turmoil, there are still things that we can expect to happen. We may not see a prisons Bill in the autumn, but there should still be a consultation on what that Bill may hold over the summer. Nick Hardwick, the new chair of the Parole Board, is looking at prisoners still languishing on the abolished indeterminate sentence for public protection, and ways in which the administration of parole could better prepare these prisoners for release. It would also be hoped that within the Conservative party at least, the direction of travel for reform has now been set. Whatever happens in the leadership election, it seems fair to assume that Michael Gove will still be a significant figure in the government. If he is not justice secretary, as seems likely, the case for change should be taken up by his successor.

Penal reform faces other challenges, however. Any workable Brexit scenario being considered will wrestle with the difficult question of managing immigration but the issue of sovereignty is likely to be more clear-cut. An exit from international human rights obligations and the ambit of the European Court of Justice would throw much of the legal protections that prisoners depend upon into doubt. With a British Bill of Rights looking more likely after Brexit, what will the government preserve or seek to water down?

And lest we forget, there is much talk of the Brexit result as heralding a new rise in populism. In the past, populism and penal reform have seldom mixed well. The societal divisions laid bare in the referendum result are indeed serious: it was rather like taking a pack of cards and throwing it up into the air, only for the cards to land in exact suit order, from the Ace of Spades onwards. How all political parties respond to these divisions will define what happens over the coming months and years.

Andrew Neilson is Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform


I'll end this with some more gems from the recent Public Accounts Committee proceedings:-

Q3 Chair: I mentioned that there are still potentially big concerns, because it is a big change that has happened very fast. Although it did not all fall over—and I recognise what you say about that bit of success—the true proof will be in 2017, the date you are giving. I will also bring in Colin Allars or one of the other people from NOMS, but what are you personally still concerned about at this point? 

Richard Heaton: The NAO covered most of the areas that I am concerned about. Michael Spurr reports to me and the things that I would hold him to account for would be the relationship between the National Probation Service and the CRCs; elimination of perverse incentives; computers and IT that work successfully for staff who use them; highquality data; reduction in cost; and, the key one, the reoffending rate. Those are the basic things on which I would hold Michael to account. Just because this is not one of the key reform priorities of this Parliament, I am not remotely complacent about this. Bedding this down is a huge task for us.

Q4 Chair: Mr Spurr, would you like to comment? 

Michael Spurr: As Mr Heaton said, this has been a huge transformation. What the NAO brings out very well in its Report is that that amount of change—[Interruption.] 

Michael Spurr: As I was saying, as the NAO brings out, it was a huge transformation, and done at rapid pace. That inevitably means that whole structures that are in place are still very fragile, new and developing. There are issues about how we maintain and improve stability across the system. It is not where we would want it to be yet, as people come to terms with the new way of doing things. 

That is a huge issue, just to focus on how people do the job. It is good that at the minute it is working, but it is not working in the way that we would all want it to, to maximise performance. We are on a trajectory to improve performance, but we are not there yet. Again, our aim is to have people delivering against that service requirement all up to target by April 2017. So there is that on basic delivery measures. 

The other issue has inevitably been, as we have done all of that change, that the offender caseload and mix of cases that have come to be managed by both the NPS and by the community rehabilitation companies have changed. That has impacted on volumes being managed by the CRC and by the NPS and we are having to adjust to that. 

That has added additional pressure to how we have been changing the service provision. Again, although we have managed that, it has put additional pressure on staff, who have done a fantastic job over the past two years, I have to say, to keep services running. While issues have rightly been brought up in the NAO Report and by the chief inspector, I want to pay tribute to the probation staff and those working in the NPS and CRCs, who are very motivated, vocational individuals who have kept the services running. We are working with them in both sectors as we deal with the changed population and case mix. Being able to address that properly over the next year or so is probably the biggest thing that concerns me at the moment. 

Q5 Chair: You may not have seen the evidence submitted to us, but what is quite clear from some of that and from the NAO’s Report is that, because there has been such change, business as usual is still a challenge to get right, as you have both highlighted, but there is a danger that innovation does not happen, because of all the upheaval that has taken place. How are you going to help the community rehabilitation companies push to innovate, to get whole different approaches to ensure that they give exoffenders and current prisoners the support they need? 

Michael Spurr: If I may start—Mr Porée might want to say a word, because he has been more directly involved in the CRCs—I think that is a fair challenge. 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. 

Q6 Chair: Have you got an example? 

Michael Spurr: Mr Porée will be able to give more, but there are some basic things that they have been doing straightaway, which are about changing the way they operate on basic IT to free up more time for their offender managers and supervisors to work. They are operating with different approaches to supervision—one of the big issues that have been raised about caseloads and work volumes. 

There is a danger, when you look at the new system, to look at how it used to be done when we had probation trusts and what CRCs are now trying to do. So more group work; not that group work has not been done before, but when you supervise lower-risk offenders how much one-to-one time and how much group work are you giving them? They have varied that quite a lot. 

There has been comment on whether it is right to use biometric checking posts. Some of the CRCs are using that—but not on its own—in order to free up more time for their staff to be able to engage differently. 

Q7 Chair: Just to be clear: that is to check that people have attended courses? 

Michael Spurr: Yes, it does not mean that they do not see people. It is about how you maintain a contact and use technology in a different way, how you maintain contact with people these days: texting and ensuring people have a link, which is used much more commonly in society today than it used to be. CRCs are developing those types of approaches. 

It is true, as has been highlighted by the NAO Report and the chief inspector and as we see in our own monitoring, that the through the gate work that has gone on in prison to support resettlement out into the community has not developed as quickly and as well as we would have wanted. We have a review of our contracts at the moment and what we might need to do to ensure that we have the right incentives for service delivery now, rather than relying just on a payment-by-results outcome in a few years’ time. Whether we have the balance between what we expect to pay for as a service deliverer and what we expect to incentivise through a payment-by-results mechanism has been one of the challenges for all these contracts.

Q8 Chair: Mr Porée, would you like to expand on that? 

Ian Porée: As Michael has already explained, in all the examples the providers intended to equip their staff with tools and enabling technology to work much more flexibly. One of their objectives is that staff have more time to spend supervising the people in their care as opposed to spending time recording case notes and behind their computers. 

A lot of the innovation is in enabling tools to help staff do their jobs and that has clearly been affected by the change of income in the first year. People have been looking at the pace with which they roll out some of those tools. We are starting to see those tools being deployed and staff are working in different ways. 

Some other examples: some of the CRCs have been very specific about cohorts of individuals and have worked with them in a very different way, that is, tiering them by the level of individual need. Individuals who have high needs get much more intensive support than those who do not. They have all paid particular attention to women offenders or specific groups of offenders within their cohort. They are delivering the services in different ways, so part of the design of these reforms is for the Ministry of Justice to be unprescriptive in terms of how services are delivered. Because organisations have taken the outcome risk, financially, on reoffending performance, they have been given the freedom to develop their own approach to how to help and support someone to change. So while we have full transparency of what they are doing, we have left them free to determine what the rehabilitative offer is for each individual. 


  1. Yawn. This put me back to sleep. I cannot see how this effects us at the coal face

    1. Well, sleeping beauty, you catch another 100 years of beauty sleep while others try to sort out this mess. We'll send a frog prince to kiss & wake you when its all over. Other than that it won't AFFECT you.

    2. I think you meant "it's".

  2. Reminds me of the post-war reconstruction in Iraq. They wanted regime change, so they go in and rip out the infrastructure of a probation service that was working – and winning awards. They promise that their rehabilitation revolution will lead to a better world. It is plainly not working. The probation service has been eviscerated, morale is rock bottom; the prison service is in anarchic mood and ,finally, making a stand, complaining that the Noms will not engage in meaningful consultation on proposed reforms under E3. The leaders of this unholy mess scratching around to offer explanations and justifications to a parliamentary committee. These leaders, like naked emperors, have lost their grip on the system and can only speculate how CRCs will come up with innovative solutions as they cut jobs and then recruit temporary case managers, as Purple Futures are doing in Hampshire. Meanwhile, dear leader Gove becomes a figure of scorn and derision.

    1. I have to say 08:36 you have nailed it. Let us take PF as the supposedly great CRC provider. I attended, along with hundreds of my collegues, in April 2015, an event that was held in a very plush, well known racecourse by Yvonne Thomas and her bright young things who produced a full days worth of slick corporate presentations promising a brave new world. This was to be service user focused, inovative offence reducing models; all backed up by a 21st century IT system to be envied. Well, let us, the PF family take a look see.
      15 months later, we still have no IT system except that trusty old warhorse N Delius. I really need say no more about that pony!! So as inovative POs/PSOs (Senior Case Managers and Case Managers we are now titled), what do we do?
      We revert back to our tried and trusted Mark 1 laptops (notepad and pen to the layman). At least the good old bic does not break down and when I drop my mark 1, it can still function. Even when my client spills his coffee on it, still it works. The real estate that supports us is still in development, some offices have been stripped out and are nothing but shells, yet we still deliver this new inovative interchange model in shabby environments.
      Without irony, humour, and good old belief in 'probation' we would have all gone home by now but we persevere,. Maybe they will deliver, maybe not, who knows. The truth is that PF has at best been treading water for the best part of 2 years or at worst..... well I leave that for others to comment.

  3. Most of this is rubbish! The usual suits in their ivory towers ( ivory being a good metaphor for corruption) spin doctoring and trying to persuade people that their so called new flexible approaches work. Come and shadow a crc po at the coal face. Compare how things were only 6 months ago with the titanic rupturing of our organisation now. Follow me into our new premises where i see service users with complex problems amongst the general public who stare and point when they present with typical behaviour associated with adhd, asbergers, mental health condition, drug dependency etc. Very little private interview space. Service user with paranoia who cannot cope with new interview space and waiting in full view of public. I.t crashing and cutting out after 4 hours, colleagues off sick and being left to manage on my own. Being told that cuts will mean half of us are going! I can cope with change, i am still here, but please do not insult us by telling us 'this is for the best and being done to improve standards and flexibility'. The suits all know this is not working and austerity is not working but they carry on regardless. The trusts DID work and they were managed by chiefs that we could respect, they had the authority to speak out and they were in touch with their staff. Now we have puppet cpo's at CRC who appear to be either completely demoralised or who have been brainwashed by their corrupt financial employer, sodexo or WL or is that now aurelius?! Once they have got you to do their dirty work you will be deleted along with 50% of the workforce. Once the MOJ /NOMS finally realise the game is up they will be faced with a completely asset stripped organisation and workforce and it will take decades to recover! There is no internal training provision now, not even in basic risk assessment. Who will want to train to be a PO under the current system? I predict that in the future we will need to return to how it was 20 years ago, po training coming under the umbrella of social work training with probation placements and additional syllabus and an expevtation that you work in related field before you train, not just fresh from uni!

  4. "Local justice for local people" - wasn't that piloted in Royston Vasey?

  5. No evidence of one good thing to come out of this mess!

  6. Not sure why my comment has been removef jim? Ok for people to be blatantly offensive but when someone just pointing out the obvious it is censored. I won't bother wasting my breath in future if this is what i get!

    1. Are you referring to that at 8:48? If so, it was caught in the spam filter.

    2. I have an extremely liberal approach to the delete button and only resort to it when it's clearly either rubbish, spam, completely off the point or deliberately offensive. Rest assured I normally publish anything critical of myself.

    3. Sorry jim! I am getting paranoid! Was me caught in the spam filter. I will have to sing the 'spam' song by john cleese ( i think!) ��

    4. So why dont you delete Hattons constant off topic nonsense jim? Double standards!

  7. This insistence that the mix of cases has changed really gets my goat. It hasn't! They counted wrongly in the first place and simply did not understand what the word reoffending means. It's a small number of people committing a lot of crime. They hadn't worked out that the number of sentences passed is not the same as the number of people in the system. I know of one case now subject to 12 PSS licences. That revolving door has started spinning an awful lot faster since the introduction of supervision for under 12 month cases.

  8. Are people passing this info on, such info as that on 8 48 and 12 33, to the national survey/report which was mentioned on this blog a couple of weeks ago. They hope to have a report ready by the end of July and will accept anon information. They are wanting examples of specific instances rather than just an overview or your opinion. I am retired but had I been working I would have given them a written gobful, in a manner of speaking.

    This is serious stuff so please look back at what organisation was asking for it. Jim might be able to refresh memories. Thanks Jim! I'm pushed for time for trawling the recent blogs but it concerns me that no one is referring to it on the blog posts/comments..

  9. I remember Michael Spurr at a Napo AGM – pre-TR - telling us that like it or loath it, TR was the will of a democratically elected government and therefore it was his and our duty to implement. There was a reasonable logic to his position, but his position was superficial. It was not his job, like intelligence analysts telling prime ministers what they wanted to hear, to do likewise with his political masters, it was his job as a senior civil servant, to make it crystal clear that TR as envisaged would not work and at the minimum it should be piloted. Spurr is not a stupid man, he knew it would result in fragmentation and poor coordination, he also knew that without additional funding TTG would fail. What is the point of paying senior civil servants high salaries if all they do is mechanically follow orders? The Spurrs of this world are ten a penny – unlike those civil servants with principles like Elizabeth Wilmhurst, Clive Ponting, Katharine Gun, Edward Snowdon.

    1. This from the Civil Service Commission website:

      "The Civil Service plays an important role in British life by making sure that the Government policy is carried out. Although it serves the Government of the day, it is politically independent by which it ensures the functioning of the system, stability and security.

      Implementation of the Government Executive Decisions - The majority of civil servants have a direct influence on life in Britain. They implement the so-called operational delivery which involves administration of the pensions, controlling the borders, running courts, etc. through their departments, agencies and public sector bodies. The operational delivery, however, will go through extensive changes in the near future as a part of the Government’s Civil Service reform. The need for changes in the way the Civil Service delivers its services is a result of the need to reduce public spending as well as the need to increase productivity of the public service sector which is in the interest of both the public and civil servants. While the public can expect less expensive but better service, public servants who work hard to deliver the best service possible will be rewarded.

      Support and Advice to the Ministers - In addition to implementing the Government policy, civil servants also offer support and advice on policy making to the Ministers. However, it has been established that very few civil servants are actually active in policy making. At the same time, the level of quality of advice on policy solutions and implementation is not consistent. Civil servants often give advice on the basis of too few evidence and a narrow point of view.

      Implementation of the Government’s Projects - The Civil Service is also responsible for implementation of the Government’s projects ranging from small to complex ones. But besides making sure that they are carried out as devised, the Civil Service also needs to ensure that they are carried out on time and within the set budget. The statistics, however, show that two thirds of all projects are not delivered within the set time or budget, or both. As a result, two thirds of projects result in a waste of the taxpayer’s money, the Government failing to fulfil its promises and the public not receiving or receiving the service or infrastructure with a delay"

  10. That was a good read - all the blog articles and comments today. I wish I could see a positive way forward. I suspect it needs to start with parliament but I am no longer aware of any in parliament even raising these issues.

    Might the probation spokespeople in the several parties in the UK parliament who are collectively responsible for English and Welsh legislation be invited to produce a guest blog to give the field practitioners some hope?

    Maybe even start with The Welsh Nationalists, they do not seem to be otherwise engaged at present trying to stop their own party imploding. It might also produce a stimulus so that the others are not shown to be ignoring probation - which they all seem to be doing right now.

  11. We in the nps are having a different but equally bad of it with the headless rush to implment E3 with all involved having the knowledge that its about deskilling staff and getting it done on the cheap....still the mess that HMPS is in will surely put it back another 18 months or so

  12. Nps, can you be more specific about what the effect of E3 is? Ok, i can understand you are worried but my own ec colleagues at nps are still sat in descent offices with plenty of spare interview rooms now that crc have been booted out. They are not sat in a hot and claustrophobic room with insufficient desk space and NO disabled access so colleagues with disabilities are unable to go!!!they are also not in a shop front without toilets and have to use public loos across the road! They always have private interview rooms and do not have to see service users in public buildings! How can this even be allowed NOMS/MOJ. Hello...are you listening?????CRC staff are being forced to interview offenders about theirDV offences in libraries! You don't believe me then ask WL!
    there will be alot of staff ready to spill the beans when they are made redundant so no longer have to fear upsetting the boss!

  13. So noms/moj. Are you happy for me to go ahead and cancel some of my appoinents over the summer period because dv offenders now report to crc in a large public library which is likely to put them and victims at risk as they could turn up at same time? I am assuming that there was a risk assesment in terms of suitability of buildings and that you approved? Also if an offender is angry and leaves suddenly i have to follow them out of the room and swipe my card to let them out, thus putting myself at risk. When someone gets hurt in these public rrporting centres eith open booths moj/noms will be taken to the cleaners and get what they deserve. It is only a matter of time before something erupts and your TR shambles will come to light for all to see.

  14. Its life, Jim, but not as we knew it.