This from the Northern Echo:-
'Must do better', probation staff in Durham are told
SOME work by probation staff in Durham needs to improve, an inspection report has said.
In 2014 the former Durham Tees Valley Probation Trust was abolished as part of the Government’s ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme and replaced by a combination of the National Probation Service (NPS) and a privately-run Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC).
Dame Glenys Stacy, Chief Inspector of Probation, said staff from both organisations were working well together, but needed to improve the quality of some of their work.The NPS has responsibility for managing offenders posing a high risk of serious harm to others and staffing the courts, while any remaining probation services are handled by the CRC.
The report said the quality of some core probation work carried out by the CRC had deteriorated and
“reducing reoffending and protecting the public outcomes were less likely to be achieved”.
It said although some aspects of court work needed to improve, overall work carried out by the NPS was good quality, helped by an experienced workforce and able management. Inspectors praised an initiative involving the police and NPS – Checkpoint – which they said was diverting “low level” first time offenders from the criminal justice system.
But they said the standard of “on the day” pre-sentence reports prepared for use in the courts by NPS staff was not good enough. Recommendations included fuller training for pre-sentence report writers and improving the quality of management oversight and supervision of responsible officers working within the CRC.
Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the break-up of the public probation service and the increasing involvement of the private sector was concern. Mr Neilson said: “The fear is that inspections of probation in other areas of the country will uncover similar problems.”
This from Frances Crook of the Howard League:-
The Howard League provides support to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System chaired by Baroness Corston. The APPG has been looking at the treatment of women in the new landscape of privatised community penalties. Later this year it will be publishing research based on oral hearings and written submissions.
Kate Green MP, a member of the APPG, tabled some Parliamentary Questions following the last meeting because of concerns raised about failure of the community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) to look after complex and vulnerable women. The responses from government are alarming.
The construction of 21 profit driven CRCs to care for hundreds of thousands of men and women serving community sentences was the brainchild of Chris Grayling. It included the new provision to supervise people coming of prison having served a short sentence. There was a nasty sting in the tail – if you failed to comply with orders, you could be recalled to prison for two weeks. The package was sold as a caring innovation to help people sentenced to short prison terms, but its unintended (or possibly intended) consequence has been dreadful.
In the eleven months from February to December 2015, 310 women were sent back to prison for not doing as they were told. 37 were sent back twice, six women were sent back three times, and, three women were sent back four times.
The table published alongside the answer to the Parliamentary Question shows that recall is far from consistent with some areas having much higher numbers recalled than others with a similar caseload.
A couple of weeks in prison is not long enough to set up any therapy, work or education so it means the women just sit in cell day after day.
The Ministry of Justice had to admit that it does not know how many women’s centres are no longer providing services under contract to the CRCs. As we all know, women’s centres are proven to be successful at turning lives round and helping women to steer clear of crime. Our research to be published in the autumn will show a national disgrace emerging, with funding for women’s centres being cut off by the CRCs in order to save them money (and enhance their profits), despite it harming women.
Watch this space.
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I'm at my witts end with ndelius losing reports. A Parom1 yesterday and today a psr. Help desk say it's a problem they are working on.
Is it a problem with not being able to upload the report once you've updated it or is it not saving it at all?
It disappears all together. I started and completed both reports and uploaded. I then went back in to change a few bits and save. When I go to upload again it disappears. We've been having a meltdown in Xxxxxxx these last few days.
Have you tried removing the -1 next to the file name & uploading it again?
I've had this problem...it definitely works when you do what Xxxxx says above xx
Oh ok. I'll try that. Thanks guys.
It's a pain! Lots of special little 'quirks' at the moment!! X
In future just do it in word then copy and paste the report:-)
Another muck up with reports we've found in Xxxxxxxx is make sure you don't put in your completed dates before you upload and lock your report. Court admin go in and think the report is done, open the doc and then delius reverts the author to the admin and the officer writing the report effectively loses the link until the admin hits discard in the "my docs" section up the top. I hope you find your reports! X
I always save the report in another file so if its lost I still have it. If its vanished from upload I dont even bother, just send it my SPO to sign and he sends it back, and I upload as a document from my other file (as an 'add' document) under the event page. I know its not the correct way but I dont care as its there for admin to send on.
Also if you get IT to show/explain, if you continuously save the document, the system backs up twice a day. You click on the ND file, go to properties and tab to 'previous versions,' it maybe on there.
Did NPS staff get told the system was being shut down (for updating) at 5pm on Friday? If not, please let me know - I'll see what I can do with my Napo hat on.
Yes we did. Thanks.
Working on doesn't get all your hard work back though!
Some good ideas above but, if the system was adequate, you'd be able to trust it, get on with your job without having to faff around. I hope your reports get found. You really don't need the extra stress in this job.
Yes, with the help of some terrific admin. I'm just gonna save reports in additional places from now on. I'm off next week and the added stress that brings is enough without losing bloody reports too!!