Tuesday, 14 May 2019

A PO's View of the Future

It's very encouraging to see Napo publishing the following practitioner thought piece. Whilst arguing for reunification, it serves to confirm there are very serious misgivings within the profession, voiced regularly on this blog, regarding the forced marriage with HM Prison Service and the complete inappropriateness of 'Civil Service' status:-

A Practitioner Vision for the Future of Probation

The Probation service is a mess. The reforms brought in under the guise of Transforming Rehabilitation have taken a formerly award winning service and destroyed it. So much has been reported about the failings in the system and we wanted to offer a practitioner’s vision for a repaired and rebuilt probation service.

Reunification is key

Any split in the Probation Service will be equally if not more of a disaster than the one we are currently suffering. Separating a service into different providers creates gaps and blocks to communications and additional work is required to bridge these. Creating an additional workload that simply is not necessary and does little to support frontline work.

Probation professionals can either be specialists in one area of work or work across different disciplines and the ability to be flexible across a career can retain skills and experience of people which might otherwise be lost to the service. Those working in the probation system have a strong commitment to team working and sharing experience and knowledge and losing this due to an artificial split harms everyone. So any future service design must be based around a unified probation service. This unification should apply to the core services of giving reports and advice to Courts, managing cases, all risk assessments including MAPPA and other multi agency arrangements, delivery of core interventions and unpaid work.

Splitting off the delivery of unpaid work on the basis that it is not a core service is problematic. In London this was attempted prior to TR and it failed, demonstrating that management of the delivery of unpaid work must be integrated into the delivery of the sentence. This doesn’t prevent engagement of specialist providers for some work placements as will be detailed later. The delivery of some interventions includes associated work such as victim liaison (partner support worker), multi agency work including MARAC and liaison with children’s services and other agencies. Splitting this from the case management work will create problems in communications, information sharing and duplication of work. Delivery of interventions such as accredited programmes should be integrated with the delivery of the sentence and again this does not prevent the involvement of specialist providers.

It may come as some surprise to those who believed the hype around Transforming Rehabilitation that many of the former Probation Trusts had extensive and innovative contracting arrangements with local specialist providers. These ranged from specific Unpaid Work placements to provision of specialist interventions to partnership arrangements for supporting those with specific needs. Former Probation Trusts also had partnership arrangements with other statutory and voluntary agencies to focus on local priorities and needs.

Examples from one former Trust were specialist Unpaid work placements for those who couldn’t work in a group, a specialist allotment project for those with mental health issues, progressive unpaid work placements that allowed clients to gain vocational qualifications and develop skills to support them into work. Another former Trust, in partnership with a women’s centre, provided funding for specialist workers who offered interventions and support to women. The probation staff working with women were based in the women’s centre to support the “one stop shop” approach. Other agencies and organisations also provided specialist services at the women’s centre and some were part-funded through a contract with the Probation Trust. Another former Trust had multiple contracts to provide specialist services around housing, substance use, mental health, skills and employment. One former Trust even set up a partnership with the local prison to offer “through the gate” support to those serving less than 12 months who weren’t offered probation support at the time.

Some might ask why these partnerships and contracting arrangements can’t work now and the answer to that is complex but the vision for the future must allow for these type of arrangements with specialist local providers. The National Probation Service currently in operation is centralised and bureaucratic and leaves little room for the type of innovative and localised arrangements we need to return to. A national contract for support services or interventions won’t fit the differences between densely populated urban areas and sparsely populated rural areas. What is needed in Camden isn’t necessarily the same as what is needed in Carlisle. Ideas around devolution and localism seem to be everywhere at the moment but not in the probation world. Currently the National Probation Service is not allowed to contract services directly but must go through the local CRC. CRCs struggling to make the contracts financially viable have little spare capacity to develop the type of small and specialist contracting arrangements that really work.

What can or should we do?

The first step is to reunify the whole of the Probation service into one organisation that is in public control. The next step after reunifying Probation is to re-localise it. It is perfectly possible for the service to remain as a publicly controlled organisation but with local accountability. In the past this was delivered via a board or trust model and allowed the Board, the Chief Officer and Operational Leads to develop specific partnership and contracting arrangements and respond to local needs and priorities.

This would free practitioners to develop innovative responses to local needs and to work with those local leaders who are formulating a positive response to a local or national issue. It would allow those working in areas where knife crime is rife to work with local projects on prevention as well as desistance. It would also allow those working in areas where a significant event happens to work with community groups, sentencers and all local agencies to respond. This has happened in the past when, following riots or large scale terror related operations partnership working helped to ensure that desistance and a positive future were the focus rather than retribution and demonising perpetrators, perpetuating the cycle of exclusion.

The structure of the new Probation Service could be a Board or Trust but it should in any case be publicly owned and funded outside of the Civil Service. The fact that the National Probation Service (NPS) sits within the civil service has been problematic from the start. From the inability of the shared service model for HR and payroll to cope with terms and conditions that vary from the standard to the remoteness of decision makers and the requirement for uniformity in delivering services regardless of local need it has stifled the ability of practitioners to deliver. The Probation Service could be a non-departmental public body, similar to Cafcass. A board or trust structure would allow for local stakeholders to be represented in the management of the service and for the decision makers to be more accessible to the frontline workers and vice versa. This structure also allows for a change in the delivery of support functions such as HR, payroll, finance and IT which should always be viewed as supporting the frontline workers I the delivery of the service and not hindering them.

As a Probation practitioner my vision is a Probation world where I can work with clients in the way that best suits their needs, not the way that best ticks the boxes of a bureaucracy with little knowledge or understanding of the community I serve. At a time when all of the research indicates that a positive working relationship with a worker who believes in them is vital for someone to desist my vision is to be given sufficient time and space to develop that relationship, regardless of arbitrary targets. When I start working with someone who finds it hard to engage, it must be made possible for me to spend the first few sessions building the relationship instead of filling in forms to meet impossible deadlines.

My vision is for a service which is built around a national model for best practice but rooted in the local community and responsive to local need. My vision is a service free from the burden of the profit motive and endless bureaucracy. My vision is for a service in which I can develop my skills, think critically about the work I am doing, work in ways that research suggests will be effective and be free to challenge the status quo. My vision is for a service where the frontline workers are positively supported by a management structure which is designed to get the best from them not punish them, where functions like HR, payroll, finance and IT work to support the endeavours of front line staff and not the other way round. My vision is for a service where instructions and directives give a framework for best practice, not a prescriptive narrow set of rules to follow which result in additional paperwork, form filling or bureaucracy.

As a trainee Probation Officer, many years ago, I learned to put my client at the centre of the work that I did, and to ensure that I worked in an inclusive and collaborative way. My vision is for a service which uses this as a model for their work with me as a frontline practitioner, to put the client at the centre of their work and to strive for inclusivity and collaboration in all that they do. My vision is for a return to the focus on quality and excellence and to be seen as a professional in the work that I do, to be allowed to make decisions about my work and the way that I carry it out. My vision is for a future where I make a difference to the lives of clients and those in the community I serve not despite the system I work in but because of it.

42 comments:

  1. 1971 - Expenditure Committee of House of Commons reported on Probation Service, recommending that: it should remain independent; consider if CCETSW should take over HO training courses

    The 50-year itch.

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  2. "Simon Armitage, celebrated for his "witty and profound" take on modern life, has been announced as the UK's new poet laureate.

    He takes over from Dame Carol Ann Duffy and his appointment has been approved by the Queen for a 10-year term.

    The poet, who grew up in Marsden near Huddersfield and worked as a probation officer until 1994 before focusing on poetry, has published 28 collections of poetry and his work is studied by children as part of the national curriculum."

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  3. I am new to the profession, with a few years under my belt completed the new PQIP.

    I can categorically tell you I am absolutely sick to the teeth of my job now. I am tired of being managed by SPOs who haven't held a case load for however many year prior their promotion, who make unreasonable demands, love pointless bureaucracy,and facilitate an uncaring generic 'management' style.

    All I want is to be told I'm doing well. Feel supported. Ask me about my mental health. Ask me about my family. Help me do well.

    I am actively looking to leave after spending years trying to become a PO. This is not the job I signed up for. I'm ill, I worry about my targets every single evening...I have lost so much confidence and passion for the role. But if I'm feeling 'low' I can get telephone counselling through that useless PAM assist

    I'm done with the NPS.

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    1. A sad but unsurprising, and very familiar, story. Unfortunately no-one with any authority - or 'skin in the game' as the useless, pretentious wankers prefer to say - is remotely interested. They're enjoying good money & lots of luvverly power.

      No doubt you will be sadly missed by those you work with & alongside. But nowt will change substantially for a while yet, so look after yourself & choose something that will nurture & reward you.

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    2. If Irvine Welsh doesn't mind me tampering:

      Choose NPS or CRC. Choose being the boss, pocketing the dosh and playing power games. Choose bullying others and meeting targets. Choose taking whichever side you think is winning today, tomorrow, whenever. Choose denying you ever got it wrong. And choose watching history repeat itself...

      ... or ...

      Choose the ones you love.
      Choose your future.
      Choose Life.

      Delete
  4. The writer makes good professional sense and visions something that has been lost. I think Grayling and co smashed you up bad, this will take some fixing.

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  5. A unified, nationalised service with autonomy to develop localised relationships with other agencies is a no brainer to my mind. Although I feel care is needed so as not to see control of a more localised model being ceeded to regional PCCs.
    But my own very personal view is that the splits in probation run far deeper then public/private or CRC/NPS.
    Befriend assist and advise or supervise and enforce? Qualifications? PSO/PO? Management styles? Dinosaur or Freshface.
    I think reunification is essential, but I think once that's achieved many more divisions will be exposed, and the real damage that TR, political meddling and prison centric control has caused will become much more apparent.

    'Getafix

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  6. This has to be read to be believed.

    https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/probation-officer-accused-abusive-relationship-offender-wins-60000

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    1. The wheels on the bus go round & round... under which the CRCs happily throw everyone

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    2. The article isn't available

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    3. A popular summer song by The Grifters:

      Oh, when the contracts fail and the heat becomes too much to bear
      And the MoJ proves it really just doesn't care
      Under the buswheels, ex-CRC
      On the way to a tribunal is where you'll be

      Under the buswheels, is where you'll be
      Under the buswheels, don't fuck with with me
      Under the buswheels, we are The CRC
      Under the buswheels; buswheels

      etc

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    4. The full details are a matter of public record. One has to wonder what action the CRC will now be taking against their investigating officer who the tribunal found 'did not keep an open mind...and did not look for evidence which supported the employee’s case even when the potential witnesses were identified to her'

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5c8f7d2bed915d07af076dc4/Miss_J_Hyland_v_The_Cheshire_and_Greater_Manchester_Community_Rehabilitation_Limited-2424492_2017-Reserved_Judgment_and_Reasons.pdf

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    5. Astonishing. Decided the PO was guilty, and then carried out the 'investigation' on that basis, even ruling out any witnesses who could support the PO's case as automatically tainted - as not 'impartial'!

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  7. A probation officer accused of developing an abusive and controlling relationship with a former offender has been awarded £60,000 for unfair and wrongful dismissal.

    Julia Hyland, a probation officer at Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company, was dismissed after a service user alleged she developed an “aggressively abusive, unstable sexually abusive, controlling, narcissistic, jealous, manipulative and needy” relationship with him.

    However, a Manchester employment tribunal ruled Hyland was unfairly dismissed because the investigation into the “complex” and “highly unusual” case was insufficient considering the claimant was facing potentially career-ending allegations.

    Employment Judge Sherratt added there was a failure to adequately seek evidence in her defence.

    Hyland had worked as a probation officer for the Greater Manchester Probation Service since 1998 and had a spotless record prior to the allegations which led to the termination of her employment in August 2017.

    In July 2014, Hyland was transferred to the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company in Salford when the service was privatised, where she worked with perpetrators of domestic violence aged 25 and under. It was here that she became the senior case manager for an individual referred to only as the service user (SU) who made the allegations against her.

    SU was the subject of an 18-month community order requiring 90 hours of unpaid community service following an incident of domestic assault involving his then partner.

    On 4 August SU, who at the time was living in a hostel, informed his housing support officer Wendy Kinder that he had been experiencing issues with his probation officer.

    Kinder’s report of the conversation said SU alleged Hyland had allowed him to live at her house, that she had loaned him £300 which he needed to repay, and that she had been sending him text and WhatsApp messages and photographs of herself and other family members, often late at night, which he showed Kinder.

    SU told Kinder that he had been living at the probation officer’s home since 11 March, but that when he began seeing a woman, the officer’s behaviour changed and she started to insult him.

    He added he had attended a family wedding with Hyland and that she grew cannabis in her house which they smoked together.

    SU also claimed that on one occasion, when the pair had been up late, Hyland got into bed with him. He said he went to the toilet to get out of the situation, and did not return to bed until she had fallen asleep.

    He concluded he found Hyland’s behaviour “aggressively abusive,” adding he had gone backwards in his rehabilitation and had become homeless, suffering from depression and anxiety.

    SU also claimed he was harassed by two of Hyland’s nephews following his complaint and believed his life was in danger.

    On Tuesday 9 August 2016, Hyland was invited to a meeting and informed that she would be suspended. She denied the allegations as “unbelievable” and “utter nonsense”, but was escorted from the office. Her suspension was confirmed in a letter dated 9 August.

    On 16 August 2016, Vicky Travis, an interchange manager with the respondent company, was appointed investigating officer.

    Among the evidence reviewed by the investigating officer, SU submitted as proof of his residency with Hyland several pictures and videos of the inside of her home, as well as knowledge of its floor plan.

    However, Hyland claimed these images were obtained while she was away and her mother was house sitting. The tribunal heard that in July 2016, Hyland’s mother allegedly noticed a man peering through the window. The man, who fitted SU’s description, then came into the house where he said he was a friend of Hyland and had been given permission to enter while she was away.

    A signed statement from a neighbour said that she had noticed a man hanging round her house suspiciously on a number of occasions.

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    1. Hyland denied that SU had ever stayed overnight at her address and said she had never smoked marijuana. A police search of her home found no traces of the substance.

      She said she had “absolutely not entered into a personal, emotional or sexual relationship with him [SU]” and suggested CCTV be checked at restaurants and supermarkets where SU claimed to have met her. The investigating officer did not follow through with this suggestion.

      With regard to the wedding, Hyland said she had never attended a wedding with SU and that he had taken photos off her Facebook page.

      The veracity of text and WhatsApp messages was also thrown into question when it emerged they could be faked, and the result of expert analysis of the messages was inconclusive.

      On 7 November 2016, Hyland and her representative met with Travis and her HR business partner and all the evidence was reviewed. Travis concluded there was sufficient evidence to support the view that there was substance to the allegations and that the case should proceed to a disciplinary hearing

      In her view, a further fact-finding meeting was not necessary as there had been no evidence provided to her within the six-month period of the investigation to refute the allegations against Hyland.

      Hyland was dismissed on 3 August for having “failed to uphold the professional standards and breached boundaries expected of an offender manager.” The decision was appealed unsuccessfully.

      Throughout the process, investigating officers acknowledged how difficult the decision was, due to its complex nature and the high stakes involved. One said it was the hardest decision he had ever been faced with.

      However, Manchester Employment Tribunal concluded that while there was convincing and compelling evidence on both sides, the investigation had ultimately been insufficient.

      Judge Sherratt said Travis had not investigated whether there was a possibility of SU having faked the messages, and said Travis had accepted at face value that they were genuine without asking for SU’s phone records.

      He said Hyland’s livelihood was on the line, and as such a thorough assessment should have been undertaken to verify the information provided. “There seems to have been a blanket acceptance that anything said by SU was accurate,” he said.

      “In our judgment, the respondent has not satisfied us of any facts from which we could find it more likely than not that the claimant failed to uphold the professional standards and breached the boundaries expected of an offender manager.”

      Paul Holcroft, associate director at Croner, said the case highlighted the high standard applied by tribunals when examining ‘reasonable investigations’ in cases where the disciplinary issue could end a professional employee’s career.

      He said: “The role of the investigator is to be an impartial person that is actively looking for evidence in support of the allegation and the complaint, as well as any available evidence that supports the employee’s denial of the allegations. “

      Holcorft added it also showed how a failure in the disciplinary investigation could occur if an employee was only given vague information about the allegations against them or was not questioned properly.

      Following the tribunal, Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company was ordered to make a basic award of £12,225, a compensatory award of £39,927 and compensation for wrongful dismissal in the sum of £5,335.

      Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company has been contacted for comment. Julia Hyland could not be reached for comment.

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    2. This just sums up the calibre of our so called " strong leaders " that we have to contend with within CGM , the likes of which make going to work everyday a living nightmare - its these managers that I'm fearful no matter what happens will remain in post and will continue to make this everyday unbearable as they are absolutely clueless and complicit

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    3. Sounds like these managers investigated on confirmation bias . Already decided on guilt and allowed everything to fit the desired outcome. Just? Fair? utter bollocks. Happy to chuck people under the bus.

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    4. https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2019/05/14/interserve-staff-left-in-the-lurch-as-fit-out-division-scaled-down/

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    5. Interserve's Paragon business where redundancy procedures have just begun:

      * Remaining staff told the Enquirer they have been “left in the lurch” by their former bosses and parent company Interserve.

      One said: “Those of us still here are being left to try and manage failing legacy refurbishment projects with little or no staff.

      “We’ve had no communication, no leadership and no clarity from head office.

      “Remaining staff are torn between loyalty to the project and personal reputation but there’s zero motivation knowing when your project finishes you’re out.”

      Interserve confirmed a “reorganisation and strategy update of its Paragon and London and South East Fit-Out businesses.”

      An Interserve spokesman also confirmed “a number of directors have left Paragon.”

      He added: “It is wrong to suggest that staff have been ‘left in the lurch’ as colleagues in Paragon continue to receive the full support of the new management team backed by Interserve Construction’s significant resources.” *
      __________

      A familiar pattern - a stinking pile of crap described as a tasty morsel by 'a spokesperson' on behalf of those responsible for the shitstorm.

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    6. Another tribunal ruling against Manchester.

      Seems they've not learned from previous industrial tribunal rulings to stop fudging disciplinary investigation.


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    7. I'm retired but I worked with Julia for years and I've also visited her house and met members of her family. Anyone who knows her knows she's sound as a pound and entirely honest.
      I was amused/disgusted when management reports said, several times, the case was 'complicated'. I could only think 'Well, it wouldn't be quite so complicated if you'd done a proper investigation would it?' Management's work on this was at minimum shoddy and I expect the people responsible will get promoted. Not that I'm cynical.

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    8. I am a po of many years standing. My experience is that if management do not like you, they will seize any opportunity to try and get rid of you. We are a criminal justice organisation which is meant to understand the rules of the courts / evidence excetera and they have automatically believed a man with a history of domestic violence etc and run with what he has said without making proper checks. I too have known Julia for many years. when we were a public service nobody ever sued the probation service no matter how bad their behaviour was, however now that they are a private company that is making profit on people's misery they will be sued more and more frequently. the Greater Manchester CRC needs to sort its act out and start acting in a manner which is consistent with the laws they are meant to be instilling in others. you lead by example. One disgusted employee who recognises the pattern.

      Delete
  8. I think it was a pretty good day for probation today in Westminster.
    Firstly Dame G giving evidence to the justice committee, and then an opposition day debate on prison and Probation.
    Just a flavour of what was said is reported in the Plymouth Herald here

    https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/probation-privatisation-created-deep-seated-2866993

    I think there was more concern expressed about the state of probation in the opposition debate then the state of prisons, which is unusual.
    It wasn't very well attended, and I thought personally that Richard Burgon was very unimpressive in his delivery, but I thought there was some excellent contributions made from all sides, Bob Neil in particular.
    The opinion overall was that TR has been an abject failure at all levels, and interestingly, Gauke was cut some slack, with many MPs suggesting that it was Grayling that should be answering questions not him. TR was described as Graylings biggest failure and given the scale of some of his failures that was saying something.
    Gauke gave little away, but it was very clear that anything other then reunification would not be acceptable to all sides.
    It's worth reading on Hansard when published later on or tommorow.

    'Getafix

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    1. Written answer to Jo Stevens' question about Probation standards:

      Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice - All probation providers are now assessed on an annual basis by HM Inspectorate of Probation. In addition, HM Prison and Probation Service runs regular, targeted operational audits to assess performance. We take action on any performance concerns highlighted. Quarterly performance statistics are also available, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-and-probation-trusts-performance-statistics#community-performance-statistics

      We have been clear that probation services need to improve. While the National Probation Service is performing well, the performance of CRCs has too often been disappointing, for a variety of reasons.

      Last year, we announced our decision to end current Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) contracts early. Following this, we launched a consultation, Strengthening Probation, Building Confidence, and engaged with stakeholders and the market on the future of the probation system.

      We will set out detailed plans for the future of probation services shortly."

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    2. More revisionist bullshit:

      "While the National Probation Service is performing well, the performance of CRCs has too often been disappointing, for a variety of reasons."

      Performance of both NPS ***&*** CRCs have been poor-to-abysmal.

      The reality is that the CRCs have set a new all-time low benchmark, against which NPS appears to be "performing well". The standards are now so low that a couple of stranded minky whales could be assessed as competent.

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    3. Seetec will appoint them the are offering anyone a job.

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    4. Announcement on renationalisation as soon as Thursday (maybe).

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/probation-services-set-renationalised-government-15868831

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  9. From the Mirror:-

    Probation services set to be renationalised as Government accepts failure

    EXCLUSIVE: The Government is on the verge of announcing supervision of offenders will return to the National Probation Service

    Probation services are set to be renationalised as the Government prepares to accept its experiment has failed. An announcement on how supervision of thousands of offenders will return to the National Probation Service is expected in weeks.

    Reforms introduced by Chris Grayling when he was Justice Secretary have cost taxpayers almost £500million and led to an increase in murders committed by criminals. Sources said the news could be broken as early as Thursday.

    Harry Fletcher, of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, said: “The original reforms were rushed through without due consideration of their risk assessments and it’s been a disaster. The new reforms must be good for victims.”

    The Ministry of Justice began partially privatising the probation service in 2013. It involved 21 “community rehabilitation companies” monitoring people released from jail after serving short sentences. But the Government announced last year their contracts would end in 2020 – 14 months early.

    Dame Glenys Stacey, the Chief Inspector of Probation, has previously described the current model as “irredeemably flawed”. She told MPs on the Commons Justice Committee yesterday there were “deep-seated, systemic issues”. She said it was “remarkably difficult” to condense probation into a set of contractual measures.

    The Mirror revealed this year that 225 people had been murdered by convicted criminals being monitored by firms since privatisation. The toll soared to 71 last year from 42 in 2015, shortly after Mr Grayling introduced the changes.

    Justice Secretary David Gauke is now expected to hand some treatment programme work to charities. There will also be an increase in the use of satellite technology to monitor criminals.

    The MoJ said: “We will set out our plans shortly.”

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  10. I have to highlight this, and commend the person involved for getting it instigated.
    People are being released from prison daily, homeless and without the basic fundamentals required to even begin living a normal productive life.
    Some of those fundamentals are pretty basic, but essential, and I feel that the lack of assistance by rehabilitation agencies to help people obtain these basic essentials is at best lazy, at worst negligent.
    Whoever you are you need a bank account even if you haven't a penny to put in it.
    Three cheers for the person who recognised the great importance a small bacic essential, that most take for granted, can have on the rehabilitation process, and 10 out 10 for doing something to make it happen.
    It's a good news story!!

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/special-features/helping-people-back-on-track-16151806

    'Getafix

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    1. I agree 'Getafix it's a good news story - but it's also an 'advertorial' by the TSB Newsdesk!

      Having worked for four years as in the probationary service, Hamera Yousaf knew how hard it was for ex-offenders to reintegrate back into the community.

      Finding housing and new employment can be hard enough and not made easier by the lack of a bank account. So when Hamera, 25, started a new job working as a banker for the Market Street branch of TSB in Manchester she knew she wanted to use her role to help support people get back on track with their lives when they left prison.

      “I saw what was happening and did not think it was right. Everyone is entitled to have a bank account but it can be hard if you don’t have proof of address. I met up with some of my friends in the probation services and worked out what we could offer. You usually need a lot of documentation to open a bank account. But here at my branch we accept a letter of introduction from their probation officer. No-one should feel there is not someone out there to support them and getting a bank account can be one step towards feeling accepted by society again. Plus these days everything is online so they need a bank account to sort out their bills.”

      Hamera, who joined TSB last September, added: “For me I feel like it might give them motivation in rebuilding their lives. And I also like to feel I am making a difference in my community.”

      She is now in talks to develop some information packs which will be shared with those coming out of prison or doing community service to tell them what is available.

      Hamera also does lots of voluntary work at her local mosque including teaching things like cookery and other home skills. She supports vulnerable women, mainly from ethnic backgrounds who have separated from their husbands and are living alone with children in sheltered accommodation.

      Together, she shows them they can be self-sufficient and gain employment and is even helping one group of ladies to set up a small catering company.

      The mum-of-one said: “I work with women who have left violent relationships and show them that they can build a new chapter in their lives. I try and build self-esteem and explain that there is help out there for them that will enable to make their own choices in life. But they are not alone.”

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  11. https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-05-14/debates/1F4E18A1-F260-4F82-888D-59FEDD63E3C5/PrisonsAndProbation

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  12. As want tquoted Iby Sir oRobert Buckley" take this opportunity—my first such opportunity—to pay tribute to the biggest single asset in our is prison and probation services: the people who work in them. I have been in professional contact with these people since the early 1990s. Prison officers work hard to prepare important pre-sentence reports. Prison officers work tirelessly, often on the frontline of potential harm, to make our prisons civilised and safe places.* Clearly his 30 years didn't give him sufficient knowledge to know it's Probation that write PSRs, worrying!!!

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  13. Can we just pinch ourselves it was trhe whole tory mob and lib dems shits that voted to condem probation with grayling the idiot and now they are saying what the fuck happened there then . They all claim 200k a year expenses around 2k a month what the Fu** for. they understand crime better than anyone they all need to be on contracted time paid at an hourly rate in a place where the secretariat are national funded. Robbing scum.

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  14. Wow, so it's official then!

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  15. Some people are on the pitch...they think it's all over:

    Excuse the quote from a non soccery person but ....
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/may/16/part-privatisation-probation-sevices-to-be-reversed-offender-management-nationalised-chris-grayling

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    1. I don't want to be a civil servant.

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    2. Nor do I.

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    3. Well leave then

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    4. Always some arsehole with the witless 'well leave then' codswallop - usually the same people who resent seeing the clients

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  16. It's not a reversal though is it? Spare s thought for the teams in programmes, UPW, drug and alcohol treatment, housing, finance benefit and debt support, partner link workers etc. Who all signed up to work for a probation service and will now be farmed off cheaply to the charity sector, and will be hugely anxious this morning about their jobs.

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    1. This is absolutely not a reversal - this is the centralised bureaucracy swallowing up more staff, and moving probation further away from its local roots.

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    2. It's the people in interventions these days who do more of the traditional probation work, the programmes facilitators, UPW supervisors etc spend more time building relationships and working with service users than officers are enabled to under all the recording requirements

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