- The purpose of Probation must be the fine balance of managing risk and rehabilitation in the community – including continuous assessment, engagement, relationship building and enforcement in highly complex environments. Key to the purpose is the essential understanding of the causes of offending at a societal, group and individual level. In this sense probation is much more closely aligned to social work.
- The purpose of the Prison Service, rightly, is delivering safe prisons – with a primary emphasis on security, safety, fair and positive management of people in custody.
- Prison service – approx. 34,000
- Probation service – approx. 16,500
In our view the Civil Service is a wholly inappropriate location for the Probation Service. Indicators of this inappropriateness include:
- Ministerial control taking precedence over professional advice (recent decisions concerning recommendations in Parole Reports)
- Severe constraints on Probation Practitioners from sharing professional concerns in public arena, including publishing
- Lack of external scrutiny (only the MOJ funded HMIPP Inspectorates currently scrutinise the work of the Probation Service.