This week's Blog comes to you live from Manchester Central. At last weeks meeting of the Napo NEC your delegates to the 2018 Trade Union Congress, Yvonne Pattison and myself were given approval to vote in favour of the General Council Statement on the current situation relating to Brexit.
Europe - in or out? It's been one of those taboo subjects that Napo does not have a policy position on. It is up there alongside Electoral Reform as one of those issues that we never seem to get around to discussing. That’s an observation not a criticism and given our own pressures and priorities it's hardly surprising.
News that HMP Birmingham is to revert back into state control will come as no surprise given the events that have found their way into the national spotlight over the last few months. Urgent notification for HMP Birmingham
We have issued a great deal of material on ViSOR vetting over the past few months but these last two or three weeks have seen a much bigger than usual flow of incoming concerns from members.
The root cause of the problem is the insistence by the NPS that Offender Managers must have access to the system, but one that has created a number of problems for staff who have failed the vetting process along with those who are fearful of being in the same position.
The report of how Napo managed to lobby the participants prior to one of last week’s ‘Probation Marketisation’ events, sets out clearly what we think of the whole exercise. Anyone who believes that the announcement of an eight-week consultation period on the ‘Strengthening Probation, Building Confidence’ blueprint is going to be taken notice of by this Government will be disappointed.
“Unfollow Me” is an unlikely name for a campaign that has secured over 150,000 petitioners in support of the creation of a register for those convicted of a stalking offence.
As practitioners will know, even if many members of the British public still do not, the National Stalking Advocacy Service Paladin https://paladinservice.co.uk/ describes this sinister practice as: “A pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive and causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress”
News broke earlier today that the long awaited £3.5 million Female Offender Community Investments Fund competition is being launched as part of the MoJ Female Offender Strategy. The media release from the Ministry claims that this is a new programme of work to improve outcomes for female offenders and make society safer by tackling the underlying causes of offending.
Over the next few weeks I expect there will be significant activity around pay discussions and the response by the Government to the Justice Select Committee report into Transforming Rehabilitation. I intend to bring you news of developments on both fronts as soon as I can, and members would do well to look out for accurate and timely information via our regular mail outs to your preferred email addresses and our website and printed versions of Napo Magazine.
I have always believed that it’s a privilege to be employed by a trade union, and especially in the role as the senior elected employee of the organisation.
It remains to be seen whether Friday 22nd June 2018 will be remembered in future years by those members who have suffered the impact of Transforming Rehabilitation as ‘Vindication Day’. A day which saw the publication of probably the most damning report of its kind by a parliamentary select committee into what is undoubtedly the most ill-conceived social experiment that I have ever seen.