TR was supposed to deliver end-to-end offender management - a worthy aim. As sited by HMI Probation “there is much more prospect of a relationship that is strong and fruitful if it is maintained with one probation worker over the period of supervision.”
Napo’s warnings of the dangers of “burnout” for NPS staff with only high-risk caseloads have sadly proved real.
Before the split, staff were more likely to have a balanced caseload that provided some light relief and assisted with risk management by keeping staff grounded. Working in one team, in one office, also enabled a sharing of work and caseloads and gave development opportunities.
The Probation Service lost a lot when it lost the Trusts; with their visible and accessible local leadership, personal autonomy and opportunities to try innovative practice and team working. Napo members feel this ethos has gone in the top-down structure of the NPS with its focus on uniformity against massive financial constraints.
Earlier this week the BBC reported that number of people dying while on probation in England and Wales has risen by almost a third in three years, analysis of official figures shows.
Commenting on the report in the press, Katie Lomas, Napo's National Chair, said:
David Gauke, Secretary of State, in a speech to the JSC explained that there is a further delay to publicising the response to the consultation and he is now considering all options with regards to the future including the boundary between public and private providers. This follows heavy lobbying by Napo both directly and via the various parliamentary committees with an interest in this.
Napo’s campaign to reunite the Probation Service continues to receive validation. The collapse of Working Links and now Interserve would cause any sane government to doubt the wisdom of continuing to outsource probation services to private companies. Nearly all of the seven CRC owners have experienced severe problems making their contracts work and as a result have received bail out after bail out from the MoJ.
The growing use of technology to supervise individuals on probation offers no conclusive benefits, according to new research published by HM Inspectorate of Probation. The research did not find evidence to suggest remote supervision leads to better outcomes.
More than 250,000 people are under probation supervision across England and Wales. Typically, probation officers supervise individuals through regular face-to-face meetings. Some Community Rehabilitation Companies – who are responsible for supervising low and medium-risk offenders – have turned to technology instead.
There were some good interventions on the state of Probation by MPs in Justice Questions in Parliament yesterday.
The TUC confirmed this week that General Secretary Frances O’Grady will speak at the Stand Up to Racism march and rally in London on Saturday 16 March 2019.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of London, Cardiff and Glasgow to join the Stand Up to Racism marches, which will all assemble at 12noon.