The Secretary of State for Justice has today deposited a statement in the House of Commons Library which confirms that the existing National Offender Management Service is to be rebranded (with effect from the 1st April) and will be known as Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). Click here for link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prisons-and-probation
It is understood that the intention is to create a more effective Executive Agency that will deliver improved integrated offender management using the various skill sets that are currently available within the prison and probation workforce. Napo expects that the Ministerial statement will also announce the creation of a new policy directorate within the Ministry of Justice covering Prisons, Offenders and Youth Justice.
The Chief Executive for HMPPS will be Michael Spurr with Sonia Crozier retaining responsibility for Probation services and assuming responsibility for the development of a new approach to the custodial estate for female clients.
Current arrangements for managing the contracts with Community Rehabilitation Companies will remain with the Agency, and it is intended that the reorganisation will result in the development of a more focused approach to team working with an increase (as yet unknown) as a result of the current Offender Management Review, in the numbers of probation practitioners working within public sector prisons. Here there will be teams led by a Senior Probation Officer who will be part of the line management regime that is overseen by the Prison Governor.
Napo understands that there are no expected implications for individual terms and conditions and no possibility of redundancies as a result of this change. Clearly, there will be a need to enter into early discussions with senior HMPPS management about the staffing plans for each public sector prison establishment, the development of suitable industrial relation arrangements, and the substantial challenges of identifying and dealing with the technical complexities in constructing and delivering a more integrated approach to rehabilitation and supervision.
Napo will be issuing further news for members at the earliest opportunity and we will be meeting urgently with our sister union the Prison Officers Association to consider their views on this development.
Whist generally welcoming this initiative, that if it is successful, will place probation at the heart of the justice system Napo has already advised senior management that urgent action must be taken to address the perennial problems of low pay and excessive workloads, both of which are at the centre of Napo's recently launched campaigns.
Ian Lawrence Yvonne Pattinson Chris Winters Dean Rogers
General Secretary National Co-Chair National Co-Chair Assistant General Secretary