13 February 2017 - Immediate Release
Today’s speech by Secretary of State an insult to those working in the justice system says probation union.
The largest trade union in the probation service has accused the government of “blame transference” following today’s speech by the Secretary of State for Justice which called for a greater effort by prison and probation staff to bring about improvements to reoffending.
Napo General Secretary, Ian Lawrence said: “It is a fact that since 2010 the government has wrecked the probation service through privatisation, and has cut prison staff by around a third, but now calls on hard pressed staff to repair the shambles that their polices have created within the criminal justice system.”
The union has taken its campaign for an investigation into the role of the 21 privately run probation Community Rehabilitation Companies to members of the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee, following the failure of the flagship 'through the gate' policy, which Napo argues has been a waste of taxpayer money and has also been a major factor in the numbers of people returning to prison without even the most basic levels of support and supervision having taken place.
Ian Lawrence added: “The Secretary of State’s description of plans to reduce the prison population as 'reckless', speaks volumes about the complete absence of a long-term strategy to reduce prison numbers and improve safety for staff – both of which are a huge burden on taxpayers. Reoffending rates will only reduce when there is an adequately funded criminal justice system that ensures that individuals moving through the prison system into the community are properly supported and supervised and encouraged to bring about positive changes to their lives.”
For further information and possible media opportunities please contact Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence on 07788 118005 or Tania Bassett (lead for media and parliamentary issues) on 0790 4184195.