23 September 2016 - Immediate Release
Public Accounts Committee’s report echoes probation union’s concerns on the failures of Transforming Rehabilitation.
The Public Accounts Committee has raised real concerns about the quality of probation services in England and Wales in a report published today.
Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Committee, said: "There is a real danger the Ministry of Justice has bitten off more than it can chew."
It has been two years since Transforming Rehabilitation was implemented but the committee believe the process is far from complete and said: "The Ministry of Justice has yet to bring about the 'rehabilitation revolution' it promised.”
The report’s findings confirm many of the fears held by probation union Napo and its members who campaigned against the dismantling of the service.
Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence said: "This has been a rushed and ill-conceived plan from the very start that has been based on ideology rather than evidence. It is shocking and wholly unacceptable that an award winning public service like the probation service should now be seen as failing so significantly in just two years. The government must radically rethink this social experiment that is both dangerous to the public, expensive to the taxpayer and is simply not delivering.”
More than 1700 jobs have been lost since 70% of the service was outsourced in 2015. Many providers are moving to "remote" supervision rather than face to face contact and many offenders are now supervised via call centres. Napo believes this will have a further detrimental impact on reoffending rates and public protection.
The PAC report is published just one day after a damning HMIP report into probation services in Derbyshire revealed a significant reduction in the quality of the service being provided in comparison to the previous probation service before it was dissolved in 2014.
Napo members in some areas have told us that little or no rehabilitation work is taking place with offenders as they are spending vast amounts of time ticking boxes to maximise profits for the private sector rather than working with people to reduce reoffending.
For further information and possible media opportunities please contact Napo Tania Bassett (lead for media and parliamentary issues) on 0790 4184195.