Broadly speaking Napo and Unison welcome the HMIP report findings into an inspection of South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (SYCRC) published on the 29 March 2019 – however we do consider that there is a clear contradiction between the “needs improvement findings” for community supervision and the assessment of “excellent leadership”. It is our view that it is only because of the efforts of overworked and dedicated staff that SYCRC performs at any level at all, and that the report should not be seen as unfairly placing responsibility on staff for poor performance.
Staff – Napo and Unison members – have had to endure privatisation, significantly reduced resources, changed operating models, significant staff turnover (endemic recruitment and retention problems), fractured working practices across the probation, court and prison world, under the auspices of contracts signed off by government, provided for by Chris Grayling’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda.
The blame for poor performance lies with those who split the probation service and introduced privatisation, not CRC staff. Dame Glenys Stacey, Chief Inspector of Probation, stated in her annual report on Probation (published 28 April 2019) that the “Transforming Rehabilitation model for the probation service is irredeemably flawed”. Staff in SYCRC should be applauded for their dedication and commitment for continuing to work in a flawed system, because no one can perform well without the tools and the time required for the job.