We launch our manifesto to coincide with the government’s proposed redirection of criminal justice policy, with its emphasis on the importance of rehabilitation.
The package of reforms now under discussion, and published in the green paper, Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders, results from a fundamental rethink about how to rebalance punishment, reparation and rehabilitation in the best interests of victims and society.
Fuelled by the unprecedented financial pressures on the public sector, this will see a reengineering of the criminal justice system, involving a radical overhaul in the way business is handled that is already underway.
Inevitably, debates, often heated, have arisen about the purpose of prisons and how best to rehabilitate offenders in the community. But what our daily experience and available evidence tells us, and this manifesto sets out to highlight, is that Probation works.
The fact is that the rehabilitation of offenders is the best means of safeguarding and protecting the public and consequently reduces the number of victims of crime. It is also the case that in these straitened times Probation’s record of being able to do this through intelligent and targeted use of public money is even more essential.
We remain completely committed to working with our communities in England and Wales to develop and deepen their understanding of our work and its benefits to them. Indeed, our hope is that this manifesto makes a significant contribution to public understanding of and confidence in the work of Probation.