Joint PCA / PA response to the Justice Secretary’s next steps for the Rehabilitation Revolution


Today, Wednesday 19 December, Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary, set out some of the Government’s thinking on the next steps in implementing its commitment the Rehabilitation Revolution. The PCA and PA welcome the fact that the Justice Secretary  wants to involve the Probation Service in thinking through these next steps. Continue reading here…

Probation Chiefs Association Refutes Daily Mail Article


The Probation Chiefs Association refutes claims in the Daily Mail that ‘50,000 spared jail offend again within a year: MPs claim shocking figures show failure by Probation Officers’.

Sarah Billiald, from the Probation Chiefs Association, said: “Re-offending by those on orders managed by Probation are at their lowest level in 12 years.

Around 100,000 offenders, two-thirds of those managed by Probation in the community, do not go on to re-offend within the year. The latest Ministry of Justice figures show re-offending by this group has continued to steadily fall since 2000. The re-offending rate for those recieving community court orders currently stands at 34.1 per cent, down 3.7 percentage points on the figure 12 years ago; which adjusted in real terms is around a 10 per cent reduction in the total re-offending rate.

The biggest failure is for those on short-term prison sentences who have no intervention with Probation at all. They have the highest re-offending rate at 57.6 per cent, which has increased by 3.3 percentage points since 2000. While sentencing is a matter for the courts, if they had sentenced the 150,000 offenders that Probation manage to a short-term prison sentence then it is likely a further 36,400 would have gone on to re-offend compared to those on Probation based on the current re-offending rate.

Probation Trusts are performing well; so far 98 MPs have recently signed an Early Day Motion to acknowledge that Probation is carrying out its work efficiently and effectively and meeting Ministry of Justice targets. This includes former Probation Minister Crispin Blunt.

In 2011 Probation was the first ever public sector organisation to win the British Quality Foundation Gold Medal for Excellence recognising the Probation Service’s continuous and sustained improvements.”

Statistics taken from MoJ’s Proven Re-offending Quarterly (Oct 2012)

The Work of Portfolio Groups and PCA Position Statements

The Probation Chiefs Association aims to lead, influence and develop partnerships with stakeholders both internally and externally.  We have created six business areas which encompass a range of portfolios to listen and to offer views about the whole range of probation work.

Download the full document here.

Snapshot of Probation Services in England & Wales –2012

  • There are 35 Probation Trusts in England & Wales. Each Trust has responsibility for the management of offenders and ex-offenders serving intervention programmes and sentences in the community, and giving pre-sentencing advice to courts.
  • As of the last count in June 2012, Probation Trusts were managing a combined total caseload of 230,736. Of this total, 120,323 cases were serving court orders, and 111,735 were being managed pre/post release1.
  • The total budget devolved to the 35 Probation Trusts was £820m in 2011/12. It has been steadily reducing from a high of £914m in 2008/9. The average cost per offender supervised on license post-custody was £2380, and the average cost per offender supervised on a community order/suspended sentence was £4135. The average cost of Probation Trusts producing a pre-sentence report was £2152
  • As of the 30th September 2012, there was a total of 16,710 full time staff and management employed by Probation Trusts. 89.3% of these were working in an offender related function (approx 45% in community supervision, 13% accredited programmes and 9% unpaid supervision, 6% approved premises, 3% pre-sentence court advice, 2% resettlement teams). The remaining 10% of staff work in corporate services3.
  • Reconviction rates for those on Community Orders or suspended sentence orders managed by probation have continued to fall steadily across England and Wales. The proven reoffending rate for the 2010 cohort stands at 34.1%, down 0.3% compared to the previous 12 months and down 3.7& since 20004.
  • Britain’s Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements are recognised and respected internationally for their effective management of high risk offenders. Through probation working under Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements with the Police and Prisons (MAPPA), only 1% of offenders managed by MAPPA commit a serious further offence.5
  1. MoJ Offender Management Statistics Quarterly Bulletin (Apr-June 2012)
  2. MoJ Probation Trusts Unit Costs 2011-12
  3. MoJ Probation service workforce information summary report; quarterly 2 2012-13
  4. MoJ Proven re-offending quarterly, Jan-Dec 2010
  5. MoJ Multi-agency public protection arrangements annual report

PCA workshop on measuring performance in probation


The PCA held a workshop on the measurement of performance in probation on 23rd November 2012. The workshop considered the critical importance of measuring performance to demonstrate what works and value for money, at a time when the Government is driving reform to introduce more competition and payment by results in rehabilitation. Continue reading here…