Newsletter 22 February 2013

Dear PCA member

In this edition you will find links to the joint PCA/PA response – posted today on the PCA website – to the MoJ’s consultation paper on Transforming Justice. Also an updated version of the March  2013 PCA conference Programme.  The Conference this year will provide a key opportunity to hear from the Minister and to discuss the MoJ’s plans for reforming probation.  With over 200 delegates already registered it promises to be a busy event, looking at the challenging issues for the future shape of probation.

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Savas Hadjipavlou
PCA Business Director

PCA AND PA SUBMIT THEIR JOINT RESPONSE TO TRANSFORMING JUSTICE

The PCA and PA have  submitted their joint response to the Ministry of Justice Consultation Paper on Transforming Justice.  “The Government would be taking unnecessary risks with public protection, would damage local partnerships with other essential services and be trying to do too much too soon with its proposals” said Sebert Cox, Chairman of the PA and Sue Hall, Chair of the PCA.

The Government’s proposals to reform probation services are too ambitious for the time-scale envisaged and have fundamental design problems, say the Probation Association and the Probation Chiefs Association.The joint PCA and PA statement is here. The full response is available here

PCA Response to Centre of Crime Prevention Report ‘Community Sentences are failing’

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Contrary to the Centre for Crime Prevention report, community sentences are cutting crime and preventing victims.

Community sentences outperform short-term prison sentences and are 8.3% more effective in reducing one year proven re-offending rates.

The statistics the Centre for Crime Prevention use may look dramatic but in reality they do not make a lot of sense. They show a lack of understanding of the role of sentences, prisons and probation.

You cannot compare medium to long prison tariffs with community orders as sentencing guidelines wouldn’t allow them to be interchangeable sentences.

It would also be extremely costly to the taxpayer if we sent all 240,000 people, of whom around 160,000 do not go on to re-offend, to prison for at least four years as their report suggests. A four year prison sentence would amount to £88,000, ten times the cost of a community sentence.

What the public and victims really want to see is crime stop. Community sentences tackle the causes such as drug and alcohol addiction that lead to crime, and are effective with re-offending rates falling by an equivalent of 10 per cent since 2000.

BBC Documentary showcases Probation staff’s skills

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Tonight’s documentary, Out of Jail and on the Streets (BBC 1, 10.35pm), demonstrates the excellent skills of Probation staff in protecting the public and rehabilitating offenders.The Probation Chiefs Association is concerned that the Government’s reforms set out in ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ will undermine some of the best practice highlighted in this film. Continue reading here…