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.
Sarah Billiald, from the Probation Chiefs Association, said: “Tonight’s documentary helps to show the complexity of work carried out by the probation service.
The government has proposed that public sector probation only hold high-risk of harm cases and that they will outsource low to medium-risk of harm cases and all other rehabilitative interventions.
This means probation will no longer manage cases such as the gentlemen with mental health problems, seen on tonight’s Out of Jail and on the Streets documentary, under the government proposals. These types of complex cases involve potentially dangerous individuals. They require the professional expertise and objectivity that the public sector brings to the oversight of their sentence.
As Out of Jail and on the Streets shows, knowledge of risk, grounded in expert probation line management and accountability for the case, are all important factors. Without them, the correct professional boundaries, displayed by staff in this film, could end up being blurred.
Another important element in the management of cases is the ability for Probation Officers to act quickly about enforcement decisions. They can do this because there are clear lines of communications with for example the approved premises.
If clear lines of communication and accountability are lost under the proposals, then other providers of services may not share information about a person’s increasing risk so swiftly. Any delays in recalling an individual to prison could end up undermining public.”
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View the documentary in full here.