The Government on 9 May 2013 announced its ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ strategy for reforming probation and offender rehabilitation services in England & Wales.
In summary the strategy document stated intentions to:
Abolish the 35 public sector Probation Trusts across England & Wales, and outsource approximately 88% of the total probation caseload to new private and voluntary sector providers
Commence a national commissioning process run by the Ministry of Justice from summer 2013. Interested new providers would compete for 21 regional contract packages to directly manage and provide rehabilitation services to those offenders initially assessed as having a low-medium risk of causing serious harm in the community
Incorporate payment by results into the new contracts, linked to the number and frequency of re-offences committed within a 12 month period across the total cohort of cases supervised by a provider
Extend statutory rehabilitative supervision in the community to all those released from short term custodial sentences of less than a year, who currently receive no mandatory probation supervision under law (estimated to be an additional 56,000 cases annually). New providers would also be required to offer resettlement services to all offenders serving custodial sentences, facilitated through geographically realigning the prison system structure to fit with the new community supervision contracts
- Consolidate the public sector into a single national probation service which would carry out the initial public risk assessment for offenders serving sentences in the community and directly manage those offenders assessed as of the highest risk of causing serious harm in the community.