PCA http://probationchiefs.org Probation Chiefs Association Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:12:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 Probation Chiefs Association set to close http://probationchiefs.org/2014/11/04/probation-chiefs-association-set-to-close/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/11/04/probation-chiefs-association-set-to-close/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:25:01 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5988 Members of the Council of the Probation Chiefs Association (PCA) will be meeting on Friday 14 November to vote on a resolution for the PCA to be closed down and for its resources to transfer to the Probation Institute.   Continue reading →

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Members of the Council of the Probation Chiefs Association (PCA) will be meeting on Friday 14 November to vote on a resolution for the PCA to be closed down and for its resources to transfer to the Probation Institute.

The PCA was established in 2008 and has acted as the professional voice of the leadership of probation for the last six years.  Sadly the closing of Probation Trusts left PCA without its main source of income.  Alternative sources of funding were not feasible as the potential membership base (senior probation managers) was too small to sustain the organisation.

At the same time the need for an independent professional body for all staff working for probation providers has become pressing.

For the last year the small PCA secretariat has been working to establish the Probation Institute, which will act as a professional voice for its members, drawn from across probation providers and friends of probation. Many of the features of the PCA – workshops, portfolio groups, conferences – will be continued within the Institute but will be open to a wider audience.

As Chair for the last four years, it has been a privilege to work on behalf of probation leaders.  Without the PCA, there would be no Probation Institute!

– Sue Hall

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PCA submission to Sentencing Council’s consultation on theft offence guidelines http://probationchiefs.org/2014/06/26/pca-submission-to-sentencing-councils-consultation-on-theft-offence-guidelines/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/06/26/pca-submission-to-sentencing-councils-consultation-on-theft-offence-guidelines/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:55:54 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5982 The PCA portfolio group on Sentencing has made a written submission to the Sentencing Council's consultation on the guidelines for theft offences. Continue reading here.. 

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The PCA portfolio group on Sentencing has made a written submission to the Sentencing Council’s consultation on the guidelines for theft offences 

You can view the PCA submission here:
Theft Offences Guideline consultation – response by PCA (1) 

The PCA’s sentencing portfolio is led by Martin Graham, CE of Norfolk & Suffolk Community Rehabilitation Company. To find out more about the work of the sentencing portfolio please see here. 

For all PCA media enquires please call: 020 3657 7844

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Probation Trust service termination, 1 June 2014 http://probationchiefs.org/2014/06/01/probation-trust-service-termination-1-june-2014/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/06/01/probation-trust-service-termination-1-june-2014/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 23:00:22 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5975 Continue reading ]]> From today, 1 June 2014, the 35 Probation Trusts in England and Wales will be succeeded by 21 Community rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and a National Probation Service. At the conclusion of the current competition successful private or voluntary sector bidders are expected to take over the running of the CRCs from early 2015.

The PCA has voiced its views and concerns about the plans being implemented. Other organisations, too, have expressed their concerns, including the Public Accounts Committee and the Justice Select Committee.

It is clear that as this critical milestone passes, there remain considerable concerns and uncertainties linked to this radical change programme. The PCA will continue to monitor the position and make informed and objective comment about progress over the coming year.

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

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PCA Chief Executive writes for Guardian on “huge opportunity” missed by probation reforms http://probationchiefs.org/2014/05/27/pca-chief-executive-writes-for-guardian-on-huge-opportunity-missed-by-probation-reforms/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/05/27/pca-chief-executive-writes-for-guardian-on-huge-opportunity-missed-by-probation-reforms/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 16:39:41 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5968 Savas Hadjipavlou, Chief Executive of the Probation Chiefs Association, has commented on the "missed opportunity" of the Government's Transforming Rehabilitation strategy in an article published by the Guardian.  Continue reading →

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Savas Hadjipavlou, Chief Executive of the Probation Chiefs Association, has commented on the “missed opportunity” of the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation strategy.

In an article published by The Guardian,  Mr Hadjipavlou reflected on the risks posed by the fragmentation of the highly performing probation trusts into the commercial Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and public sector National Probation Service (NPS).

The PCA has raised significant concerns over risks to public safety through fragmenting offender management functions between different bodies, disruption of existing effective partnership work that supports public protection and the rehabilitation of offenders.

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

 

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Probation reforms questioned by Public Accounts Committee http://probationchiefs.org/2014/05/20/probation-reforms-questioned-by-public-accounts-committee/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/05/20/probation-reforms-questioned-by-public-accounts-committee/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 17:19:18 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5962 The Public Accounts Committee's latest report: Probation - Landscape Review has evaluated the Government's Transforming Rehabilitation proposals and identified "significant risks" to the probation service.   Continue reading →

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The Public Accounts Committee’s latest report: Probation – Landscape Review has evaluated the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation proposals and identified “significant risks” to the probation service.

The report, which was published today, drew attention to the “very short period of time” in which the Government’s reforms will be carried out, with up to 70% of the service contracted out to a mixture of private and voluntary sector providers:

“We recognise that the reform programme is still developing, but the scale, complexity and pace of the changes are very challenging, and the MoJ’s extremely poor track record of contracting out – such as the recent high-profile failures on its electronic tagging contracts – gives rise to particular concern.
The Ministry intends to pay Community Rehabilitation Companies by a combination of payment by results and fee for service. This is complex, untested and remains subject to agreement with providers.”

The Committee urged the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the NAO would have “full access to contractual information” to protect the system from potential “gaming” by contractors.

The report also raised significant concerns about the increase in caseloads for the probation service with the inclusion of the estimated 50,000 offenders serving short sentences who currently receive no probation support, which would represent a 22% increase on the offenders managed under the current system.  The Committee were concerned that the Ministry had not as of yet revealed plans about how this additional caseload would be managed.

The report was critical of the Ministry’s “poor track record of managing procurements and contracts,” citing both the electronic monitoring contracts and the plans to provide interpreters to courts, particularly given the “scale and ambition” of the reforms. The report urged a full professional evaluation of the bids entered by potential providers, and clear regulations to prevent the Community Rehabilitation Companies changing providers without the Ministry’s involvement, together with contingency plans through the procurement process to protect continuity of service.

Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, welcomed the MoJ’s commitment to only progress plans once it was assured that these were safe, and recommended that the Ministry “should set out the key review points it will use to assess whether it is safe to progress to the next stage of the programme and report the basis on which, should it decide to do so, it considers it safe to proceed.”

Sir Alan Beith, Chair of the Justice Select Committee, told the Journal that the issues highlighted by the report reflect many of the concerns raised in his own Committee’s Interim report on Crime Reduction Policies:

“These changes are intended for a good purpose, which is to bring supervision to prisoners who leave jail and are just left without supervision at the moment.

“But there are also a lot of risks with it, and those risks must be dealt with.

The PCA has warned that the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, which entail abolishing probation trusts and outsourcing 80% of their work to private companies, risk the deterioration of current high levels of performance of probation services. The latest Public Accounts Committee report identifies increased risks to operational performance during the upheaval, and raises the issue over how risk would be managed in the event of market or supplier failure.

Such a dip in performance would present unacceptable risks to public safety, taxpayers’ money and the effectiveness of community rehabilitation. As the Government proceeds to implement its reforms, the PCA believes it vital for the Government to ensure all systems are fully tested and safe before ‘going live,’ and that careful consideration is given to how the quality, skills and ethos of the profession are sustained in the future.

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

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PCA submission to Government’s Review of Veterans within the Criminal Justice System http://probationchiefs.org/2014/04/23/pca-submission-to-governments-review-of-veterans-within-the-criminal-justice-system/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/04/23/pca-submission-to-governments-review-of-veterans-within-the-criminal-justice-system/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:13:00 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5954 Continue reading ]]> The Probation Chiefs Association (PCA) have submitted their written response to the Government’s Review of Veterans within the Criminal Justice System.

The Government review, led by Rory Stewart MP, has asked for recommendations on how to improve support for the rehabilitative needs of ex-service personnel convicted of criminal offences.

The PCA’s response highlights good practice currently undertaken by Probation Trusts when working with partners to address the needs of the veteran cohort, and makes recommendations to help mitigate some of the potential risks to targeted support for veterans created by the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation reforms.

Read the full PCA submission on the link below:
Veterans Review – PCA submission

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

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Howard League campaigns to reverse Government ban on families sending books to prisoners http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/27/howard-league-campaigns-to-reverse-government-ban-on-families-sending-books-to-prisoners/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/27/howard-league-campaigns-to-reverse-government-ban-on-families-sending-books-to-prisoners/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:29:22 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5946 Continue reading ]]> The Howard League for Penal Reform has today launched a campaign to reverse a Ministry of Justice Prison Service Instruction banning family and friends from sending books and other essentials to prisoners.

The Probation Chiefs Association agrees with the Howard League that this Instruction unnecessarily creates a barrier between prisoners and their families. Family support is often an essential element in promoting the rehabilitation of those who have entered the criminal justice system, and easy access to books will contribute to the goals of improving literacy and education among prisoners.

More about the Howard League’s campaign can be found at http://www.howardleague.org/books_in_prisons/

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

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‘Watershed moment for probation’ as Probation Institute launched http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/21/watershed-moment-for-probation-as-probation-institute-launched/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/21/watershed-moment-for-probation-as-probation-institute-launched/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:40:17 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5940 PCA are pleased to announce that the Probation Institute is now well and truly open for business, following the official launch by the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, on Friday 21 March at the Royal College of Surgeons.  Continue reading →

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PCA are pleased to announce that the Probation Institute is now well and truly open for business, following the official launch by the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, on Friday 21 March at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The event was opened by Prof. Jonathan Shepherd, a long-term supporter of the concept of an institute for probation.  This was followed with speeches from representatives of the four sponsor organisations (PCA, PA, NAPO and UNISON) with PCA Chair and Interim Director of the Probation Institute Sue Hall heralding the launch as ‘a watershed moment for probation.’  Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury concluded the speeches with warm words of  encouragement for the continuing development of the Probation Institute into an independent centre of excellence and a professional home for all those involved in probation and community rehabilitation work.

For a full media statement for the event, please click here.

All those involved in probation and community justice are welcome to join the Institute as a Founding Member.  There will be facilities for online registration for membership from the first week of April.  Find out more about joining the Institute as a Founding Member via this link.  

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Cost of Government’s probation reforms challenged by Public Accounts Committee http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/13/cost-of-governments-probation-reforms-challenged-by-public-accounts-committee/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/13/cost-of-governments-probation-reforms-challenged-by-public-accounts-committee/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 10:26:01 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5934 On 12 March 2014, members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) challenged senior officials from the Ministry of Justice and National Offender Management Service over the extent of savings that their restructuring of probation services would likely achieve. Continue reading →

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On  12 March 2014, the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee heard evidence from senior public officials on the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation probation reforms.

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) challenged senior officials from the Ministry of Justice and National Offender Management Service over the extent of savings that the planned restructuring of probation services would likely achieve.

The Government has based its rationale for reforming probation service delivery on the premise that their anticipated savings would allow, within today’s allocated probation budget of £850mn, for the addition of the 56,000 short-term custodial cases of offenders who currently receive no probation supervision following  release. This would amount to expanding the probation caseload by around a quarter within existing budgets.

However, the PAC questioned whether the splitting of functions between privately owned Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and the National Probation Service (NPS) would not instead lead to additional costs through the need to create new processes of communication between the two sorts of organisation, and duplicative layers of bureaucracy. In comparison under the existing Probation Trust structure, all offender management processes occur under ‘one roof.’ The National Audit Office in a recent report found the current landscape of probation service delivery efficient and effective.

The PAC highlighted that the Ministry of Justice has given no figure or estimate for what they anticipate the cost of absorbing the 56,000 short-term custodial cases would be, nor the anticipated volume of cases which would, under the new operating processes, transfer between the CRC and NPS in the event of an increase in risk profile or suspected breach of conditions.

It also emerged that the Ministry of Justice has already spent £8mn in private consultancy fees linked to the Transforming Rehabilitation reform programme.

You can watch the PAC evidence session again here

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National Audit Office report reviews current probation landscape http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/06/national-audit-office-report-reviews-current-probation-landscape/ http://probationchiefs.org/2014/03/06/national-audit-office-report-reviews-current-probation-landscape/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:19:22 +0000 http://probationchiefs.org/?p=5929 Continue reading ]]> On 5 March, 2014 the National Audit Office (NAO) published Probation: a landscape review, which summarises their audit of the existing arrangements for probation and raises issues concerning the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation reform plans to radically restructure probation service delivery.

The NAO report states that “the probation service has been performing effectively.”  It acknowledges HM Inspectorate of Probation’s findings of good standards and practice in probation trusts, and that the National Offender Management Service’s own rating system recently awarded all probation trusts with good or exceptional performance. The NAO’s audit of probation trust accounts for 2012-13 “found no material weaknesses,” and notes that re-offending rates for those serving community orders under probation has fallen from 39.9 per cent in 2003 to 34.1 per cent in the year to March 2010.

The PCA has warned that the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, which entail abolishing probation trusts and outsourcing 80% of their work to private companies, risk the deterioration of current high levels of performance of probation services. The NAO report identifies increased risks to operational performance during the upheaval, and raises the issue over how risk would be managed in the event of market or supplier failure.

Such a dip in performance would present unacceptable risks to public safety, taxpayers’ money and the effectiveness of community rehabilitation. As the Government proceeds to implement its reforms, the PCA believes it vital for the Government to ensure all systems are fully tested and safe before ‘going live,’ and that careful consideration is given over how the quality, skills and ethos of the profession is sustained in the future.

The NAO review follows a critical examination of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme by the Justice Select Committee in its Interim Report, which is referenced and briefly discussed in this Landscape report.

On the 11th March, the Offender Rehabilitation Bill returns to the House of Lords. The Public Accounts Committee will hold an evidence session on the NAO report on the 12 March at 2pm.

For all PCA media enquiries please call 020 3657 7844

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