National Audit Office report reviews current probation landscape

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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

Newsletter 30 January 2014

Dear PCA member

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014. January has been a very busy month for the Office, planning the PCA Conference – full report below – continuing to respond to requests for comments on the Transforming rehabilitation reforms and planning the development of the Probation Institute.  So this edition, albeit somewhat later coming out than usual, provides an opportunity to let you know about all these developments and more.

 

If you would like us to mention your news in the newsletter please get in touch with Catherine Sinclair-Jones (pcaadmin@localhost).

We value your feedback.  Send your comments to feedback@localhost

Savas Hadjipavlou

PCA Chief Executive

Newsletter Christmas 2013

Dear PCA member

This pre-Christmas edition includes, in particular, news about the decision to establish an independent Probation Institute in which PCA is a lead organisation.  The next phase is one of consultation with a wide variety of stakeholders, individuals as well as organisations. There is more detail below, but you can also feedback and  keep an eye on developments at www.probation-institute.org

I would also like to remind members that it is not too late to register for the PCA Conference in January. An update and contact details are at item 5.

Finally, we congratulate Sue Hall, re-elected as Chair of PCA at the 29 November Council. Sue is an excellent ambassador for probation, ensuring that the senior leadership teams of probation services continue to be represented and have their voices heard.

If you would like us to mention your news in the newsletter please get in touch with Catherine Sinclair-Jones (pcaadmin@localhost).

We value your feedback.  Send your comments to feedback@localhost

Savas Hadjipavlou

PCA Chief Executive

Newsletter 22 November 2013

Dear PCA member

In this edition you will find reports on, among other things, PCA’s evidence to the Justice select Committee and participation in  a panel discussion on Newsnight on 21 November .   I should like to take this opportunity  to remind members about registration to our January PCA Conference. An update on our plans for this important event is given below.

If you would like us to mention your news in the newsletter please get in touch with Catherine Sinclair-Jones (pcaadmin@localhost).

We value your feedback.  Send your comments to feedback@localhost

 

Savas Hadjipavlou

PCA Chief Executive

Newsletter 4 November 2013

Dear PCA member

This edition provides a round-up of various items linked to the MoJ Transforming Rehabilitation (TR)  Programme. The House of Commons Debate on the Government’s TR plans on 30 October, the Second Reading of the Offender Rehabilitation Bill is now scheduled to start on 11 November, and Napo’s announced strike on 5/6 November, have given rise to significant media interest. Find out PCA’s reaction below.

We are also opening registration for PCA Members to the PCA Conference to be held on 23/24 January in Manchester. The Draft Programme  is here. This is at an early stage of development so if you have any suggestions please let us know.

We have already written to Chief Executives of trusts, suggesting that this year it would be helpful if registrations could be coordinated through their offices. So if you would like to register, please confirm with your trust CEO’s office in the first instance . In any case also let Catherine Sinclair-Jones (pcaadmin@localhost) here at PCA know. Please note that we need you to register, if at all possible, by 16 December. This will help us with our planning and places may be limited after that date!

We value your feedback.  Send your comments to feedback@localhost

Savas Hadjipavlou

PCA Chief Executive