Warnings Ignored – It’s a Crime!
“There is more than 80% risk that an unacceptable drop in operational performance will lead to delivery failure,” says the risk assessment by senior officials at the Ministry of Justice reporting on the proposed privatisation of 70% of the Probation Service. Yet the Tory Minister, Chris Grayling is rushing ahead with his ill-judged reforms.
Megan Giotti, of the National Association of Probation Officers, explained to the changes to the Women’s Group meeting on 17 July. She said that the transfer of the supervision of low and medium risk offenders, as proposed in the Offender Rehabilitation Bill, would move 18,000 staff to private companies such as the already discredited G4S, who must bid to provide the service when under the new law. Payment will be for results – but how these outcomes will be measured is not made clear.
Although some parts of the Bill are acceptable, such as extending support and supervision to offenders who serve short prison sentence, and the Probation Service will retain some services (supervision of those offenders considered the highest risk to society, court work and the enforcement of court orders) Megan emphasised that the reforms overlook the fact that offenders frequently move between low and higher risk assessment. Thus the service will be fragmented and lose coherence.
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