The probationary service in England and Wales is in a real crisis:
‘In the most recent damning report, the Public Accounts Committee said reforms pushed through at “breakneck speed” failed to reduce reoffending and left services “underfunded, fragile, and lacking the confidence of the courts”. A “skyrocketing” number of criminals have been recalled to prison and more than 200 offenders supposedly being monitored by CRCs have been charged with murder, while others have committed serious offences or disappeared. Inspectors found companies were monitoring offenders over the phone and failing to properly assess the risk posed by criminals, or protect their victims.’
Imagine the reaction if any SNP minister were to be responsible for this sort of thing.
In July 2018, the Howard League drew attention to serious concerns about the probation service in England and Wales:
‘Successive reforms based around market competition have been pushed by various administrations since the formation of the National Offender Management Service. These reforms have all failed because probation services cannot sensibly fit within a market structure. Commissioning arrangements should be based on cooperation and joint purpose rather than competition. Efficiencies can be achieved through local organisations, including the voluntary sector, sharing mutual investment in services and co-commissioning to reflect local need.’
Of course, neither the press reports nor the Howard League credit Scotland but a comment in the latter’s blog does:
You have to wonder about Frances Crook. Why didn’t she reference Scotland openly? Plagiarism?