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?
Not only for this article John, but for the constant stream of information you provide, thank you. It’s invaluable to a person such as myself whose main function is to talk to people on the doorstep. You provide us with the knowledge to counter the M.S.M propaganda that a fair number of the electorate still believe.
I have always respected someone who is doing a job that I couldn’t do, and yours is certainly one of them. Please keep going.
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Thanks Alex, too kind.
This is yet another example of how privatisation of aspects of community life are wholly inappropriate. Indeed, I think, cynically, that privatisation is a way whereby trust in public services is undermined in the furtherance of the long-term aim of weakening the state as the principal instrument for mediating between the very powerful minority and the rest of us.
With regard to Ms Frances Crook, I suspect that, sincere and admirably well-meaning as she is, her default position is of Britain/England and that things beyond that, such as Scotland, of whom I feel sure she is favourably disposed, are just peripheral.
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