Probation reforms remain flawed says PCC

Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has responded to the announcement that the Government plans to cancel its controversial private probation contracts, introduced in 2014, two years early, in 2020.

The Commissioner, a former Barrister and Ministry of Justice Minister, said that the plans had been flawed from the outset.

He added: “I welcome the fact that the Government has recognised that this is a flawed system.  It has cost the taxpayer millions.

“I believe there are better ways of delivering these services, particularly by keeping them local and integrated with the other partners who do so much good work to rehabilitate offenders already. I will participate in the consultation but it sounds as though the government has already decided to retain the split in probation delivery and to run services through even larger areas. That seems a backwards step and I shall ask to meet with the minister to discuss alternative proposals.”

Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) were part of a major part-privatisation programme of probation services across England and Wales brought in in 2014.

The most serious offenders remained under the management of the public sector National Probation Service (NPS).  However, low and medium-risk offenders were handled by privately run CRCs, in deals worth nearly £4bn over the seven-year life span of the contract.

The reforms have been called into question repeatedly and, just last month, the House of Commons Justice Committee said that the probation service was in a "mess", recognising that the reorganisation had not achieved its goals.


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Posted on Friday 27th July 2018
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