Subject: Jonathan Aitken and the privatisation of the Probation Service
The 'On Probation' blog www.probationmatters.blogspot.co.uk continues to attract in excess of 3,000 hits daily and is rapidly becoming the platform for disgruntled probation staff to vent their anger at Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's plans to privatise the Probation Service.
May 31st sees all Probation Trusts abolished, to be largely replaced with a rag bag of private companies and inexperienced charitable bodies who will have to increasingly rely on an army of 'old lags' in order to undertake the supervision of offenders in a cost-cutting exercise.
It is interesting to note that disgraced former Tory Minister Jonathan Aitken in a recent report written for the right-wing think tank 'Centre for Social Justice' attempts to argue the case for 'mentoring' or probation on the cheap, but can only offer hope and not action.
Many probation staff are becoming increasingly alarmed at the potential risks involved in this completely untested so-called 'Rehabilitation Revolution', but having been effectively 'gagged' by the Ministry of Justice, can only speak out anonymously. An exception and regular contributor to the blog is Joanna Hughes, an experienced Probation Officer with 17 years service under her belt.
Joanna is so outraged at the destruction of a world class and Gold Award winning public service that she has taken the extreme step of resigning her post from 1st June in protest and is willing to explain publicly her reasons and particularly the risks to the public that will invariably flow from the government's privatisation plans.
Joanna is available for interview and can be contacted here: email@example.com 07854 668050
Jim Brown can be contacted in relation to 'On Probation Blog' here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immediate release - no embargo