Friday, 28 November 2014

Words of Comfort

First off, here's the latest news from Napo HQ sent out yesterday to all members:-

Dear Member


Judicial Review update - Napo secures important disclosure ruling

Following our initial directions hearing at the High Court to apply for a Judicial Review, Napo yesterday attended a disclosure hearing. For quite some time, Napo has been seeking to secure a copy of the Test Gate 4 report but to date the Secretary of State had only provided summaries, but not the report itself. Because of this, and as the Secretary of State had provided so little other accompanying documentary evidence with their witness statements, an application for specific disclosure was made on behalf of Napo, and late yesterday afternoon the Secretary of State was ordered to provide significant documentary evidence, including - importantly - the Test Gate 4 and Test Gate 5 reports. Whilst not all of our requests were accepted by the Judge a significant proportion were, and the documentation that will be released is highly significant in relation to our case against the Secretary of State.

The documentation which will be provided will be subject to an implied duty of confidentiality until such time that they are referred to in open Court. Napo’s Officers and Officials will not therefore be able to disclose any information regarding specific documents to members.

Whilst we still have a long way to go in our legal challenge which is set to commence on 10th December, this is a significant step for Napo and one we hope will provide a boost to members as they continue to work within the chaos of probation on a day to day basis.

Further news via the Napo website and direct mail outs to members will be issued in due course.

Ian Lawrence (General Secretary) and the Napo Officer Group

Clearly good news, and as a contributor commented yesterday, forcing Grayling to do anything against his will leaves one feeling quite good. I'm told he's due before the Justice Affairs Commitee again next Tuesday 2nd December at 11.15, so lets hope Sir Allen Beith and his compatriots give him a hard time over the compromised 70% Chief Inspector of Probation, amongst other things. Michael Spurr will be giving evidence also. 

There must be quite a few CRC CEO's feeling quite uncomfortable at the moment as they begin to realise exactly what the preferred bidders have in mind and eye them up trying to decide whether they have a future in the brave new world order or not. I predict quite a few will be gone in short order as, despite their best endeavours at demonstrating innovation and commercial savvy, it will count for nothing with the big boys.

A dickie bird tells me that 'letters of comfort' are hastily being prepared as the CEO's face all kinds of possible legal problems as the omnishambles moves into the next phase. According to wikipedia:- 
A letter of comfort is a communication from a party to a contract to the other party that indicates an initial willingness to enter into a contractual obligation absent the elements of a legally enforceable contract. The objective is to create a morally binding but not legally binding assurance.
Generally, a letter of comfort is drafted only in vague terms, to avoid creating enforceable contract terms. Few nations regulate letters of comfort by statute; whether a letter of comfort creates legally enforceable contractual terms is often determined only by courts of law, based solely on the wording of the document. Despite their nonbinding status, letters of comfort nonetheless provide risk mitigation because the parent company is putting its own reputation in jeopardy.
Completely unused to the harsh realities of the commercial world, they may yet rue the day they decided to get or stay involved. 

News also reaches me that the MoJ will shortly be landed with a new headache in the form of a stack of crap and very second-rate real estate all over the country as the big boys make it clear they have no intention of taking on such liabilities. In short order CRC's will find they will be considerably down-sized into less offices, forced to 'hotdesk' and effectively kill off Graylings nonsense about co-locating with NPS. When this happens, the true chaos that will flow from separation will become fully evident.

According to the Huffington Post, poetic justice for sealing the fate of the Probation Service looks like it's in store for Nick Clegg in Sheffield:-    
Nick Clegg Is Dangerously Close To Losing His Seat
Nick Clegg is perilously close to losing his parliamentary seat as a new poll indicates that he enjoys a poll lead of just 3% points among voters in his Sheffield Hallam constituency. In response to a survey by Tory pollster Lord Ashcroft, just 31% of voters said they would back the Liberal Democrat leader at the next election, with 28% saying they would vote for Labour. Such a finding is potentially dangerous for Clegg as it is within the margin of error.
Labour's parliamentary candidate Oliver Coppard told HuffPostUK that the poll "won't come as a surprise to anyone who's actually spent any time speaking to people in Sheffield Hallam". He added: "It's obviously a two horse race here now and has been ever since Nick Clegg betrayed so many of the people who voted for him in 2010. The momentum is only going one way.
"No one here will forget his decisions on tuition fees, Forgemasters or the huge cuts he's inflicted on Sheffield. It's obvious that Nick Clegg's priority is keeping the Lib Dems in government with the Tories, not what's best for the people who live here in Hallam."
Voters in Clegg's own backyard also issued a withering verdict about his suitability to lead Britain, with only 11% saying he would make the best prime minister, just narrowly ahead of Ukip leader Nigel Farage at 9%. The findings will be deeply unwelcome for Clegg in his bid to survive next year's general election, as other polls have shed light on the Liberal Democrats' nationwide plunge in popularity.
A previous poll by Lord Ashcroft found that the Greens have overtaken the Lib Dems for the first time in a decade, placing them at 8%, just ahead of Clegg's party at 7%. The data suggests an astonishing number of young people, 28% of 18-24 year olds, are planning to vote Green, though the poll only surveyed around 1,000 people.
Finally, here's the link to the BBC i-player featuring Napo Cymru.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Guest Blog 10

“This is to give formal notice of my resignation.

This is one of the most painful decisions I have ever made, and definitely the most prolonged. Thank you for your efforts to secure me a transfer within the NPS. Today would be the last moment for you to communicate the terms of the proposed transfer and I have heard nothing, but this has given me one last chance to reflect on my situation.

In February of this year, I wrote to Lord Ramsbotham and in a long letter, (which he quoted in the House of Lords), I said “…both NPS and CRC look so bleak, so awful in prospect, and neither constitute that to which I committed my career and loyalty”  Sadly, that statement holds as true now as it did then. I hope with all my heart that the Judicial Review finds in favour of NAPO, and that the next government takes steps to repair some of the damage wreaked so recklessly by this one, but I am weary, I am within five years of the time I planned to retire from Probation, and I am in the fortunate and privileged position of having an option to leave.

I am and will always be a “Probation person”, it has shaped me and I am enormously proud of my time in the Service. I will miss working within it, and with the practitioners, administrators and support staff with whom it has been such a privilege and honour to serve our communities.

Best wishes
Su McConnel“
I posted that off, then I had a little cry, went for a walk, and then - comme d'habitude - logged into NAPO news, Jim's blog, and twitter.

There is now a hiatus while we wait for the outcome of the Judicial Review. We are now at a point where the MoJ defence looks likely to be that the “transformed” service is not quite as much of a mess as NAPO states. It is worth noting at this point that our Probation Service as constituted by the independent Probation Trusts, was a highly rated, proven successful, efficient and effective public service. And one which had already offered a cogent alternative plan to take on short term prisoners without any need for this wanton destruction.

TR puts the public at increased risk. It was my concern about the increase in risk to victims of domestic violence that formed the main theme of the long letter to Lord Ramsbotham I mentioned in my resignation. I continue to believe, and will continue to say, that Domestic Violence is the most heinous fault-line that runs through the whole morass of TR. A while back I heard William Hague challenging Chris Grayling and Theresa May to address seriously the issue of violence to women and girls in this country. Grayling's so called “reforms” in the criminal justice system have arguably impacted most severely on women and children, and TR is no exception.

A good few years ago I took part in a working party assembling the data for a submission for European Excellence rating for my Probation Trust. At the close, the independent consultant/chair of this exercise observed that the one great weakness of Probation was that it failed to articulate its own values and identity and instead made a specialism of jumping through all and any hoops set externally by Government. An organisation with a clear identity and values, he continued, would on occasion choose not to execute directives which ran counter to its identity and in so doing would in fact strengthen its position. I thought it was powerful at the time, and I am reminded of it now.

In contrast to the inability of their leadership to achieve a clearly articulated professional ethos (and then to defend it) Probation workers - and many partnership workers - have an ethos and values-base that has proven extraordinarily resilient in the face of many challenges. As their organisations demanded jumps through every hoop, the show went on: skilled, dedicated staff engaged with their clients with respect and attention in order to forge positive relationships, affect change, manage risk, reduce harm, lower re-offending and protect victims. I have no doubt whatsoever that this values base will survive and that a unified public probation service built on this will be a prize worth winning and won. Whether we win it sooner or later is the issue.

I am hanging up my Probation Officer hat, but not my campaigning one. Over the next months and onwards I will continue to campaign with NAPO. You can take the girl out of probation but...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Omnishambles Update 81

Pat Waterman, chair of Napo Greater London Branch, writes with news from Utah:-

TO NAPO MEMBERS:


Howdy

In his blog yesterday, Nick Smart (CEO London CRC) reported that last week he had had his first meeting with London’s “preferred bidder” MTCnovo. The meeting was also attended by MoJ staff whose role was to ensure that the issues discussed did not stray into areas that were "competition sensitive" which meant that any detailed discussion of MTCnovo's plans, including their operating model and any plans they have with respect to corporate services, were out of bounds. M
TC were represented by Rich Gansheimer who will head the MTCnovo Operating Board to which Nick, as CRC CEO, will report.

We are advised that:

“MTCnovo were very keen to stress their corporate values, particularly around respect for individuals, and how they will apply this to staff and service users. MTC encapsulate this in the acronym BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care).” It was also explicitly stated, in response to comments on social media, that while the founder of MTC was philanthropically motivated and did hail from Utah, they have absolutely no formal or informal connection to the Mormon Church.

Rich Gansheimer qualified as a social worker in 1986 and began his correctional career in the same year at the Ohio State Reformatory. With over twenty six years experience correctional experience in the State of Ohio, Rich Gansheimer was appointed MTC’s regional vice president in Texas in 2012. In this position, Mr.Gansheimer oversaw eight correctional facilities MTC operates for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Capital punishment is legal in Ohio. A total of 139 people (one woman and 138 men) are currently under a sentence of death in the state as of January 16, 2014. Since the death penalty was re-instituted in the United States in 1976, Texas has executed more inmates than any other state.

Nick says that on balance he felt that the meeting was a positive one. I wish that I could be so confident. I just cannot help but wonder about someone whose experience is all within the American “correctional service”. While we wait for more news about the future of the CRC, the Deputy Director of the London NPS, Sara Robinson, advised staff in her blog last week that:

As a result of the recent implementation of the RSR/CAS improvement plan I am delighted to report that we have significantly uplifted our RSR/CAS performance. I was always confident that London would achieve this improvement quickly and these figures demonstrate how well we have done in a short space of time. I would like to thank all staff involved for their continued hard work to ensure that we get RSR/CAS completion right.

I am not sure what constitutes a significant uplift and would be interested to know if this accords with members’ reality.

Sara also tells us that there are 32 Newly Qualified Officers joining the NPS, taking up posts across London in November. Fifty six new PQF learners joined the NPS last month. A new cohort of eighty two is expected on 2nd February 2015. Fifty of these new learners will be placed in the CRC. A further cohort of possibly sixty learners in total is expected to start sometime in April.

I am only too well aware of the staff shortages in all grades particularly the qualified Probation Officer grade. But I do have concerns about where all these learners are going to be placed.

I would also like to remind members of the Branch Meeting this Friday (28th November) at BPR. Lunch is available from 1p.m. The meeting will start at 2 p.m. with a panel discussion entitled “Crisis, What Crisis”. Our guest speakers will be Sara Khan (Director of Inspire), Janet Crowe (Deputy Director of Prison Reform Trust) and Will McMahon (Deputy Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies).

Formal Business starts at 3p.m.

I hope to see many of you there. If you do intend to come to the meeting do not forget to email Mail London NAPO so that we can arrange a Visitor’s Pass for you.

Pat Waterman
Branch Chair


Meanwhile, some contributions from the frontline:-

Leics lost a universally respected IT trainer last week. The new CRC simply tripled her tasks and chucked in a few more for good measure, having lost Derbyshire staff to NPS and pruned over 50% of the remainder from Leics and Notts. I think she saw what they expected her to do with the broom and that was the last straw. I've never seen so many leaving gifts and cards for one person. Apparently, at no stage, did anyone from the CRC consult her about what she could take on in addition to her already burgeoning workload. Luckily, she was in a position to walk away. OMs with mortgages and families, experiencing the same wholesale changes in their Jobs, face a horrendous prospect and not everyone can just tell them where to stick it.

I am certain many more would be walking away right now if they were financially in a position to do so - me included.

I certainly would. The current situation on so many levels is untenable and getting worse by the day. The systems actually prevent the work getting done and it would seem the impending updates are no improvement. Even those of us who are fortunate to enjoy reasonable health and decided to insist on staying to see if there would be any semblance of sense or ability to continue without the selling of souls, are now falling and collapsing under the stress and abject incompetence of those supposedly 'implementing change'. It is one huge disorganised nightmare and getting worse by the day. This is not from a perspective of not wanting to change, not having the ability to adapt quickly and easily or being unable to use and access the IT. It is from an informed, experienced and objective analysis. Enough is enough and this is more than enough. 

Prisons are key sites for recruiting to "terrorist" organisations and the Spookes know this. Benchmarking and 'Fair and Sustainable' has taken thousands of officers off the landings of our Prisons and we are in a situation, in many prison, where the prisoners are in control. All prisons are full of drugs and gangs organising the sale and collection of debt. This environment is perfect for the identification of the vulnerable and suggestible and the radicalization of the alienated. Clearly the best way to stop this is to have many more staff who have time to build relationships and change minds. TR is dangerous at so many levels, they just have not thought it through.

As the TR revolution beds in in my area, the more frustrating each day becomes. There are constant instructions regarding the whereabouts of data and who has or does not have access rights. After thirty plus years as a PO with a similar profile to Jim's, I am deeply saddened at the events that are befalling the probation service, both locally and nationally. I can't believe that TR was ever conceived in the first place.

A valued manager of 8 in one location of the NPS told she has now to manage 30 over 7 locations. The inevitable resignation followed and she is leaving imminently. The MoJ are simply incompetent and arrogant beyond belief. The damage they have perpetrated on this service is, ironically, nothing short of criminal.

Here's a real life true vignette for all you Bidders. Think hard about what you are entering into. This happened today in the CRC. (Slightly abridged).

Vulnerable, heroin using woman with a 20 week concealed pregnancy is beaten black and blue by her partner. Social Worker I've worked with for years phones to ask if I can help get her into a refuge and needs info on the man and how soon he will be released into the community:- 

Me: Really sorry, I can't access his records.
SW: Is he still on licence?
Me: I don't know, I can't access his records. 
SW: He's being charged with GBH, can't you recall him?
Me: I have no idea, I can't access his records.
SW: Did you know he's not long out of prison for severely assaulting a previous partner who was heavily pregnant?
Me: No, I didn't. I'm sorry to sound like a parrot but I have no access to his records.
SW: The refuge need a risk assessment on your client, I know you can't send me the OASys but can you summarise it for me?
Me: Unfortunately she is due in Court for another matter and NPS have taken the OASys to do the PSR. I no longer have access to my own records and because I've got 40 odd other cases, I can't remember it all off the top of my head.
SW: This is just ridiculous.
Me: I know! And dangerous and fucking stupid.

That sounds scarily like conversations I've had with social workers. They call me as they have serious concerns about people I supervised whose supervision ended pre June this year and ask for risk details, order/licence details. My response? Sorry, I can no longer see records on the individual that I supervised and I can't remember. Please call NPS duty, that is if they have time to answer the phone as they're so overworked. Dangerous doesn't begin to describe it.

I did ring NPS and their Duty Officer rang me back. Without a word of a lie, it was lovely young woman who worked in the CRC for 8 weeks before getting a place on the qualifying framework on the basis of her degree in Criminology. I mentored her briefly during her 8 weeks with us, she's now 6 weeks into her new role.

I understand that we don't want to assist with TR and being in the NPS I am not in your position. However, I continue to communicate with CRC colleagues and would have asked them to deal with the matter. I will not allow the split to take away the reason I joined probation to protect the public and enable others to make positive lifestyle changes. We must remain strong and care for each other.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Treading Water

This feels a very strange time for us in probation as deafening silence seems to have descended everywhere. The MoJ are saying nothing. The preferred bidders are saying nothing. Chris Grayling seems to be keeping a very low profile. The CRC's are saying nothing; ditto Napo. 

In order to try and find something to say during this interregnum, and whilst we tread water, I've been looking back at stuff I never got around to publishing. Lets cast our mind back to the day the preferred bidders were announced. Here's one CEO who seems particularly bemused by what happened and decided to share it with staff in the house magazine:-  

Peferred Bidder announcement

The announcement that Sodexo Justice Services in partnership with Nacro are the preferred bidder for BeNCH made last Wednesday an important day for us.

Ordinarily I would have arranged simultaneous meetings throughout BeNCH to have announced such a significant piece of news. However this was not possible owing to the
surreal sequence of events leading up to the announcement which I would like to relay to you.

I received news of the impending announcement about 5.15pm on the 28th - the evening before the announcement was due to be made – through a teleconference with other CRC CEOs. Ironically I nearly missed the conference call as the email inviting me to participate was sent to “Niel” rather than Neil! Even more ironic was that not long before I received the call telling me I was missing the vital teleconference, I received a call from another NOMS official checking that I was available on my mobile but that “I shouldn’t read anything into this as it was just a matter of routine”. I was instructed to keep the announcement confidential, until parliament had been informed.

The Ministry of Justice were understandably very concerned about the need to keep what is, after all, commercially sensitive information secure. As a result they decided the best way of maintaining confidentiality was to courier the envelopes containing the announcement (plus supporting documents) to each CRC’s Head Office.

Fair enough, you may say – using couriers is a well tried and tested way of delivering precious goods. However, the MoJ also felt that the envelopes should not be delivered direct to the CRC CEO’s, but rather they should be delivered to members of the NOMS
Contract Management Teams. Despite knowing that the Ministerial Statements would be made at 11am, MoJ felt it best to arrange for the couriers to arrive early in the morning. I was alerted to the fact that they may arrive as early as 7am.

As required, I duly arrived in Stevenage at 7am to let in the NOMS contract manager, Matthew Kelly, who arrived soon after. The package arrived after 8am and was presented
to Matthew. I was not allowed to receive or open the envelope until 10.45am – some 15 minutes before the Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) was to be published in the Commons Library. At just after 11am I duly received confirmation that the WMS had been made, and received email versions of the paperwork that had just been handed to, that had been closely guarded by the contract manager for the past 3 hours.

As soon as it had been confirmed that the WMS had been made I sent the news to staff that Sodexo Criminal Justice Services in partnership with NACRO are our preferred bidder by email and on our intranet InsideBeNCH.

As you may know Sodexo have their roots in the world of hotels and catering, although they now have a large presence in European prisons, with over 100 prisons across the continent - including 5 prisons in Scotland and England.

Significantly this includes HMP Peterborough which is within the BeNCH area. You may be aware that this prison has also been delivering a Payment by Results project and the
learning from this will be of considerable benefit. We are looking forward to finding out the details of their bid and how their plans for service delivery in the future. Sodexo have
won six contract package areas in total – including three in the East of England.

I would urge you all to visit the Sodexo website (uk.sodexo.com) as this gives an outline of the company’s history, values and mission.

Many operational staff will already be familiar with Nacro (the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) who are a large national charity with considerable
experience of working in the ETE, substance misuse and resettlement fields.

CEO Neil Moloney

Letter to staff from heads of Sodexo and Nacro

Dear CRC Staff

The Ministry of Justice has announced the preferred bidder as Sodexo Limited, trading as Sodexo Justice Services (SJS), in partnership with Nacro. We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this contract and we look forward to working with you to reduce reoffending and make our communities safer places to live.

Sodexo globally has a two-fold mission: to improve the quality of lives for all those we serve and: to contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the cities, regions and countries where we operate. By joining Sodexo you are joining the 18th largest employer worldwide, with over 428,000 employees, operating in 80 countries in over 33,000 sites. Here in the UK&Ireland we have over 34,000 employees, with over 2,300 working within the Sodexo Justice Services segment across our 5 prisons.

SJS have a strong reputation for delivering ethical, innovative and rehabilitative justice services, and our mission is to change lives for the better. We have over 2,300 staff working within SJS across 5 prisons in the UK SJS are in partnership with Nacro, the UK’s largest crime reduction charity. Nacro has been delivering resettlement services to offenders since 1966, both inside prisons and in the community and has a long history of working in partnership with organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors and delivers contracts with private companies, mental health foundation trusts and a large number of charities, research organisations and universities. Having worked together in the past we are delighted to partner with Nacro and have the opportunity to build on these foundations in developing a pioneering partnership with the CRC and to play a significant role in transforming rehabilitation services and delivering the right outcomes for people and communities.

Our approach is to recognise and to continue to put your skills in building effective relationships with some very challenging service users at its core. It also relies on strong local networks with other organisations and providers who can contribute to the goal of reducing reoffending. We have exciting ideas to share with you about how to make the most of the opportunities presented by new legislation on short term prisoners and the creation of the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. 


Tony Leech,
Managing Director, Sodexo Justice Services

Jacob Tas, 
Chief Executive Officer, Nacro

Thanks go to the person sending me the following Interserve press release from 2012 which I don't recall seeing before and mentions a few more names:-

YVONNE THOMAS TO LEAD INTERSERVE’S JUSTICE TEAM
by Interserve Press Office | Feb 06, 2012

Appointment further reinforces Interserve’s long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Justice, National Offender Management Service and Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Interserve, the FTSE 250 support services company, has underlined its serious intent to help the Ministry of Justice transform the delivery of justice. Building on its 25-year history of delivering innovation through financing, building and maintaining many of the UK's prisons, Interserve has invested in a highly experienced operational team to develop and deliver its offerings in frontline justice services, led by Yvonne Thomas.

Yvonne joins Interserve from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), where she sat on the Board as an Operations Director. Before that, Yvonne was Director of Offender Management.

Yvonne will lead a formidable team which allies operational and strategic prisons expertise from both the public and private sectors. Adding operational expertise to its existing knowledge and experience, Interserve now has a complete end-to-end capability to develop innovative solutions in the delivery of custodial and community services.

Interserve’s justice team has got off to a promising start, having been shortlisted to provide services to all three prisons in which the company expressed interest. The prisons, Durham, Onley and Wolds, are among nine prisons the MoJ has put out for tender.

With MoJ competition plans spanning the entire Justice arena, including payment by results (PbR) pilots and electronic monitoring (tagging), the horizons for Interserve’s justice team are broad indeed.

For Yvonne Thomas it is an exciting time:

“We believe we can make a significant contribution to the justice sector. The public- and private-sector backgrounds of our team, combined with their strong operational track records, mean we see great scope for applying private-sector investment, flexibility and innovation to improve service provision.

“The payment-by-results principle is particularly compelling. Interserve has experience operating this type of model with the Department for Work and Pensions’ Work Programme. We’re determined that if our prison bids prove successful, the positive outcomes achieved for prisoners leaving an Interserve establishment will be able to be accurately measured. Not only will this show how effective we and our delivery partners are, it will also underline the value for money we will provide for the taxpayer - and ultimately how, in partnership, we can help reduce reoffending.”

Interserve’s ambitious yet broad aspirations in the justice sector are matched by its highly experienced operational team covering both custodial and community services. Together, the team possess the skills to devise and deliver the kind of imaginative new approaches to reduce reoffending currently sought by the Ministry of Justice.

Commenting on the new team Adrian Ringrose, Chief Executive of Interserve, said:

“Outsourcing frontline services is a must, given the state of the public finances. Interserve can play a significant role in delivering frontline services for the Ministry of Justice having gained substantial experience in other sectors, among them custodial construction and design. Our experience is both highly relevant and transferable.

“We have attracted a first-class team to Interserve with a range of talents and skills. Led by Yvonne Thomas, our team has the drive, passion and vision to help reduce reoffending and improve prisoner re-integration into the community.”

Key members of the dedicated justice team include:

Rob Kellett, Operations Director, joins from the National Offender Management Service where he has spent over 30 years in the management of large and complex prisons. He was also previously Head of Contracted Prisons.

Steve Taylor, Director of Custody, has over 20 years’ experience in public and private custodial services, most recently at Forest Bank Prison. He has a particular interest in the development of stakeholder relationships to deliver reductions in reoffending.

Simon Taylor, Commercial Director, joins from private-sector firm Sodexo, where he developed the management systems for PFI and prison contracts. He also negotiated the innovative PbR Social Impact Bond at Peterborough Prison.

Interserve has also retained Trevor Williams, the former Director of Operations, Director of High Security and Head of Contracted Prisons for HMPS and subsequently NOMS, while Christine Lawrie, the former Chief Executive of the Probation Association, and Ben Emm, who was Chief Officer of Bedfordshire and Head of the National Probation Improvement Agency for probation, are responsible for community and strategy advice.

Interserve’s experience in delivering safe and secure facilities:

Interserve already has a long-standing relationship with the MoJ, NOMS and Her Majesty’s Prison Service as a custodial construction partner and has built and refurbished over 5,000 cells. It also reduced the cost per cell by 29 per cent through successive innovations, among them the introduction of colour-coding identification of routes and facilities now widely adopted throughout the prison estate. Interserve has experience in innovative prison cell design and has developed operational solutions to improve cost, safety and security.

Interserve also has extensive experience of successfully mobilising and delivering complex and challenging services across a wide range of sectors including:

  • The building and operating of the Littlemore Medium Secure Unit for the NHS Trust (sectioned and detained patients).
  • Service delivery at University College London Hospital (UCLH) providing security functions, CCTV response, control room operation, perimeter guarding, and part of the major incident response team that mobilised during the 7 July bombings.
  • Acting as a major provider in the Building Schools for the Future programme where, working with the customer, we designed the environment and logistics based on the core purpose of the school's local requirement.
  • Assistance to the Metropolitan Police during and following the 2011 summer riots in London through CCTV surveillance support.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Omnishambles Update 80

For this roundup, lets return to that very troubled area Cheshire Greater Manchester and some excerpts from the chief's blog:-

Dear Everyone
As you are aware, I had my first meeting with our Preferred Bidder, Purple Futures, on Wednesday. I met with Yvonne Thomas, Managing Director and Robin Derrett, Head of Business Change Group from Interserve Justice, in the company of Patrick Connelly, the Senior Contract Manager for our CRC. We are not able to discuss anything that is commercially sensitive at this stage but did have a really positive initial conversation. Yvonne and Robin understand the disappointment experienced by staff that the mutual bid was unsuccessful but recognised the wealth of experience that the involvement of staff in a mutual bid has brought to CGM CRC. They are very keen to meet up with both senior leaders and staff, to ‘test out’ elements of innovation within their bid and to provide a full induction to all staff about Purple Futures and Interserve.

At a meeting with the Senior Leadership Team next Friday, Purple Futures will outline (at a high level – no detail as yet) their operating model. They will also introduce their Mobilisation, Transition and Transformation (MTT) Team for Cheshire and Greater Manchester. This is the team, made up of both corporate and operational staff, who will work with us to implement the new model. Once the contract is signed, we will be able to have full discussions with Interserve Justice and the other organisations that make up the Purple Futures partnership, regarding the detail of their plans for CGM CRC over the next seven years. I anticipate that the detailed conversations will take place from the New Year, with staff induction taking place in early February 2015.

On last week’s blog Xxxx Xxxxx posted a question asking for clarification in relation to seven years’ protection on terms and conditions, following share sale. I thought it may be worth sharing the response on this week’s blog. It is important to note that the MoJ has confirmed that the sale of shares in CGM CRC to the new provider does not constitute a TUPE transfer of undertakings as there is no change of employer, merely a change of ownership of the shares in the employer company. Following the share sale, existing NNC and SCCOG National Agreements on Pay and Conditions of Service will, therefore, continue to be the terms and conditions for all staff.

You may be aware that there will be further releases of N-Delius on December 14 and January 15. These releases are designed to fix some bugs, but will also support the final separation of CGM CRC and NPS. This will mean that the ability for CGM CRC staff to have joint log-ins and access to NPS information will cease for most people, although for some roles such as receptionists access to some NPS information will remain. Briefings will take place over the coming weeks to inform you of the main changes, so make sure you sign up for your local event. We will then be training up ‘SuperUsers’ in all clusters, who will receive in-depth training on the changes, so they can support colleagues when the new system goes live. Follow-up training for all staff will take place in January and February. There will be further releases during 2015, which will bring in further changes to the Offender Rehabilitation Act, but as yet we have no dates or details of these.

Best wishes
Chris


Just a reminder what many on the shop floor are thinking:-

Advice to bidders: if you sign these contracts you inherit a large number of your workforce with a very bitter taste in their mouths and with no incentive to make your profit agenda work. If I were you, I would have my VR offer letters ready to go from day one and let those of us with a conscience, social values and no desire to assist you to make immoral profits off our backs and our tax etc, get out and move on to something meaningful and worthwhile. Working for you is most definitely not either.

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I hope you're right about inheriting a bitter workforce. Looking at overall levels of activism in the workforce in resisting TR, I wonder about high levels of docility and apathy. We know outsourcing primarily reduces costs by reducing workforces, lowering wages and pensions and reducing allowances. And we can reasonably expect these elements will make up the lion's share of the 30% cut to budgets. Once these private companies and outfits like NACRO take the reins, there will be an unholy race to the bottom. Wages at the top will be fine and so you can understand the senior managers seeing pots of gold for themselves, far more than they could have hoped-for in the public sector. But those below will carry all the losses. There will be more probation staff needing state benefits to get by, as the state subsidises low incomes, as the companies, with their first duty to their shareholders, pursue their profits. 

All this was foreseeable and yet rank and file staff showed a readiness to cross picket lines and lacked even the motivation to vote in ballots. And overnight probation work will become profit-driven. Sure, there will be high-minded pronouncements about what the companies stand for and how they are committed to rehabilitation, but the bottom line will be about making money as there is no other rationale for their involvement, because the shareholders must come first. And if it seems they can't make their expected profits or their brands suffer reputational damage, they will walk away, just like ATOS.

The NoOffence website carries an interesting blog with yet more sobering reflections for putative probation winners:-

The long-awaited list of ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ preferred bidders has thrown up some novices as well as experienced riders in this wide open race to change the face of rehabilitation in and beyond our prisons via the open to abuse, tried and detested ‘Payment by Results’ module to assist post-release offenders to gain employment, housing and generally reintegrate into their community. The ‘more for less’ concept, so lauded by central government, means that the difficult to place inmates will find themselves shunted on to the smaller tiers with the monetary clock ticking as what can be realistically offered in terms of time allocated against financial reward. Again, history tells us that there will be great emphasis on the former and very little on the latter with inmates seen as ‘cash cows’ rather than individual human beings with very wide-ranging and diverse needs. Anyone with any experience of working with challenging offenders will know that the ‘one size fits all’ approach simply does not work. Effective probation is not for the uninitiated. It is an acquired skill and certainly not to be learned ‘on the hoof’.

The great and outspoken Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids’ Company spoke at an Odgers Interim event in September 2014 of her concerns that some voluntary organisations were clearly compromising their aims, objectives, services and constitutions in the pursuit of income and survival at any cost. ‘Charities are prioritising their own well-being over that of their beneficiaries and morphing into money-making organisations’. Despite changes in social demographics in the sector, there are some charities who believe that they have an absolute right to exist, despite their services hardly, if ever, moving with the times to meet or even address these social trends. Indeed, a few years back, I recall a refreshingly frank, shooting from the lip presenter from The Big Lottery Fund telling an assembled Central London audience of which I was part that one of the first questions that their assessors ask when looking at a new grant application is - ‘Are your services really necessary or are you asking us to keep you in a job?’. Some charities take note! Blunt but extremely relevant as we see the seemingly endless parade of formerly well-respected charities and voluntary sector organisations tout themselves around and enter into doomed, cobbled together consortia and partnerships, dare I say ‘Joint Enterprises’, in their fight for financial survival at any price - emphasis on ‘any price’ - but often at the inevitable cost of the service user - the offender. The old analogy of you buy cheap, you buy twice could not be more openly at play in these cut to the bone contracts. There is plenty of internet evidence of past contractors, providers and their partners walking away from these ‘cheapest wins’ contracts when they realise that the main bidder can’t make a profit and/or when the spectre of penalty clauses looms into view.

Even if we accept this ‘chase the money and dodge the dole queue’ concept, how many of these small to medium sized organisations have survived the mine field of ‘Payment by Results’ where their financial relief is often very short lived and at the cost of their previous good reputations? The smaller you are, the less volume your voice has when it comes to settling your invoices. One man’s credit balance is another man’s overdraft. And how many of these small organisations have the financial ‘legs’ or the unrestricted reserves to enter into speculative contracts - often a direct contradiction of their governing documents - where they might or might not be paid, compromising their management committees ‘limited liability’ as they do so.

I fear that these latest Transforming Rehabilitation contracts will, yet again, deliver a number of master classes in ‘massage’ when it comes to outputs, outcomes and invoicing and even more cases of some very big dogs wagging a considerable number of very disillusioned and hungry small tails as the true costs of rehabilitation and resettlement become apparent and the spreadsheets are regularly rewritten in red.

As these mainly ‘private sector led and the voluntary sector follows’ contracts pervade every public service in our day to day lives, central government paints itself into a financial corner, wholly of its own making. Mrs Thatcher’s TINA policy - There Is No Alternative - has, with the decimation of the voluntary sector in penal-related work, led to the birth of a daughter, TRINA - There Really Is No Alternative. It is a matter of time and resource-availability until private sector providers sit opposite central government commissioners and tell them the sum that they are prepared to accept to pick up the contract from the hands of the commissioners. The ethos of ‘supply and demand’ - you supply the contract and we will demand the price you will pay - will become the norm rather than the exception. Pursuit of excellence will fade and die since there will be no other choice of provider.


Something I noticed from a week or so ago should serve to remind us of the chaos yet to come:-

I noticed someone mentioned the poor practice by G4S. When they had the tagging contract and were challenged about closing enforcement actions, they frequently blamed Probation for not letting them know what action had been taken. I had to investigate these for my Trust and found in only about 15% of the cases where they'd notified us of a breach of curfew we had not let them know what action we'd taken. The rest were down to G4S and included where the Order was managed by the YOT, another Trust, they'd misspelt the email address and best of all where they'd taken the email address out of the NAPO directory and sent an email to "firstname.surname@Trust.probation.gsi.gov.uk" [sic].

I heard recently of a case who had emailed Interserve Finance Dept. purporting to be from a subcontractor asking them to make future payment for the work to a new account. No points for guessing who's account that was! In all they paid the sum of £132,000 into his account! Best of all they didn't even notice. It was only when the bank queried the payment that the theft was picked up. Doesn't say much for their Corporate Governance or risk assessments!

More on legal aid:-
Cuts to the civil legal aid budget are not delivering better value for money for the taxpayer, the UK’s top spending watchdog has found. 
The National Audit Office’s review of cuts to civil legal aid, on track to deliver savings of £300m, concluded that the Ministry of Justice had not done enough to consider the wider implications of such speedy and drastic cost savings. The ministry “has been slower to think through how and why people access civil legal aid”, Amyas Morse, head of the audit office, said in a statement published with Thursday’s report. “Without this understanding, the ministry’s implementation of the reforms to civil legal aid cannot be said to have delivered better overall value for money for the taxpayer. ”The audit office estimates that the cuts have resulted in more people going to court without legal representation, leading to lengthy and costly delays. 
There has been a 30 per cent rise in family court cases where neither side is represented by a lawyer, according to the NAO’s statistics. The watchdog estimates that the taxpayer will have to shoulder £3.4m in extra costs from such delays, according to the report. The ministry had forecast that the cuts would result in more family cases going to mediation and fewer to court. Instead, the number of cases going to mediation fell 56 per cent, or 17,246, in 2013-14 compared with the previous year. 
The MoJ said: “We had one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world at around £2bn per year. Given the financial crisis inherited by this government there was no choice but to find significant savings. This report confirms we are doing just that. “This was never going to be an easy process, but we have made the necessary reductions whilst ensuring legal aid remains available where people most need legal help. ”The report’s findings are the latest blow to the ministry’s overhaul of legal aid, which has sparked two walkouts by barristers, the first in living memory, and a judicial review. The High Court ruled in September that the justice ministry acted illegally over a consultation carried out before announcing parallel cuts to the criminal legal aid budget. 
Thursday’s report by the audit office scrutinised only the civil legal aid budget. Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Commons public accounts committee, accused the MoJ of being “out of touch with reality”. She said: “Achieving value for money is not just about cutting costs.” Sadiq Khan, Labour’s shadow justice secretary said: “This damning report by the National Audit Office completely exposes David Cameron’s reckless assault on access to justice for what it really is: bad value for money and leaving hundreds of thousands without proper legal advice.” 
I'll end with an apology concerning comment moderation. I've introduced this reluctantly in order to stop irritating contributions from a self-described and very unhappy SOTP attender who was attempting to hijack discussion. So, please be patient, but there will inevitably be a delay between submitting a comment and seeing it published. Such is the reality of life I'm afraid.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

TR Week Twenty Five

Is it me or does anyone else think it's strange the wall of silence from the winning bidders? Maybe they don't want to antagonise the losers and again I also think their silence is strange too.....

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It's because they aren't winning bidders yet. They are preferred bidders, but they are essentially still part of an active competition. The bidders can still drop out and the MoJ can still decide not to contract with them. No one is going to say anything substantive until contracts are signed.

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The competition isn't over until contracts are signed and share sale happens in February. Until then there will understandably be limited amount heard from the mercenaries in waiting.

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Chris Grayling is not taking responsibility for the prison crisis, neither is the government holding him to account. They are all complicit in this, they are all in it together. 

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He accounts for the problem in prisons by placing the blame on the prisoners. Not me Guv, my hands are clean. It's those nasty Proles, coming in here with their rights and all that. Don't they know that I don't give a f*ck?

If he could make it a criminal offence to 'self inflict death' (it's suicide you immoral bastard!!!) he would. 


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I understand Chris Grayling used to work for Burson Marsteller, a global public relations company. Go on folks, have a look at the Wiki entry, I particularly enjoyed the reference to BM being subject to "protest and criticism for its use of smearing and doubt campaigns" .....so that's where he learnt his dark arts....

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My CRC are discussing using Social Workers to replace disappearing POs. Their qualifications are acceptable and, with some sort of conversion training, they would be welcomed.

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Regular readers will have noted that EPIC has adverts for Social Workers on there, highlighted here a couple of weeks ago, it's interesting!

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If it was easier for CQSW qualified probation staff to register/demonstrate professional competence then they would fill some posts.

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Thé government have already got troubled families waiting in the wings to fill the gaps.

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Grayling will get his platoon of old lags to plug the gaps, perhaps recruited by Old Chums Archer, Black & Aitken.

CQSW & DipSW qualified POs spend £hundreds & minimum 12 months registering despite their probation background, whilst the old lags just walk in through the back door with MoJ approval. Sweet!!


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How can the HMPI say anything negative about TR in his report? To do so would put his wife's company at risk of loosing £millions of government contracts. So there will be no truths from him.

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In Northumbria CRC, all is tickety boo, unless you look at the never before seen and ever rising sickness levels, which as management are happy to tell us, is due to stress. But hey all will be solved by downloading an app. Who needs human contact as we are all just numbers!! Like voting on the Xfactor app, but without a right to an opinion!

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Couldn't face work today, not all that well. At one time I would have gone in, not now. They need to come and spend à week in one of our offices. They'd soon see the chaos they've created.

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Of course NOMs are saying the publishing of these figures are a one off. Any future measurements for the profit making companies will not have to worry about these. They'll have he goal posts widened for them. One quick change will be the removal of the current OASys. They won't have staff spending hours on it, plus the RoSH completed by NPS will assess the risk issues. Job done as far as they will be concerned.

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The MoJ statistics have their flaws, but overall don't they seriously challenge the narrative of probation as being in meltdown, of staff leaving in droves, of high sickness levels, of performance being on the floor? It is fair to raise arguments about quality and shifting criteria, but court reports have been receiving the 'expediting' treatment for years and SFO criteria has been revised many times. The MoJ figures do not lend any credence to 'service in crisis' assertions, perhaps because probation staff have been adept at workarounds, taking on sessional work and keeping up goodwill.

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In a word no. Not all that can be measured counts, and not all that counts can be measured. If you had hundreds of staff saying something is not working, would it be prudent and defensible to ignore this? What needs to be put into perspective is the fact that TR has only being going for a few months and it's fair to say that all is not going to plan. Factor in that the CRC's will be run by mainly inexperience people (those at the most senior level probably have little experience) as well as the empirical evidence that those who get these form of contracts inevitably end up making a pigs ears of things, and you can see why the concern exists. 

Now, when people start dying due to these mistakes, it's those who said and did nothing that some may also level blame at. Probation IS in meltdown. I know, I'm there, trying my best to do my job with 101 new PI's every month. Yes targets are being hit but the point is very clearly being missed!


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Inspection due next month in the North West, anywhere else? Usual bollocks REQUESTED by managers. Check your cases that could be in there. Cook the books with acceptable retro entries please, as much as you can. Let's make it appear as if all is well eh? Not a fucking chance, they will see it as it is in our office. 

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We had an inspection a few weeks ago just CRC. Most of us told him how It is, he said "I know."

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We have a Safeguarding audit as well (North West) and we've been given the heads up about what cases etc.

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Yes, ours was safeguarding. We had really short notice so didn't really do anything extra with the cases. I did go to review the OASsys the day before then decided not to bother. I'm not managing to do initial OASsys, so why would I do a review because we're being inspected?

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SFOs take a while to happen and for people to be charged. Would like to see the data for July/August to October instead. Bet it shows a whole different picture.

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Why bother with the stress? If your workload is over 150 per cent, tell your manager that this equates to over 17 hrs per week and that you will do 37 as contracted unless they pay you for extra hours or they guarantee toil. Do not work extra hours and when something is missed, tell them what your workload is over and over and repeat until they retire to their office, hold their head in their hands and cry buckets! Do it tomorrow and watch the stress evaporate. 

Put a collective grievance in, tell them you will not stand it anymore. Tell them you will not accept it anymore. Tell them you will fight TR to the death, we are nearly there. Don't lose face, never give up. We will win this, I can guarantee this! Displace your EXTRA responsibility back on them and remember the mantra of Pass it up, Pass it up, Pass it up! I am not in the union and on over 200 per cent and as chilled as a bottle of Chardonnay in the freezer! It's easy, it's not your fault, it's impossible to do it all. Don't let anybody tell you it!

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It would be helpful if you could provide a template of the grievance steps you took to tackle excessive workloads, the management response and the actual outcome.

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The steps were simple and straight forward. All it took was one person sending a collective e-mail asking each person what he/she could not do. We did our own workload check from the old existing data log. We then all signed a collective letter which was effectively a vote of no confidence highlighting what we felt we could not do within our contracted hours and all said we will be working our hours and no more. 

Highlighted a number of actions such as paid overtime instead of toil etc. Threatened to withdraw flat rate report writing. Got the union to have a meeting with the Chief. Chief responded and agreed to overtime being paid. Got extra staff in from quieter areas. Still not come up with the goods in telling us what we can no longer do, so next step formal collective grievance which we all put our names to. Certain things put in place but the view is too little, too late.

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Re-alcohol bracelets. I hope they are going to have good assessors. For some it is dangerous to just stop drinking..

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I see in the USA up to 80% of the costs of alcohol bracelets are borne by the wearer. And effectiveness is linked to participation in alcohol treatment/support programmes.

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I was just reminiscing about when supervision, was just that - tailor made for the individual and their consent to the making of such an order was crucial. When Attendance Centres were for 'football hooligans' to stop them attending home games - that's why they are 1.45 - 4.45 every other Saturday and Electronic Monitoring was to ensure night time burglars were tucked up in their own beds, and not entering those of others.

Now it's not about the clients, victims or the general public, but for profit; to generate income for the few, at the expense of the many. That 'means test' re Criminal Court Charge - I hope it works better than the one devised in 1991, when it was decided that the amount of the fine should reflect the clients ability to repay - that worked, or did it? I don't recall any departure from the Magistrate's Sentencing Guidelines, and they made no allowance for the income of the client before them.

I am getting so despondent, and just wish a crater would open up and swallow CG and his Government. Just how much pain do they want to inflict on people? At least I am on leave this week, and I will now go and do something to take my mind off this.


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I've read recently too, that IDS is trying get a restriction placed on the prescription of methadone for addicts, and instead use more 'holistic' methods of treatment. Is is of course an attempt to 'save' the user a lifetime of unemployment he boasts. No doubt Graylings friends in companies such as Sodoxo or Working Links or Interserve would be given the contracts to provide such 'holistic' therapy. I hate this government, its just a 'rich leach' on the rest of society.

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In my area CRC told can't apply for secondment NPS jobs because they can't spare Band 4s. Somehow I don't think Working Links will see it that way. Still, the senior manager won't have to worry - no doubt EVR available to them, just sod everyone else - need to make sure targets are met pre Feb 2015. Bastard.

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I think may also be worry about what guarantees there are about what CRC jobs would be at end of secondment period with NPS

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I kind of like it when someone goes 'off message'. TR is a worthy headline issue and the future of probation work is important. There were many working in probation who argued that it went off message itself when it went corporate and embraced a target and performance culture. That was the zeitgeist and I don't think the public services could do much about it. The road to TR was a long one and in part the probation service obediently marched towards the gunfire.

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The truth is that Con/Libs have made such a mess of everything, in such a cavalier way, whether its legal aid, prisons or probation, in attempt to dupe the electorate, that they no longer have any idea of whats going on or how to turn things around. All they know is that they've made a huge mess. Unfortunately, even if they pulled the plug on all these disasterous reforms, you're left with Humpty Dumpty syndrome, "all the kings horses and all the kings men, didn't know how to put Humpty back together again".

And that's another truth. Everything so broken by incompetence, and lack of foresight, and just plain stupidity, it would be almost impossible to get everything back in order again. Together the Con/Libs have destroyed a fully functioning CJS, where there's no benefit for anyone, least of all for the 'hard working tax payer'. Shame on the lot of you!!


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Where is Grayling?- his absence is like watching Psycho without the shower scene!

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Simon Hughes wants an end to sentences of less then 12 months? Will that mean fewer people going to prison? Or more people being sentenced to 12 months or longer? It strikes me that there's a time bomb for the prisons ticking away within society at the moment, one which is about to have its fuse shortened.

That bomb is that how ever many people are in prison, there's at least the same amount on licence serving the second half of their sentence in the community and another 60,000 to be added with the <12 month group, all subject to recall. The prison population is not only governed by those being sent there by the courts, but also by the number subject to breach proceeding by probation service.


In a world of profit making enterprise, it cannot be long before private companies realise that they have considerable influence on the ebb and flow of numbers on an already stretched and crisis ridden prison service. That to me would seem to give the private sector considerable negotiating power over the MoJ when they find their contract difficult to deliver on. Just a thought!


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Looking at internal NPS Probation Officer jobs. Got the following response 'Unfortunately we can not proceed with your application as this vacancy is only open to surplus staff'. How many surplus Probation Officers are there within the Civil Service? Utter madness.

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I think Graylings silence over the past few weeks is very telling. Indeed, the only reference to him I can find in todays press is about the decline in the use of cautions. In the last 3 months, he's lost several JRs, probation bidders have pulled out, theres been 2 murders in the prison system, (god knows how many suicides), he's been brought to account several times by the PAC, least of all for the huge amount spent on consultation fees for TR, had constant criticism for his unnecessary and dark ages prison reforms and book ban, had to say sorry for recording confidential phone calls between prisoners and their MPs, he's been turned on by his own party very publicly in the commons (called a tyrant!) amid never before seen uproar in the Commons over his dodgy underhand approach to the EAW, and been asked to account for the number of empty prisons and court houses littered around the country costing tens of thousands a month. 

One court house in Stoke is occupied now for several days by protesters complaining about its closure, and insult to injury, an empty court house in Harringay is now occupied by squatters with a number of large dogs that keep neighbours awake at night. His own local newspaper in Epsom is one of his worst critics, and the prison governor of High Down prison has announced to the world from the witness box that the MoJ have admitted getting things wrong, despite telling the public the total opposite, and calling concerned charities 'left wing agitators for questioning his policies. 

There's much, much more too! I have a feeling that someone, a bit more important than Grayling in the Party, and who can't be bullied by him has had a few words, and that's why Graylings had to "wind his neck in" of late. He's an embarrassment to his party, and a liability to the CJS and the nation.

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Rochester & Strood - what a hoot. I'm not a ukip fan by any stretch but they are exposing the mainstream parties for the false fools they truly are. Gove got roasted by Eddie Mair (R4), Lucy Powell led a merry dance by Krishnan (C4)... Tories & Labour desperate as to who can offer the warmest embrace to Rochester's now famous Sun reader with his van & St George flags. 

Politics is in total disarray, directionless, lost in the wilderness. He's just a bloke who lives in a house who drives a van - presumably to earn a living. Comment was made when his mate showed up earlier (when BBC news were doing a piece) in his Chelsea Tractor. So what? They're just people. Now it seems those who were killed in Cadogan Sq were "Polish workers". So fuckin what? They were people; sons, maybe fathers, maybe brothers. Politics is eating itself alive. The Media is providing the garnish.

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Today I had to pass a case over to the NPS due to an escalation in risk. I completed the necessary form yesterday, waited until today for a response, when I was told it had been accepted by the NPS. I was also told I could no longer make an entry on Delius or complete an OASys review! 

Seems stupid to me that prior to the split I would have had a consultation with my SPO, raised risk to high, reviewed OASys and maintained management of the case as I am the person with the knowledge and experience. Now it is out of my hands and I have information that can't be passed on to the new OM... how is this managing risk, or providing end to end management?? Frustrated.com

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I have made this point many times by posting on this blog as a case allocator.

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Information considered crucial to understanding risk can be passed on in a letter.

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No, that is not correct. Any information should be contained within the risk escalation tool, that is the assessment in it's entirety. To start writing letters to pass on risk information merely supports the point I am making, it is not fit for purpose. It is cumbersome, time consuming, rolled out without training and DANGEROUS.

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I have a female case with Personality Disorder who has committed a further offence and pre split would have, as others have pointed out, managed her increase in risk myself. If I go through the risk escalation process she will be sent to another office and of course be seen by a new officer. In this case I know it will increase her risk even further and therefore in a dilemma!