“It’s extremely sad that things have ended up like this for us, but there doesn’t seem to be any alternative…” On the eve of the World Congress of Probation, Jim Brown explains why industrial action may be necessary to resist the Government’s ill-thought-out plans for the probation service.
Labour Conference: Please sir, will you save Legal Aid?
“The reason I’m on the fence between Labour and the Greens at the moment can largely be summed up in one word: justice.” Law Geek reviews the discussions on Legal Aid and criminal justice policy at this year’s Labour Conference.
Why it won’t work
“Any organisation thinking of bidding for probation work ought to be fully aware that despite all the rhetoric and spin, every Government policy from now till the next General Election will be designed to make the task of Transforming Rehabilitation as difficult as possible…” Jim Brown explains why the probation reforms won’t work.
Reflections on primary research interviews with young offenders in London
“When you consider the complexity of adolescence and the transition to adulthood the road that young people travel is bordered by opportunity and, depending on choices made, taking those opportunities can lead to both positive and negative outcomes.” Simon Claridge shares his reflections from research interviews with young offenders.
Dear Mr Grayling
“I’m no politician or academic, I’m just a Probation Officer, but to me it seems as if Probation are the experts in managing ‘offenders’ but we are the only people excluded from bidding for our work.” As the outsourcing of probation marches on, the Probation Officer writes an open letter to Chris Grayling.
Grayling in a corner
“It’s becoming ever more clear …that there simply aren’t going to be enough bidders for the probation contracts being advertised this week, and as a result peace is breaking out between the minister and naughty Serco and G4S.” Jim Brown wonders how the MOJ will outsource probation service without the involvement of the ‘big boys’.
“It’s becoming ever more clear that thanks to the unremitting efforts of ministers Chris Grayling and Jeremy Wright in driving forward the Transforming Rehabilitation omnishambles, normal probation services are breaking down.” Jim Brown considers the impact of the Coalition’s plan for outsourcing probation on existing services.
“It seems that Capita has positioned itself (with three other companies) to take over the dire electronic tagging system run by Serco and G4S for the Ministry of Justice. By “dire,” I mean “very likely fraudulent”…” Kate Belgrave is concerned about Capita’s expansion into the electronic tagging market.
“You can tell it’s the party political season because suddenly all hyper-ambitious politicians find lots of reasons to grab the media limelight. So it is that Chris Grayling seems to be relentlessly popping up saying all sorts of attention-grabbing crap…” Jim Brown considers who is the real Chris Grayling.
“A few people have tweeted me and asked what they can be doing to help save Probation, so I thought I would just write a brief post with some simple steps that we can all do.” The Probation Officer outlines seven ways to save probation.
“Meanwhile the Government’s plans to try and sweeten the [Transforming Rehabilitation] pill by encouraging the formation of cuddly-sounding ‘mutuals’ appears to have suffered a few setbacks…” Jim Brown provides a further update on the ongoing omnishambles of probation reform.
“One wrong mistake took me out; I felt that I was drowning in the mist of my tears when the judge sentenced me to 5 years imprisonment. I felt this way because I saw my life flash before me.” Shauna Dacres describes her experience of taking part in a restorative justice programme.
“In less than 13 years we’ve been nationalised, bureaucratised, regionalised, marginalised, de-nationalised, localised, and shortly to be split in two, abolished, part-privatised and nationalised for the second time. It’s crazy…!” With the outsourcing of probation motoring on, Jim Brown reminds us that we’ve been here before.
“Probation is a vitally important public service with a proud history, exemplary performance and unparalleled integrity. Probation must have a voice and we are entitled to look to the leadership to provide it.” Jim Brown responds to a defence of probation’s leadership.
“The future may look bleak for probation and probation staff, but not half as bleak as it does for many of our clients, and we’d do well to remember that.” Jim Brown is concerned about the impact on clients from outsourcing of probation services and welfare reform.
“If the present political structure is simply not able, or unwilling, to adequately reflect the views of the electorate, then surely there’s got to be another way.” Jim Brown braces himself for 18 months of pre-election shenanigans from the main political parties and wonders whether we can’t do better than this - with a little help from an 80s sci-fi cult classic.
August has arrived and the Transforming Rehabilitation omnishambles rolls on with full cooperation from Probation Trust boards and management citing ‘contractual’ obligations that effectively prevent any other course of action. How they must be laughing down in London at the ease with which they’ve all fallen in to line and are following orders. As one […]
I’ve been reading some exchanges over on the Napo forum website, and thank goodness there’s been some sign of life just recently. What particularly struck me was a response to a long and detailed post by ‘SaveProbation’ basically trying to rally the troops and get colleagues to wise up to the very real threat to our profession […]
Historical, constitutional and philosophical observations on the Tories’ plans to privatise the courts
I have to say that I’m still somewhat stunned by the Conservatives’ suggestion that the court service should be privatised. This seems to be absolutely barking mad, and attacking the most fundamental, basic duty of the state, at least as it has existed in the West since the ancient world. In the Middle Ages the […]