Probation reforms are sabotaging rehabilitation

Date: 
Tuesday, 04 October, 2016

The government's reforms of probation in England and Wales appear to be sabotaging, rather than transforming, the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners, our Director Richard Garside says today.

Richard was reacting to a new report by the Inspectorates of Probation and Prison on resettlement services for prisoners on short sentences. The report found that services were 'poor' and that 'there was little to commend' about them.

Richard said:

This is just the latest in a string of reports pointing to a deep malaise at the heart of the transforming rehabilitation programme.

The government claimed that private companies would inject dynamism and urgency into probation supervision. The report claims that their efforts have been 'pedestrian at best'.

The government claimed that payment by results would incentivise private companies to deliver improved outcomes. The report finds the companies are prioritising payments to them over improved results for those leaving prison.

The government claimed that transforming rehabilitation would foster more effective working links between prison and probation staff. The report finds 'little continuity between services in prison and in the community'.

Two years on from the botched privatisation of probation, the government's actions appear to be sabotaging, rather than transforming, the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners.'