probation privatisation

G4S may still be prosecuted

Troubled security company G4S may still face criminal prosecution over its alleged overcharging on electronic monitoring and prisoner escort contracts, The Guardian reports.

G4S and Serco are currently banned from bidding for contracts to run probation services in England and Wales. The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling reportedly said yesterday that he saw this as an opportunity to promote innovation.

Hundreds of probation officers appeal against new jobs

With the onset of probation work being contracted out next year, 'hundreds' of probation officers are appealing against the jobs they have been given. This is set to increase as more staff are informed of changes to their jobs and location of work.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said the number of appeals was a 'tiny fraction' of what he had expected, adding that the reforms were needed to cut costs and reduce reoffending, according to BBC News Online.

The House Magazine reviews probation plans

Our Director Richard Garside has written for a House Magazine policy review of the government's plans to privatise probation and introduce 'payment by results' (PbR).

Richard writes:

'Whether PbR will work in the terms the Government expects is impossible to tell. In his evidence to the Justice Committee, Chris Grayling said that PbR was “so obviously the right thing to do”. Sincere belief is not, however, a good substitute for evidence.'

Serco London Probation contract to end this year

In a further sign that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is clearing the decks ahead of the planned probation privatisation, it has announced that Serco's Community Payback contract in London will stop by the end of this year.

The announcement was smuggled into a footnote in an MoJ press release issued today. The MoJ also announced that no new participants will enter the payment by results pilot scheme at Doncaster prison after the end of 2014.

When probation officers become debt collectors

We thought this Human Rights Watch (HRW) film on for-profit probation work in the United States gives a worrying glimpse into the possible future of probation work in England and Wales.

Chris Albin-Lackey of HRW says in the film:

'Many of these probation companies are not really acting like probation officers at all, but debt collectors'

Watch it below or click here to watch it on Youtube.

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