Comment on Justice and Home Secretary appointments

Commenting on the appointment of Liz Truss as Justice Secretary our Director, Richard Garside, said:

Liz Truss' predecessor, Michael Gove, seems destined to go down as the great prison reformer whose career was ended before he had time to disappoint prison reformers.

14 July 2016

Doing bad policy well

Two developments this month point to deep problems at the heart of the prison and probation systems in England and Wales.

Grim news on prisons

On prisons,...

29 April 2016

Government guarantees private prisons will not face closure

Government ministers and civil servants reguarly extol the virtues of a 'level playing field' when it comes to the delivery of public services. Neither the public, private nor voluntary sectors should have an unfair advantage when it comes to competing on cost, quality or delivery,...

18 March 2014

File on Four covers probation privatisation

Yesterday BBC Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw investigated the government's plans to privatise probation for the Radio Four current affairs programme File on Four.

He found lots of people who thought it the plans were a terrible idea but few who thought it was a good idea. Apart...

19 February 2014

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, ...

18 February 2014

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

10 February 2014

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...

7 February 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

6 February 2014

The coming probation privatisation disaster

If the government's plans to privatise probation under the 'Transforming Rehabilitation' programme end up being as messy, expensive, counter-productive and damaging as many critics fear, today's...

22 January 2014