HMI probation today (17th April 2018) launched a thematic inspection report into probation supply chains since the introduction of the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. The report’s press release states: “Probation reforms have failed to deliver the aim of ensuring that voluntary and third sector organisations play a central role in providing specialist support to offenders, according to Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation”.
Clinks welcomes this report’s scrutiny and focus on the role of the voluntary sector in how probation services are organised and delivered. The sector has a long history of working in partnership with statutory probation services providing quality support to people under supervision. It is good to see in this report that despite many challenges services are of reasonable quality though variable and this is testament to the organisations and their staff and volunteers going over and above the contract requirements where these fall short of good enough.
Clinks is disappointed that the findings show a real lack of involvement of voluntary organisations contrary to the stated policy intention. Clinks is however not surprised at these findings as they evidence and chime with what voluntary organisations have been telling us since the TR reforms were first in development. Our own work as part of the trackTR project with NCVO and TSRC has consistently found that organisations are shut out and not involved and that for many the only way they can provide people under supervision with a quality service is to do so with other sources of income. This situation is not sustainable nor is it fair for people who are under supervision, especially those on short sentences who are now supervised under the changes introduced with TR.
Clinks welcomes the areas chosen for recommendations though would wish some of these to be stronger and go further. Our forthcoming third and final report of the trackTR project will include further detail on the experiences of 132 organisations, the impact on those who need their services and what needs to change.
Clinks will be providing further detail on HMI Probation’s report for our members over the coming days. Subscribe to Light Lunch for further information.