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Tracking Transforming Rehabilitation

Since 2015, in response to feedback from our members and other voluntary sector organisations, Clinks have undertaken in-depth research into the voluntary sector’s experience of the changes to probation services brought about by the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. 
The project – a partnership between Clinks, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Third Sector Research Council (TSRC) - has tracked charities’ experiences of Transforming Rehabilitation by listening to organisations both directly and indirectly affected by this reform. 
Our first report on the sector's experiences, 'Early doors' was launched in August 2015. Our second report 'Change & challenge' was launched in May 2016. In May 2018 we published the third and final report from our research: ‘Under represented, Under pressure, Under resourced’. 
Our final report confirms that charities are underrepresented in the government’s £900m Transforming Rehabilitation programme. The voluntary sector’s services are under pressure and under resourced, and charitable funds are being used to deliver the quality of services we want and need from our probation services. The majority of the 132 voluntary organisations we heard from believe that their service users are suffering as a result.
Our final TrackTR report makes 11 recommendations that we believe can make a difference, and help us to understand what the next generation of probation services could look like. Read the recommendations and download a copy of the full report here.
Anne Fox, CEO of Clinks:
“On 1 February 2015 the Ministry of Justice heralded a new age for probation services, assuming that the 700 charities or social enterprises named in bids to run new probation services would be able to dramatically reduce reoffending rates. Three years on it’s clear these organisations have not been able to play their part. The handful of larger charities that were able to negotiate a deal with new probation services are concerned that services are under-funded and as a result the quality they are able to deliver is not as they would wish. Up and down the country, many charities, large and small, are using their charitable funds to support a stretched probation system. This approach can’t continue.” 
Karl Wilding, Policy Director at NCVO:
“There are persistent structural problems with the design of Transforming Rehabilitation that mean the very organisations the probation system relies on are shut out and left in economically unsustainable positions, with an ultimately concerning outlook for those that rely on these services. This survey echoes the recent findings of the HM Inspectorate of Probation, that expert charities are increasingly excluded from the Transforming Rehabilitation programme. Today’s report makes practical, measured recommendations and we urge the government and charities to come together urgently to address them.”