Failure of the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) Reforms

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2018 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
20 June 2018

Conference notes that communities, service users and probation staff are all being put at risk because of the systemic failure of the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) reforms.

Conference further notes the reports over the last 24 months by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP), and the experience of our members who work for the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and the National Probation Service (NPS), which prove beyond doubt that TR has failed. There is no evidence that the problems identified by HMIP are being adequately addressed. Conference also notes that neither the CRC contracts, nor the centralised command and control model of the NPS have been a success, and that both need to change. The artificial split of probation has led to all the problems of communication and ‘them and us’ which our members and others predicted before TR was imposed.

In recognising this, Conference wishes to emphasize that the failure of Transforming Rehabilitation is not the fault of our members who come to work every day committed to deliver essential services to clients and to communities, but rather the former Justice Secretary who is solely to blame.

Conference believes that Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) is unfit to play any part in the future of probation provision after the end of Transforming Rehabilitation because: firstly, it is dominated by Prison Service issues and Prison Service priorities; secondly, probation is not a priority for MoJ Ministers or officials; thirdly, the Offender Management in Custody (OMiC) plans of the NPS are an attempt to force probation under the managerial control of prison governors; and fourthly the values of Probation are very different to the values of HM Prison Service and are at risk in the OMiC plans.

Conference also notes that last year’s Service Group Conference agreed to campaign for local democratic accountability for probation, and that it would be impossible for HMPPS to continue to provide probation services and allow democratic accountability of probation by Police and Crime Commissioners and/or elected Mayors.

Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to work with relevant Service Group sector committees, UNISON’s Labour Link, sister trade unions and other relevant stakeholders to campaign for:

1)The Probation Service to be re-unified;

2)The CRCs to brought back into public ownership upon termination of the existing contracts;

3)The re-creation of local public sector delivery bodies for probation which could be based, either on the existing CRC boundaries, or different boundaries subject to local consultation with staff, unions and statutory partners;

4)All NPS work in England to be transferred into the new local delivery bodies under full public ownership;

5)Employment arrangements for the new local probation delivery bodies to be the subject of consultation with staff, unions and statutory partners;

6)Police and Crime Commissioners to be given full democratic accountability and funding for the delivery of all probation services provided by the new local public sector delivery bodies;

7)In Wales, the Welsh Government to consult all relevant stakeholders on the appropriate structure(s) for a publically owned and democratically accountable probation service;

8)A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for staff in NPS and CRCs and the protection of pay and conditions via a national collective agreement with the employers;

9)Funding from the Treasury to provide for the reconstruction of probation in recognition of the failure of the TR experiment, including funding for reform to probation pay and conditions.