Future Model of Probation

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2019 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
7 June 2019

Conference notes the Government’s intentions to dismantle its failed Transforming Rehabilitation reforms by bringing all offender management work currently undertaken by the private Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) under the control and direction of the public sector National Probation Service (NPS).

Whilst Conference welcomes the return of this important part of probation to public ownership, Conference notes that it is UNISON policy to see probation delivered via Local Probation Services and not by the National Probation Service.

Conference therefore believes that the proposed transfer of offender management work to the NPS from the CRCs must not frustrate our aim to see the full decentralisation of probation to local level and control, and must not be seen as an end in itself.

Conference welcomes UNISON’s ‘Let’s Fix Probation’ campaign and endorses our existing strategy to achieve a decentralised, publically owned and locally controlled probation service, via:

1)The 21 CRCs brought back into public ownership;

2)Probation Reunification;

3)The re-creation of Local Probation Services, as public sector bodies/employers;

4)All CRC and NPS work/staff in England to be transferred into the new Local Probation Services;

5)Local democratic accountability and funding for the new Local Probation Services via the offices of Police and Crime Commissioners and/or Elected Mayors;

6)The work of NPS Wales and the Wales CRC to be combined in a new unified, delivery organisation, or organisations, following an all Wales consultation on appropriate boundaries;

7)The reform of Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) to protect the integrity and independence of Probation and to devolve political control of Probation from Ministers to local level;

8)A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for staff in NPS and CRCs and the protection of pay and conditions, including pensions, 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 money for pay reform and harmonisation across the probation service.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to continue to promote the aims of UNISON’s ‘Let’s Fix Probation’ Campaign and to seek the support of other probation stakeholders for the objectives of the campaign.