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Probation progress: Let’s go forward, not back!

The summer months have continued to be a busy time for our probation services as we recover from Covid-19 and look to the future.

In our previous edition of Unlocking Potential, I shared how we had restarted Community Payback groups. In the last month, we have begun delivering nationally accredited programmes again. These programmes are proven to change behaviours that lead to crime.

While I cannot say our organisation is over the effects of Covid-19, we are pleased to be making progress in reducing current waiting lists that have built up during the lockdown.

Because of Covid-19, the Justice Select Committee has started an inquiry into the feasibility of future probation reforms. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service plan to transfer case management, unpaid work and accredited programmes to the National Probation Service by June 2021. Undoubtedly, we have an incredibly difficult challenge ahead of us. There could to be more lockdowns locally or nationally.

We’ve responded to the committee with our evidence. Earlier this month, our parent company Seetec along with two other probation parent companies, also wrote to Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Services’ (HMPPS) Chief Executive directly about their plans.

The message from me is ‘let’s not go back – let’s go forward!’

We want to ensure any future reforms are safe, build on the significant progress we’ve already made across our probation services and incentivise new approaches that improve public service delivery, such as the programme we’ve pioneered for stalkers.  When the Justice Select Committee publishes our full response we will share this with you.

Meanwhile, we remain committed to delivering high-quality services that help change lives for the better – for the people we work with, their families and the community. In this edition, you can read about how we are doing this, from improving service quality, to delivering award-winning work and helping to change a stalker’s behaviour.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I welcome hearing from you.