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Napo’s campaign and negotiating teams have joined up to produce the latest ‘no holds barred’ position statement around the future of Probation. In a document that will form the basis of our contributions at the upcoming TUC and Labour Party conference fringe events, cross-party MPs, Peers and the media, the union sets out its negotiating demands on behalf of all members working in the NPS or a CRC as well as outlining Napo’s vision for the future structure of Probation under full public ownership and control.
The report focusses on:
- The restoration of all probation work back into public control and ownership
- The need to ensure that the earlier and already scheduled transfer of offender management work to the NPS in Wales becomes the benchmark for the process to follow in England
- All probation staff to be placed on NPS pay, terms and conditions in advance of the move to transfer offender management work and the letting of any new contracts to so-called Innovation Partners and sub-contractors who would form part of a Dynamic Framework.
- Continuity of employment for the appx 8,000 CRC staff transferring into the NPS
Beyond these immediate priorities, the report sets out a progressive agenda for the reform of Probation and its return to full public ownership and control. In re-designing Probation it is vital that lessons are learned from the profound failure of “Transforming Rehabilitation” (TR); yet simply re-drawing the line between public and private provision is not enough to repair the massive damage to the service. Napo’s key demands for the future Probation Service include:
- A fully integrated and unified service, with all core functions, including unpaid work and interventions, delivered from a single organisation in an integrated way;
- A Probation Services that exists outside of the Civil Service but in the public sector, as a non-departmental government body in the same way as organisations like Cafcass and many others. This would allow for a degree of consistency through a national structure but would enable the development of culture and values that support Probation Practice.
- Probation Practice to be based on evidence and ‘what works’. Changes need to be made to ways of working when indicated by research and evidence and best practice should be modelled on this research and evidence, not the convenience of the organisation or the needs of a contract.
- The link to the community to be prioritised. What works in one village, town or city might not work elsewhere. There must be a facility to respond to local needs and priorities and to shape service delivery to suit. Frontline practitioners must be empowered to work in a way that meets the needs of both their client and their community rather than to an agenda set central. There should not be a separation between Probation Services and other services and for this to work in a joined up way there needs to be local control of the system.
Then the full briefing can be read HERE
Ian Lawrence, General Secretary