Charities 'less involved than ever' in probation services, says report

Dame Glenys Stacey, the Chief Inspector of Probation, says that since reforms made in 2014 the future looks bleak for some third sector organisations

Probation services: 'fewer charities involved'
Probation services: 'fewer charities involved'

Charities are "less involved than ever" in probation services after government reforms to the probation system, according to a report from HM Chief Inspector of Probation.

In the report Probation Supply Chains, Dame Glenys Stacey says that government reforms have made contractual arrangements in the probation system burdensome and "off-putting" for charities.

Reforms were made in 2014 to create 21 community rehabilitation companies that supervise low and medium-risk offenders in England and Wales.

The intention of these reforms, according to the report, was to get a "wide array of organisations involved in the delivery of probation services".

But the report says that the third sector is "less involved than ever" in the probation system because community rehabilitation companies are not required by their operating contracts to commission specialist services from charities.

And the report adds that a "noticeable proportion" of contacts signed with charities before the 2014 reforms have been discontinued.

Stacey said in a statement: "It is an exasperating situation. Third sector providers remain eager to work in the sector, and we found the quality of their work reasonable overall. Many are providing a more expansive service to individuals than they are paid for.

"Supply chains are thin, however, and set to get thinner still as community rehabilitation companies continue to review and slim down provision.

She added that the future "looks bleak for some organisations".

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