Ministry of Justice drops Noms target

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, has demanded a meeting with justice secretary Jack Straw after it emerged the Ministry of Justice will drop targets to get charities involved in probation services.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the department had decided to drop the target that 10 per cent of probation services under the National Offender Management Service should be delivered by third sector organisations.

Bubb said the development was “highly disappointing” and that he had requested an urgent meeting with Straw.

“I have made it clear that these targets were an important step forward for those in the sector working to reduce re-offending and that any attempt to claw back on a Government commitment to those targets will be seen as a major step backwards,” he said.

The Ministry of Justice spokesman said third sector organisations were well placed to deliver more services to offenders than at present.

“The Offender Management Act 2007 signalled the move away from a target-based regime in which probation areas had targets to subcontract a proportion of their work,” he said.

“Instead, we would move towards a system of best value similar to that used by local government. Under this model, probation boards and trusts will need to ensure that services are delivered by whichever provider delivers the best value for money, whether they are from the public, private or voluntary sector.”

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