Transforming Rehabilitation implementation update
17th January 2014: Termination of Probation Trust Service Contract
- Probation Trusts have now received formal Notification of the Termination of Probation Trust Service Contract as part of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme.
- We have now carried out our business readiness assessment, and we are able to confirm that we are on track with the key aspects of the reform programme. This would not have been possible without a lot of hard work on the ground.
- Trusts are now completing the allocation of staff to their new roles, and every Trust is on track to do so by 1 April. In addition, the technical elements of the programme are progressing well.
- The most important part of the next phase of the transition is to get all staff working together in these teams. Some Trusts are beginning to do this already, and we expect some new teams to be in place as early as February. This process should be completed in time for 1 April.
- Key aspects of the new model will be tested so that those who will be in both the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and in the National Probation Service (NPS) can trial the new ways of working before we formally complete the transfer to the new governance arrangements. Over a two month period from April we will also make the full transition to new IT and support systems in areas like HR.
- From 1 April, we will begin to allocate cases according to the future structure. We will also move ahead with caseload transition during this period, though I would emphasise again that problematic cases will not be transferred between probation staff unless there is a suitable time to do so which ensures there is not a risk to public safety.
- We will also start new interim account management arrangements from 1 April, to allow the account management team to start to work closely with emerging CRC and NPS teams right away and prepare for contract mobilisation from the end of May. Full commercial contract management will follow at the conclusion of the competition process.
- As the transition to the new structures completes, we will then formally wind up the current governance arrangements on 31 May
- Our new approach to managing offenders will see providers only paid in full if they are successful at reducing reoffending.
- The competition process which was launched on 13th September continues as planned and successful bidders will be in place and delivering services in 2015.
Transforming Rehabilitation: A Strategy for Reform
The rehabilitation programme will transform the way we manage offenders in the community to achieve a reduction in the rate of re-offending whilst continuing to protect the public.
The Ministry of Justice has published “Transforming Rehabilitation: A Strategy for Reform” – the Government’s response to the consultation document “Transforming Rehabilitation: a revolution in the way we manage offenders”. The strategy sets out the Government’s plans for transform the way in which offenders are managed in the community in order to bring down reoffending rates.
The key aspects of the reforms are as follows:
- A new public sector National Probation Service will be created, working to protect the public and building upon the expertise and professionalism which are already in place.
- For the first time in recent history, every offender released from custody will receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community. We are legislating to extend this statutory supervision and rehabilitation to all 50,000 of the most prolific group of offenders – those sentenced to less than 12 months in custody.
- A nationwide ‘through the prison gate’ resettlement service will be put in place, meaning most offenders are given continuous support by one provider from custody into the community. We will support this by ensuring that most offenders are held in a prison designated to their area for at least three months before release.
- The market will be opened up to a diverse range of new rehabilitation providers, so that we get the best out of the public, voluntary and private sectors, at the local as well as national level.
- New payment incentives for market providers to focus relentlessly on reforming offenders will be introduced, giving providers flexibility to do what works and freedom from bureaucracy, but only paying them in full for real reductions in reoffending.
We have looked carefully at responses to the consultation and have published our strategy (scroll to the bottom of that page to view the strategy document).
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Statutory Partnerships and Responsibilities
During the passage of the Offender Rehabilitation Bill in the House of Lords we committed to set out which of the current statutory partnerships and responsibilities that the Community Rehabilitation Companies will be subject to.
The attached paper sets out our current thinking on this and also outlines the statutory partnerships and duties that the National Probation Service will retain. The final decisions made on these statutory partnerships and responsibilities will be reflected in the contracts with CRCs and service level agreement with NPS in due course.
If you have any comments on the contents of this paper, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Offender Rehabilitation Bill
On 9 May, the Offender Rehabilitation Bill was introduced into the House of Lords.
The Bill makes changes to the sentencing and release framework to extend supervision after release to offenders serving short sentences. It also creates greater flexibility in the delivery of sentences served in the community.
The Bill and explanatory notes can be downloaded from the UK Parliament website.
Supporting documentation including the impact assessment for the Bill is on the gov.uk website.
Equalities Stakeholder Engagement
During the Transforming Rehabilitation Consultation, we asked two specific questions on the equalities implications of the proposals, which were:
Question C17: How can we use this new commissioning model, including payment by results, to ensure better outcomes for female offenders and others with complex needs or protected characteristics?
Question C18: What are the likely impacts of our proposals on groups with protected characteristics? Please let us have any examples, case studies, research or other types of evidence to support your views.
Following on from the responses we received, we are now keen to engage further with organisations on issues relevant to minority groups of offenders with shared protected characteristics. We recognise that women offenders are such a group, and we have separately engaged extensively with relevant stakeholders on meeting their needs. For the purposes of this piece of work we are focusing on the other protected characteristics.
We would value the views of our stakeholders on the questions that we have set out below. The answers you provide will be used to develop an agenda for one or more roundtable discussions and/or bilateral meetings with invited stakeholders. A summary report of the questionnaire responses and the discussions will be published on the MOJ website in due course. The findings from this work will be integral to the development of the Rehabilitation Programme design and competitions in order to ensure the delivery of better outcomes for all offenders.