Offender supervision programmes to be re-nationalised by December 2020

By Gemma Raw

It has been announced that the government will re-nationalise the supervision of offenders in England and Wales. The decision will reverse the controversial Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme which was launched by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in 2014. 

The decision to put offender supervision back into the public sector comes after a series of failings with the TR programme which was a part-privatisation of the service. Under the programme, only high-risk offenders were monitored by the National Probation Service; all medium and low-risk offenders were supervised by privatised Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). 

Over the past five years, the scheme has been mired in criticism from MPs, Inspectorates and probation officers who felt that the changes were rushed through and took “unacceptable risks”.

A new vision for probation

Justice Secretary David Gauke has now announced that the National Probation Service will take over the supervision of all offenders from December 2020.

As part of the reforms, he will be allocating £280 million a year for probation interventions from the private and voluntary sectors. Each NPS region will be allocated an “innovation partner” who will be responsible for unpaid work and accredited programmes. This will allow the NPS to identify and deliver services such as substance misuse programmes and housing support.

Speaking of the reforms, David Gauke said: “Delivering a stronger probation system, which commands the confidence of the courts and better protects the public, is a pillar of our reforms to focus on rehabilitation and cut reoffending. I want a smarter justice system that reduces repeat crime by providing robust community alternatives to ineffective short prison sentences - supporting offenders to turn away from crime for good. The model we are announcing today will harness the skills of private and voluntary providers and draw on the expertise of the NPS to boost rehabilitation, improve standards and ultimately increase public safety.”

What this means for probation job roles

As dedicated recruiters for probation job roles, we know that many probation officers will be happy with the announcement. 

The government still needs to clarify how they plan to recommission the recruitment of POs and PSOs, and as soon as we hear more information, we will let you know. The changes will not take effect until the end of next year, so if you are looking for a new probation job role, then we highly recommend taking a look at our latest vacancies and making sure that we have an up-to-date copy of your CV.

We will continue to bring you the best job opportunities available within the UK. If you have any questions about how these new probation reforms may affect your career, please get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.