The Probation system went under a change of part-privatisation in 2014 as a result of the government attempting to be innovative. This allowed 21 private firms to enter and monitor offenders but there has been a backlash over the years due to failure in performance and maintaining the public’s safety.
According to the BBC, Dame Glenys Stacey suggested it was better for offenders to be under the supervision of public ownership as they were performing better than private companies who were rated ‘inadequate’ 8 out of 10 times. She claims that private companies have a role in support services in other industries but should stay away from the core area of working with offenders.
David Gauke, the justice secretary made the decision to manage all offenders under the National Probation Service (NPS) in the upcoming years with the process already going underway. Eleven new probation regions will be introduced by the NPS across England and Wales, along with each having their own partners which will supply rehabilitation services.
According to The Guardian, there was a large increase last year in the number of reoffenders committing serious offences while being monitored and a 21% rise in serious further offence (SFO) reviews. Many offenders were supervised through phone calls rather than the regular process of having face to face meetings which was another way the system was failing. It was claimed that private companies were utilising their own positions by decreasing the number of staff members for lower costs and not carrying out procedures properly.
This change in the probation system has been highly anticipated by many for a long time after seeing it go downhill from the previous award-winning excellence status it held in 2011. The key focus will be to improve the quality, ensure professionalism, and provide the support needed by offenders and the community effectively.