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Justice Secretary announces new model for probation

Fundamental changes to ensure the system commands the confidence of the courts

30 May 2019
Justice Secretary announces new model for probation

Following a number of highly critical reports into the current state of probation services, Justice Secretary David Gauke has announced fundamental changes to ensure the system 'commands the confidence of the courts'. The new model will bring all offender management under the National Probation Service (NPS), with private and third sector organisations continuing to provide specific programme requirements such as unpaid work.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: 'I want a smarter justice system that reduces 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.'

The reforms will provide up to £280 million a year for probation interventions from the private and voluntary sectors and under the new model each NPS region will have an 'Innovation Partner', responsible for direct provision of unpaid work and accredited programmes. The reforms will also focus on the use of technology in probation, investing in a digital and data strategy to replace existing systems. Legislation that will implement a statutory regulatory framework for probation officers has also been proposed. The Ministry of Justice will work with providers, stakeholders and staff to finalise the proposals with the new model due to come into effect in Spring 2021.

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