By April next year the majority of the current Probation Service will have been sold off to the private sector.
The new National Probation Service, which will lose approximately 70% of its current staff, will retain the responsibility to enforce community penalties across both sectors, but will only retain the direct management of High Risk of Serious Harm offenders.
In the new world, dreamed up by Chris Grayling, the Government are sleepwalking at an alarming pace into what could become a public nightmare.
By April 2014 there will be 20 private sector ‘holding companies’ which will be mainly staffed by existing Probation staff. These companies will be run until the autumn, so that they are a ‘going concern’, when the government sells them off.
Meanwhile, the new National Probation Service will be expected to continue to assess the risk of all the offenders who pass through the courts, allocating them to the public or private sector according to the ‘risk of serious harm’ that they pose.
At the moment, all offenders made subject to Community Orders managed by Probation Service, are overseen by experienced professionals who are dedicated to what is a vocational job. But after three years, the private sector companies will be able to change the terms and conditions of the employees that they inherit. This will doubtless mean a reduction in pay and quality of service, with many experienced staff expected to leave within the three year period.
Why are the government doing this, you might ask? Why are they decimating what is accepted as being a good service? Well, the answer is simple…They want to be able to absolve themselves of responsibility when things go wrong. And they want to save money, no matter the cost.
Sadly, the worst thing about all of this, is that the companies who will bid for these contracts are not even reputable. They are just BIG and influential. And if you speak to any of their front line employees, as I have, you will not find a good word being said about them.
Please WAKE UP Chris Grayling. What you are doing is heading for disaster.
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