Of all the lifestyle factors that probation staff look for when they first assess a new case, I doubt there are any that are more predictive of further offending than addiction to street heroin or crack cocaine. So, the results of our recent inspection of drug treatment services for people on probation were particularly disappointing. We […]

Published: 01 September 2021

This week marks a fresh start for probation and a welcome one, as private sector and public sector colleagues come back together as the unified, public sector Probation Service. I pay tribute to the team that has led this major transition programme in HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and to the regional probation directors […]

Published: 01 July 2021

The inquest into the deaths of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones in the Fishmongers’ Hall terror attack by Usman Khan – and the jury’s finding of “unacceptable” failings by the state agencies involved in his monitoring and supervision – were a very sobering reminder of how central the management of risk has now become to […]

Published: 09 June 2021

Earlier this month, our senior team discussed the impact that HM Inspectorate of Probation’s reports may have on the services we inspect and on national debates about probation and youth justice policy. So, it was good to see that the Justice Select Committee’s recent report on the future of the probation service drawing on no […]

Published: 05 May 2021

Our key publication in March was the race equality in probation report, our first inspection on this topic since 2004, so it was long overdue. We conducted fieldwork in five local areas; analysed 150 case files and court reports for black, Asian and minority ethnic service users and through our consultancy partner – Empowering People: […]

Published: 01 April 2021

February was a busy month for all our teams. It’s been particularly good to be able to restart our core local probation inspections – albeit by video link – with a focus on the South West, where both Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire (BGSW) CRC and the NPS South West region have been receiving virtual […]

Published: 01 March 2021

The publication of a joint report by the four criminal justice inspectorates on the impact of Covid-19 on the criminal justice system certainly created a splash, with extensive coverage of our shared concern about the rapid increase in court backlogs since the first lockdown last year. Listening to the personal stories of rape and domestic […]

Published: 01 February 2021

Inspectorates – and HM Inspectorate of Probation is no exception – are often better known for the criticisms they make than for the positive things they say. Our negative reports inevitably gain more news coverage than the services we judge ‘Outstanding’ and I’ve yet to be invited on to the Today programme to talk about […]

Published: 05 January 2021

It was good to see that our call (and that of many others) for extra resources for the probation service (PDF, 146 kB), was at least partially answered in the Spending Review announcement at the end of November. Although the settlement was only for next financial year, the additional investment in probation running costs this […]

Published: 01 December 2020

Last week we published our latest HM Inspectorate of Probation Corporate Plan (PDF, 1 MB) setting out our key objectives for the next three years. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically affected the way we undertake inspections and the balance between local inspection activity and national thematic work, but our underlying priorities remain the same: Clear […]

Published: 02 November 2020