Inspection of Offender Management in Wales

The latest inspection report on adult offending work in England and Wales was published today.

Sally Lester, Assistant Chief Inspector of Probation, said:

‘This inspection of offender management work in Wales took place as part of our second programme of Offender Management Inspections. We have examined a representative sample of probation (adult offending) cases from the trust, and have judged how often the work with each case was done to a sufficiently high level of quality.

‘Over the trust as a whole, we judged that the work to keep to a minimum each individual’s Risk of Harm to others – i.e. the ‘Control’ purpose’ – was done well enough 75% of the time. The work to make each individual less likely to reoffend – the ‘Help’ and ‘Change’ purposes – was done well enough 75% of the time. Work to maximise compliance and enforcement was done well enough 81% of the time. A more detailed analysis of our findings is provided in the main body of this report, and summarised in a table in Appendix 1. These figures can be viewed in the context of our findings from the areas and Trusts where we have inspected so far – see the Table below.

‘Wales Probation Trust was established in April 2010 upon the merger of four probation areas. We found that much had been achieved in that time, with resources being used well by a staff group committed to delivering services to offenders and the wider community. Some work had been undertaken to improve the quality of practice but more attention was needed to address key areas of assessment and planning.

‘Wales Probation Trust is in a strong position to address the areas for improvement and build upon the strengths identified by this inspection.

‘Overall, we consider this a very encouraging set of findings.’

Scores from the English regions that have been inspected to date Scores for Wales
Lowest Highest Average
‘Control’ – ‘Risk of Harm to others’ work (action to protect the public) 64% 84% 75% 75%
‘Help’ and ‘Change’ – Likelihood of Reoffending work (individual less likely to reoffend) 62% 82% 74% 75%
‘Punish’ – Compliance and Enforcement work (individual serves his/her sentence) 69% 86% 79% 81%

Notes to editors:

  1. The report is available at
  2. This Offender Management Inspection 2 programme started in September 2009. Adult offending work is being inspected by visits to all NOMS areas and trusts over a three-year period from September 2009.
  3. The purpose of offender management has been usefully characterised as to ‘Punish, Help, Change and Control’ each individual offender, in accordance with the need of the individual case. Although our detailed inspection findings can seem rather technical for the general reader, our headline findings can be related to those ‘plain language’ purposes. We have given particular attention to the ‘Control’ purpose – the Public Protection aspect of the work – since this is where independent inspection can add the most value. Our ‘Risk of Harm to others score’ measures how well this has been done.
  4. Sally Lester can be contacted on 07917 084763 or by email at (E-mail address).