Transforming Rehabilitation - Early Implementation

Our report, Transforming Rehabilitation – Early Implementation: an Independent Inspection setting out the Operational Impacts, Challenges and Necessary Actions relates to findings from inspections undertaken between April and September 2014. In particular, our inspectors looked at the newly created interface between the National Probation Service (NPS) and Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).

Prior to June 2014, probation services in England and Wales were delivered by 35 Probation Trusts working under the direction of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) introduced a programme, Transforming Rehabilitation, to change the way those services were delivered. A newly created National Probation Service was set up to focus on work with high risk of serious harm offenders and providing advice to courts on sentencing. Most other work with low and medium risk of serious harm offenders is now delivered by Community Rehabilitation Companies. The NPS came into existence on 01 June 2014. The CRCs were also set up at that point as companies in public ownership. Staff who had previously been employed by probation trusts were assigned to the two new organisations and all existing cases were allocated to the two organisations as well.

Overall, inspectors found that, as in any business, splitting one organisation into two separate organisations had created process, communication and information-sharing challenges that did not previously exist. Many of those issues will remain a challenge for some time to come and need close attention. A number of the findings relate to issues that already existed before 01 June 2014 and the process of implementing change had exposed existing shortfalls in systems, processes, practice quality, consistency, leadership and management. Those probation areas that had been struggling to deliver a quality service prior to Transforming Rehabilitation are now finding it hardest to adapt and cope with the challenges brought by the reforms.

You can view the full report, including key issues and recommendations here.