The work done by private providers of probation services in Derbyshire has been deemed ‘not of sufficient quality’ by inspectors.
HM Inspectorate of Probation found that Derbyshire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)workers had exceptionally high caseloads, were still waiting for vital administrative software and were unsupported by management supervision.
The report comes after a change to probation services in 2014 which meant staff in probation trusts across England were split, with CRC workers taking responsibility for offenders serving short- term prison sentences and public-sector National Probation Service workers (NPS) handling medium and high-risk of serious harm offenders.
On the other hand, inspectors’s view of the work carried out by NPS workers was ‘generally of the right quality.’
The report found that ‘the NPS was managing the risk of harm to others well overall’.
Work done by probation in Derbyshire was divided into three broad sections in the report: protecting the public, reducing reoffending and abiding by the sentence.
It found that CRC was failing to protect the public as staff were not reviewing enough case information before making assessments and many felt they had not been properly trained to work on assessing risks of harm to the public by offenders.
When it came to reducing reoffending many CRC officers felt their workload was unmanageable but the inspection found many were not keeping cases under review or adjusting plans when significant changes occurred.
With regard to abiding by sentences the report found that in most cases, offenders had sufficiently abided by their order or licence but it read, ‘for many, the contact levels were inadequate and did not promote the achievement of positive outcomes.’
To see the full report visit http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation.