Putting the case for probation

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The Independent Online
Probation officers should regularly monitor their own effectiveness to boost their case for more government funding, the Chief Inspector of Probation urged in his annual report yesterday.

Graham Smith said probation services were generally more efficient and unit costs had been reduced, with more work carried out by fewer staff. The report concluded: "Research confirms that at its best probation service programmes do reduce offending, protect the public and rehabilitate offenders. They can achieve this whilst also being economic." But it also warned: "A nervous public and political and administrative overseers need more than brave words. They need evidence of effectiveness and, in this respect, the probation service could be more proactive."