Private sector offender bid slammed

 

Government plans to hand over the management of offenders to
private firms risk compromising public safety, the Chief Inspector of
Probation warned today.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke's proposals to allow private firms to compete for the management of low-risk offenders could fragment the system which ensures sentences are delivered effectively, Liz Calderbank said.

She called for Mr Clarke to rethink his plans, saying that the management of all offenders should be kept within the probation service.

"These proposals could, in our view, compromise public safety if implemented as outlined in the review," she said in the inspectorate's response to the Ministry of Justice consultation.

"We believe that it is in the public interest for offender management to remain the remit of probation trusts within the public sector.

"Giving responsibility to other providers for offender management would fragment a process that holds the order or licence together and ensures that the sentence is delivered effectively."

Ms Calderbank added that low or medium risk offenders can "present an even greater challenge to the offender manager than their higher risk counterparts" because of the changing nature of the risk they pose.

And contracting out services by the level of risk posed by an offender "could disrupt the overall management of the offender if it leads to a transfer of both offender manager and supervising organisation".

"The proposals have the potential to create perverse incentives to alter - or not alter - the tier/identified level of risk," Ms Calderbank added.

"We therefore recommend considerable caution in taking these proposals forward and suggest that while the supervision requirement on community orders could be contracted out, the offender management role, of assessing, reviewing and coordinating work on all cases, be kept within the probation service."

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The public consultation, Punishment and reform: effective probation services, closed on June 22 2012.

"We are currently considering the replies and will publish our response to the consultation in due course.

"Our top priority is public protection. In developing these proposals, that has always been the key consideration."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic / Plant Fitter

£24000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Lancashire based engineeri...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Account Manager

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders