Agenda item

Review of the ministry of justice transforming rehabilitation programme

This report is to inform the Scrutiny Panel of developments in the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) since the inception of the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda.

 

Minutes:

In attendance: Kobina Hall, Community Rehabilitation Company

The Head of Coventry and Solihull Community Rehabilitation Company presented the report where he detailed how, in 2013, the Government announced the intention to transform probation services. He explained the Government’s intention was to attract a wider range of expertise in the delivery of probation services, including the private and voluntary sector. It was also detailed how, under the previous system, there wasn’t a statutory requirement for all offenders to receive support, which was believed to have led to further re-offending. The Officer detailed how support for all offenders now started when they were still in custody, and further support was also provided when offenders were released and returned to their communities. Members were also informed that the provision of probation services was now split between the National Probation Service (NPS) and the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). The Officer explained that the NPS was responsible for court work and offenders at the higher end of the risk spectrum. It was also noted that CRC was responsible for offenders at the low to middle end of the risk spectrum, with a specific focus upon cases of prolific offending. The Officer detailed how the Reducing Reoffending Partnership had been announced as the preferred bidder for the Staffordshire and West Midlands CRC. He noted the Partnership involved Ingeus, St Giles Trust, Crime Reduction Initiatives and Staffordshire and West Midlands CRC and provided background details of these three other organisations.

 

The Head of Coventry and Solihull Community Rehabilitation Company explained CRC was looking to introduce a new IT system to enable front line operators to spend more time with their clients. He also detailed how they were aiming to invest in new estate, to ensure a built environment more conducive to what they wanted to achieve in regards to rehabilitation. It was also noted they were going to relocate the existing probation office within the Borough and the Officer explained how they had looked at different premises, including potential hiring rooms at the Three Trees Community Centre in Chelmsley Wood.

 

The Head of Coventry and Solihull Community Rehabilitation Company detailed how they were currently conducting a consultation with staff regarding a reorganisation, where they were looking to reduce the administrative support. He detailed how the intention was to move to a Contact Centre service, which should reduce the administrative burden on frontline staff, freeing them to be able to provide more support to their clients.

 

Members highlighted the staff reorganisation and changes in service delivery and queried whether there was any risk of loss of experience. The Officer emphasised that the frontline probation officers were not a risk. He detailed how, if all the enablers worked, such as the Contract Centre Service and IT system, then the service should be sustainable.

 

Members highlighted the impact upon offenders’ families and queried the support in place for them. The Officer detailed how they were looking to work more closely with the Local Authority Early Help Team, to ensure effective support. He explained how they were aiming to work with Partners in order to ensure earlier interventions, as many of the trends were repeated across generations.

 

resolved

The Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel:

(i)  Noted the update; and

(ii)  Agreed to receive a further update on the transforming rehabilitation programme in 12 months’ time.

 

Supporting documents: