Clinks, the umbrella body for criminal justice charities, has called for the government to provide direct grants to charities in its reforms of probation services.
Following a highly critical report on the government’s £900m Transforming Rehabilitation programme by the chief inspector of probation last year, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced its decision to end current probation contracts early and consider a new model for probation from 2020 onwards.
Yesterday, Jess Mullen, Clinks’ head of policy and communications, published a blog outlining the umbrella body’s recommendations for the new model.
She said that to ensure voluntary sector involvement, the future probation model must:
- Simplify the system and reconsider the commitment to contracting out
- Provide grant funding
- Tackle inequality
- Ensure a local response
- Provide opportunities
She said: “MoJ and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service must seize the opportunity to put in place a model that will fully address the flaws in the current system and bring the sector with them in the delivery of a future model.
“If they don’t there is a danger that voluntary organisations will decide that getting involved in the delivery of future probation services presents too great a risk.
“As a result statutory services will lose the support of the sector’s 200 year legacy, experience and knowledge of working with people under probation supervision.”