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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

October 14, 2005: Napo Call: End Probation Crisis

At its 93rd Annual General Meeting, probation union Napo's chair Rob Thomas was highly critical of Government plans for the National Offender Management Service and opposed oppose moves to dismantle and privatise the Probation Service. On the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS ), he labelled service a "nightmare", continuing:

"We are now 21 months on since it was first announced. We still have no design document for the ‘end state’ as they fondly call it. We still have no draft Management of Offenders Bill. The man who was originally charged by the Government with creating NOMS has left the agency after 18 months and there is still no business case.”

“NOMS is a bureaucratic disaster. Probation Areas have been told they must spend valuable resources on helping set up Regional Contestability Boards. Every Probation Area is also being encouraged to set up a Business Unit. This is all a prelude to contestability, or privatisation, which is what it really is. This is all a criminal waste of money and valuable staff resources. The real agenda is market forces and the setting up of a system which could see Probation services go out of business altogether. In Napo’s view the Government is obliged to account for all the reasons it is spending these colossal sums of money.”

On sentencing, he added:

“The continued timidity of this Government over sentencing practices means that there has been no serious action to persuade sentencers to stop sending people to prison. This means we now have an all time record high of 77,000 people in prison, and rising. This puts intolerable pressure on our colleagues working in prisons and increases Probation work loads when prisoners are released and makes it more difficult to help people we supervise, whether they are on license or a community order.”