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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

March 1, 2006: Probation Union On "Mismanagement" Claims

Responding to the publication of the report into the murder of John Monckton, Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of Probation Union Napo, said:

“The murder was a terrible tragedy and all steps must be taken to minimise the possibility of further serious offences being committed by individuals on prison licence. However, the Probation Service must be properly resourced in order to carry out its duties efficiently.”

“During 2004, when this tragedy occurred, the London Probation Service was in financial chaos and facing an overspend, was undergoing reorganisation and was experiencing a recruitment freeze. Staff were not allowed to carry out routine prison visits and individual boroughs had up to 25% probation officer vacancies. During 2004, 1,478 licensees came under the supervision of the Probation Service, where the risk to the public was considered very high; and a further 11,280, where the risk was described as high. In all, 1,374 of this caseload were recalled to custody, and 79 (0.6%) of the total were charged with a further serious offence.”

“In addition staff had been instructed to work with a new IT assessment system known as the Offender Assessment System (OASys), and were finding that it was poorly designed, that screens crashed or froze frequently and that the prime purpose of the system appeared to be producing data for the Home Office, rather than analysing the behaviour of offenders.”

“The situation London Probation is still chronic. There are 160 probation officer vacancies and up to 300 prisoners, serving 4 years or more, have not been allocated. It is, however, encouraging that London’s performance is much improved since 2004. The service has the potential to do much better with adequate resourcing.”