October 8, 2010: Minister Praises Probation
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the probation union Napo, he acknowledged that probation stafff were 'national experts in offender managment and assured them that:
'I need no convincing of your economic and social value to the country. Your profession, on both counts, plays an essential role in our society. I hugely appreciate what you do and am proud to be the Minister for probation.'
|prisons and probation
Mr Blunt stressed the crucial role probation staff would have to play in the rehabilitation revolution the government is trying to effect. He stated:
'As we seek to widen our capacity as a society to effect rehabilitation of offenders, you are uniquely equipped to lead this change.'
The minister added that more detail on the rehabilitation revolution and an assessment of sentencing would be published in a Green Paper before Christmas, and encouraged staff to respond to the consultation.
During his speech, he spoke of the need to end the bureaucracy that sees Probation Officers spending too much time on the computer instead of engaging with service users.
While his audience appreciated this, they were less impressed by his focus on 'payment by results.' The minister also engaged with Napo members in a passionately argued debate where probation staff made the argument for being properly resourced.
Napo General Secretary Jonathan Ledger thanked Mr Blunt for engaging with the debate sharing his views.