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27 Jul 2018

Handing more cash to failing private probation companies is throwing good money after bad

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the Ministry of Justice’s vision for the future of probation services, published today (Friday 27 July).

Frances Crook, Chief Executive at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Transforming Rehabilitation has failed. It was supposed to turn lives around and make communities safer, but instead it has done the opposite.

“The government has recognised that change is needed, and ministers are right to make a clear commitment to community sentences and a more proportionate use of supervision. But handing over more cash in the meantime to abject private companies – whose contracts are being cut short because they have failed to deliver what was promised – is throwing good money after bad.

“The mess created by the public/private split of probation was foreseeable and was foreseen. The proposed ‘TR2’ will not solve the inherent problems of part-privatising a service that should properly sit within the public sector.

“The Howard League has the answers. We have sought the expert views of academics, officials and practitioners, and drawn up proposals for a service that would protect the public and reduce crime. It is time to consign privatised probation to history and do what works.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. 
  1. The Howard League’s proposal for the future of probation was set out in a blogpost by Frances Crook on 26 June 2018. The blogpost can be read on the Howard League website.


Rob Preece
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