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4 Aug 2016

Quality of Durham probation work declines following privatisation

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation’s inspection report on adult probation in Durham, published today (Thursday 4 August).

Durham is the first area to be inspected by the inspectorate under its new Transforming Rehabilitation inspection programme.

Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The break-up of the public probation service, with a large part of it handed to 21 private companies, was supposed to turn people’s lives around, reduce reoffending and make us all safer.

“Today’s report, however, indicates that the quality of probation work has declined in Durham, increasing the risk to the public and letting down people who are trying to change their lives.

“This is the first inspection report of its kind since the Transforming Rehabilitation programme began. The fear is that inspections of probation in other areas of the country will uncover similar problems.

“The Howard League warned that ministers were taking a huge risk by dismantling a service that was performing well. We remain of that view.”

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. A copy of the report can be found on Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation’s website.



Rob Preece
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