Tag Archives: probation

Opinion: Are we transforming rehabilitation?

On Tuesday the London ‘Standard’ had the depressing headline “Rioters in new crime wave”. According to official statistics 1593 of the 3914 people charged or cautioned by the Met following the riots in August 2011 have since reoffended.

At our Autumn Conference in the month following the riots, I raised concerns as a Haringey magistrate that a knee-jerk approach was being taken to sentencing, with courts sitting overnight, dishing out custodial sentences as fast as they could. Prisons became overcrowded, sometimes with three prisoners sharing a cell meant for one; and precious little rehabilitation was going on.

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Opinion: If we remove prison as an option for drugs possession, savings must go to boost probation service

Wormwood Scrubs prison - Some rights reserved by TheGooglyAs a magistrate in North London, I welcome the recent Liberal Democrat proposal to remove prison as a sentencing option for drug possession. I have seen so many defendants who are in and out of prison, never breaking the depressing cycle of re-offending. However to keep drug addicts out of prison we will need to make sure that the alternatives work.

Currently it is very rare that first time offenders accused of drug possession would be sent to prison With first time offenders, the …

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Opinion: The future of the probation service

In 2004, the last government merged the prison and probation services into one gigantic super-agency: the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The changes exacted by NOMS have led to the systematic fragmentation and demoralisation of probation, whose purpose has been altered beyond all recognition.

Unrepresented at the highest management structure of NOMS, neglected and misrepresented, the probation service has for years plodded along in the shadows, only to be thrust into the limelight when the spotlight fell on individual tragedies amid media frenzies.

The creation of NOMS bought with it the mantra of ‘managerialism.’ Staff at all levels experienced a loss …

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  • User AvatarDavid Franks 2nd Jun - 3:44pm
    Jo Grimmond's principles were the reason I joined the party all those years ago and now I want a leader whose performance will remind me...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 2nd Jun - 3:42pm
    Last weekend the leader of a once great country sat in a bunker in its capital city, tweeting out commands to imaginary forces to come...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 2nd Jun - 3:37pm
    Adrian, read Sue sutherland, probably the finest example of values this party site has within it, and proof, as with mr p holmes, that the...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 2nd Jun - 3:28pm
    A very good article. I agree with nearly every part. I advocated these thorough changes before the party became a single issue one. Nobody cared....
  • User AvatarMark Kenyon 2nd Jun - 3:27pm
    Liberal Democrats can help the very people that Labour have failed and the Tories are busy quietly shafting. Progressive, liberal, social democratic....these aren’t new concepts...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 2nd Jun - 3:27pm
    David Raw, when you consider the big landslide elections of 1906 and 1945, it is notable they were delivered by two very uncharismatic leaders -...