Advise, Assist, Befriend - life in the National Probation Service

or, 'Enforcement, Rehabilitation and Public Protection'. You know the drill: any views expressed here do not (necessarily) represent the views of the National Probation Service.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Thanks to angrymammal for drawing my attention to this article in the Sunday Times - in the run-up to the Third Reading of the Offender Management Bill, the prisons minister Gerry Sutcliffe MP asked his officials to identify Chief Probation Officers who were for or against the legislation. Ostensibly this was to use those who were more in favour to act as 'champions' in persuading recalcitrant Labour backbenchers - clearly politicising civil servants - but there's also an obvious, threatening implication for the job security of those who have been more critical.

The Home Office reportedly insisted that "It is normal that the opinions of stakeholders are canvassed and assessed before a Bill is published as often they are on the front line delivering the policies" - unfortunately, whilst they did indeed consult when the White Paper was published, they chose not to listen to the 700+ respondents who criticised the proposals, compared to the 4 who were in favour. More meaningless guff from the Home Office. Still, it does at least show how frightened they were about the potential rebellion.

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At March 27, 2007 11:23 pm, Anonymous angrymammal said...

And yet it seems there is little interest..ah wel

At March 30, 2007 6:15 am, Blogger The Enforcer said...

Yes, it certainly doesn't seem to have attracted much more comment, though perhaps everyone's been distracted with talk of more reforms in the Home Office this week. I'd be interested to see what the results of Mr Sutcliffe's enquiries were, actually. Perhaps someone could submit an application under the Freedom of Information Act...


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