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Let's reinvent the wheel

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:40 PM 934 views

Regular readers will be aware I long ago ceased being grumpy and now regularly become just plain angry. It happened a couple of days ago when 'Netnipper' highlighted an article in the Telegraph about 'Band of Brothers', suddenly flavour of the frigging…

10 MoJ things you may not know

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 657 views

We are implementing an ambitious programme to transform the justice system, leaving it more effective, less costly, and more responsive to the public, making it easier for businesses to operate and by actively promoting the UK as a global centre…

Biting the hand that feeds you

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 728 views

It's supposedly the season of goodwill and Christmas cards have started arriving at blog HQ and more often than not they are charity cards. Shelter is of course a well-known charity, highly respected and with a long history, but just…

Bidding special 2

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 602 views

As discussed in an earlier post, In the Public Interest, we know the MoJ have been tinkering with the bidding process, basically because they were horrified at the piss-poor scores that some of the bids were getting, but particularly those of the…

Privatisation special

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 1,025 views

Let's kick this off with 'mission impossible'. Serco are looking for an 'ethics' officer. The closing date is July 28th:- Serco Group plc is an international services company, established for over 50 years, delivering essential services for both the public and private…

Going global

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 837 views

On the day that privateers must submit their bids for the 21 probation CRC's, I feel the need to try and recap; put things into a bit of context and just pull together some thoughts and reflections that hopefully just…

TR [Transforming Rehabilitation] Week One

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 773 views

Below are a series of comments and reactions from probation staff and readers of Jim Brown's On Probation Blog on the first week of Transforming Rehabilitation. Some people are hoping the 2nd week of TR is better than the 1st.…

Power to the people?

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 1,052 views

I have to say I've never been that impressed with Ed Miliband and freely admit to 'glazing over' when I vaguely heard him droning-on yesterday about 'public service reform' - why does it always need bloody reforming anyway? - but…

Grayling – repeat offender

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 754 views

Well at long last the BBC has got around to airing a decent programme about the probation TR omnishambles. Last night's Radio 4 File on Four 'Repeat Offenders' report by Danny Shaw was a pretty good run through of the main issues and…

Grayling's political epitaph

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 764 views

Every day I sit down to write something on this blog, I'm particularly conscious of how it's changed over the last four years. It started as a personal whinge and discussion of practice, became embroiled in the fight against TR,…

Why no pilots?

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 689 views

If Chris Grayling thought that a cosy video fire side chat to start 2014 would help calm nerves and win the hearts and minds of staff, judging by the response on here, it hasn't worked. In fact I detect a…

Another leak

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 770 views

This has gone on long enough and the time has come to call a halt to the madness. Apart from a few Tory ideological zealots and privateers on the make, there is absolutely no enthusiasm or stomach for this dangerous…

Evolution not revolution?

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 695 views

Like Harry Fletcher, I think we were all surprised to hear from Chris Grayling yesterday that we are not in the middle of a revolution, but rather a few 'evolutionary' changes. Harry says the minister used the term 5 times during his session in front…

End game

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 592 views

Yesterday was the beginning of the committee stage of the Offender Rehabilitation Bill in the House of Commons. I watched a bit of it, mostly the minister, Jeremy Wright MP, going into some detail as to why it was perfectly…

Runners and riders

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 633 views

We were told yesterday in a typically-upbeat MoJ press release that were only 35 bidders wanting to go head-to-head next year to win a share of 'coveted' rehabilitation contracts across England and Wales. Who are Chris Grayling's spin doctor's trying to kid…

Weasel words

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 743 views

This is how the Chair of the supposedly independent London Probation Trust, by far the largest in England and Wales, explains the actions of her board:- 04 November 2013 Dear colleagues, Re: Transforming Rehabilitation I am sure that many of…

Distorted thinking

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 650 views

No prizes for guessing that the blog returns to one of our favourite topics, that of G4S and the astounding news that leaked yesterday that they had offered to repay the government £24.1 million in respect of the electronic tagging contracts. Playing…

What next?

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 577 views

Despite the harbingers of doom, the general feeling seems to be that the strike was worthwhile and successful in bringing much-needed public attention to the cause of trying to save a well-performing public service. I also have to say how…

Act in haste: repent at leisure

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 600 views

So, just weeks before being introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May, we learn that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has succeeded in scuppering the much-heralded visitor bond scheme that was being targeted at certain 'high risk' countries like Pakistan and Nigeria. Along…

Danger of death

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 566 views

It's not that often that probation hits the front pages, and when it does it's usually because we're accused of not having done something and effectively get the blame for not having prevented a horrible murder. Chris Grayling should take…