The government plans to privatise 70% of the Probation Service’s work
to private companies such as G4S, Serco and Sodexo. This will include
the supervision of medium risk offenders. Supervising offenders in
the community is a highly skilled job and medium risk offenders are
predominantly men convicted of violence, sexual offences, burglary,
robbery and domestic violence. 80% of further serious offences are
committed by medium risk offenders. These people would be supervised
by the likes of G4S who are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations of massive overcharging on offender tagging contracts. The private sector has no experience of assessing risk and no incentive to upgrade the offender’s risk if money follows the offender. Justice and public protection should not be about profit.
These plans will undermine the good work the Service is doing and the
government’s own risk register shows that the changes pose a real
threat to public safety (which is why they won’t publish it!). The
government says it wants to cut reoffending, but its own figures show
there has been an actual decrease in reoffending rates of 5.6% over
the last eight years.
In Gloucestershire, Probation’s strength comes from local
partnerships and the government’s plans to parcel up probation work
into 16 big regional contracts will destroy this. On average, 1700
offenders are managed across Gloucestershire at any one time by
trained and qualified staff with high success rates. We work to
protect the public, reduce reoffending and prevent further victims.
Chris Grayling is putting the Probation Service up for sale in the
European Journal on 19th Sept.
Join us for a lunchtime protest on Thursday 19th September in Kings Square between 1 – 2. We need public protection, not private profit.
Please sign the national petition against privatisation of the probation service!