What is Necessary to get Probation to Consistently Good Performance?

Pips Houghton
February 16, 2024

In the run up to Modernising Criminal Justice 2024 we’ve asked our expert speakers from the 2023 agenda to share their thoughts on how the probation service and how it can be improved.

Speakers were asked ‘What is necessary to get Probation to consistently good performance?’

Simi O’Neil, Head of Probation Inspection Programme, HM Inspectorate of Probation 

'To have the right staff, with the necessary skills and experience in post and retain them. Managers need to be able to provide consistent and high-quality oversight while staff are learning the role and as part of their continuous development. Working with other key agencies, such as the police, children’s services. Public health and local services are essential. This includes having staff with the professional confidence to analyse and interpret information from other sources.'

Matt Grey Executive Director for Reducing Reoffending, Partnerships and Accommodation at HMPPS 

'The consistent application of first tier assurance activity, which should be at the point nearest to delivery, is central to probation performance. Building on this, all regions have in place a Quality Improvement Plan, which builds on internal assurance and best practice as well as external recommendations from HM Inspectorate and others. HMPPS’s new Area-Director model will ensure that Quality Improvement Plans have strategic oversight and give greater autonomy to probation to focus on what works.'

Ian Lawrence, General Secretary at Napo (Probation and Family Courts)

'A pay and reward and training programme that will attract more new starters and, just as importantly, motivate experienced staff to remain longer in post to provide the necessary mentoring and leadership standards to new trainees. More needs to be done, especially to equip promotes to SPO to be proficient in management skills.'

Join us for Modernising Criminal Justice 2024 on the 6th of June at the QEII Conference Centre in London, to hear further discussions on the future of probation alongside other key topics and the latest technological advancements in the field.

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