[2023] Motion 67 Lives at risk – government failures on the Probation Service

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress is seriously alarmed at the continuing lack of effective investment in the Probation Service since its reunification into state control in 2021.

There is increasing evidence to demonstrate the disastrous impact of this scandalous situation by way of:

i. unsustainable workloads and unfilled vacancy rates, meaning that it is not uncommon for practitioners to be holding case allocations of anywhere between 101–200 per cent against recognised capacity

ii. service delivery, as evidenced by the cancellation of specialised programmes for those convicted of sexual offences and a huge backlog of clients awaiting placement on community service projects

iii. public safety, where numerous reports from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation have been critical of the Probation Service’s senior management for not implementing past lessons and failing to develop systems that will create safe workloads and assist practitioners in protecting our communities to the standards expected.

The above issues, which are the subject of a joint probation unions campaign known as ‘Operation Protect’, are compounded by the proposed ‘One HMPPS’ restructuring programme and its threats to jobs.

This threatens the integrity and professionalism of Probation, before the service has been given time to recover from the egregious damage that has been visited upon it by incompetent politicians.

Congress seeks public support from the General Council for ‘Operation Protect’, and for the General Council to lobby the Official HM Opposition to clearly map out their future plans to restore probation to a gold standard service within the wider criminal justice system.