Probation Reform - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:40 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 2:40 pm, 16th May 2019

My Lords, does the Minister not agree that in its earlier chapters the probation service attained an outstanding reputation and public confidence because of the quality, wisdom, experience and insight of its staff? That is crucial to the operation. Does he not also agree that, while there may be an argument about what happened in the last phase, there is very little doubt that, among many people, its reputation seemed to be in jeopardy as short cuts were taken and that there was a perception that the probation service had become an extension of the custodial system and had rather lost the purpose it was there to fulfil? Does he not therefore agree that, whatever happens—and we wish the new system well—commitment, quality of staff and the relationship and friendships that have to be built up between the officers and the people with whom they are dealing will be absolutely crucial?