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 Ramsbotham Lord Ramsbotham Crossbench 2:40 pm, 16th May 2019

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for quoting the interim report that I was required to write by the Shadow Minister for Justice. I note that he quoted my paragraph saying that not all had been lost by the community rehabilitation companies and citing the economic rigour that they had to bring to their role. Perhaps I might ask Minister two questions. First, he will have noted that the Justice Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee—plus the National Audit Office and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation—issued very critical reports of the whole transforming rehabilitation process. They said that the procedure had been rushed and unpiloted. Are the new proposals again to be rushed through unpiloted? Secondly, will the 11 areas correspond to the existing 11 government regions within which the police and crime commissioners operate, or will we have yet another division? By adopting Department for Work and Pensions boundaries, Transforming Rehabilitation completely crossed every single common-sense boundary that had been followed by the probation service for years.