In this issue, we review reports from The Prison Reform Trust and HM Inspectorate of Probation, both of which consider the landscape of offender recall in light of recent criminal justice reforms. Nearly four years on from Transforming Rehabilitation’s overhaul of probation which saw the service split into the National Probation Service, supervising offenders deemed to be high-risk, and private Community Rehabilitation Companies, responsible for the management of offenders deemed to be low to medium risk, the dust is yet to settle on the impact of these changes on the criminal justice system.
A new briefing by The Prison Reform Trust finds that since the reforms to the probation service in 2014, recalls to prison have increased by 17% for men, and have more than doubled for women. The briefing attributes the rise in recalls to the general expansion of post-release supervision under The Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014, which extends mandatory supervision to prisoners serving 12 months or less, with women being more likely than men to serve this length of sentence. In addition, the briefing argues that CRCs appear to have become more risk averse in their use of recall.
This follows a thematic report by HM Inspectorate of Probation focusing on enforcement and recall, which raises issues around the lack of meaningful engagement between CRCs and clients, which has contributed to poor decision-making in managing breaches of community-based orders.
In February, Clinks, in partnership with NCVO and Birmingham University launched the third survey on the impact of Transforming Rehabilitation, and it’s clear that close monitoring of the impact of these reforms is necessary to ensure the best possible outcomes for those affected by the changes.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this month's Pulse please do contact us on 020 7330 9170.