TR Report


Sadiq Kham

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary,  commenting on the Justice Select Committee Report into the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation Programme, published on 22 January 2014, said:


“This crucial report by the cross-party Justice Select Committee adds to the chorus of criticism that Chris Grayling’s ill-thought out privatisation of probation will endanger public safety. Already, we’ve seen the plans criticised by experts, probation officers, Probation Trust Chief Executives and Chairs, Chief Inspectors of Prisons and Probation, and even officials in the Ministry of Justice.

“David Cameron’s reckless privatisation is causing massive uncertainty, demoralising those working in the Probation Service and resulting in experienced staff leaving. Public safety is being put at risk on a daily basis thanks to Chris Grayling’s monumental gamble. Ministers must abandon these plans before it is too late.

“The cross party committee’s report demands important answers from Ministers on the risks posed by the scale and pace of the plans, the Government’s refusal to pilot their changes, and the fragmentation of supervision between the public and private sector. The committee also supports Labour’s calls for the Government to publish full costings of its plans – which so far it has  refused to do – and to come clean on its own internal assessment of the risks posed to the public from privatising probation.”


Selected Quotes from the Report


On the lack of piloting:

“The absence of piloting of payment by results for delivering reductions in reoffending by those subject to probation services means that some lack confidence that the Government’s reform programme will work better than the existing system” (p54)


On the pace and scale of the changes:

“Witnesses, including some supportive of the proposed changes, had significant apprehensions about the scale, architecture, detail and consequences of the reforms and the pace at which the Government is seeking to implement them” (p54-55)


On the splitting of responsibility for supervision

“They [the witnesses] identified a particular risk in the Government’s decision to split the delivery of probation services between a public National Probation Service dealing with the highest-risk offenders and the new providers who will be dealing with the low and medium risk offenders” (press release)

On the Government’s refusal to publish their risk assessment:

“It is not satisfactory, however, that we are unable to inform our scrutiny of the programme with more systematic information from the Ministry about the major risks they have identified and the steps that they have taken and are taking to mitigate those risks. In order to reassure us, we ask the Ministry, in its response to this report, to provide a narrative description of those risks which it considers most significant to the success of the programme as a result of the combination of their likelihood of occurring and their seriousness if they were to occur, and in relation to each of them to describe mitigations which have been put in place or are proposed” (p55)

On the absence of any costings:

“It is not clear to us whether sufficient funding is in place to meet the costs of transition to the new system and of statutory rehabilitation for those sentences to less than 12 months in custody” (p55)


On the use of payment by results:

“serious question marks hang over the design of the PbR mechanism itself” (p55)

Full Report Available here: