The 35 English and Welsh Probation Trusts oversee around 210,000 offenders in the community. Trusts are also responsible for providing specialist services to Courts. Probation staff work in a variety of settings including within prisons. Trusts spent around £800 million in 2012-13. Probation Trusts have been generally assessed as performing well but reoffending rates remain high, particularly for offenders serving sentences of 12 months or less, who do not currently receive rehabilitation services.
The Government has decided to implement wide-ranging reforms of rehabilitation owing to the fact that 600,000 crimes (MoJ figures) committed in 2012 were carried out by people who had broken the law before. The new arrangements, including the establishment of the National Probation Service, abolition of Probation Trusts and replacement with 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) and the completion of a procurement process to move the CRCs into the private sector, are due to be in place by Autumn 2014. This inquiry looks at the main elements of the reform currently under way and identifies the key issues now facing those involved in probation. This is a landscape review, intended to inform the Committee about developments and advance its understanding of them.