Role of the Probation Service

Following the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) which brought together prisons and probation in 2004, the previous Government carried out a programme of reform, converting probation boards into probation trusts, which are contracted to deliver local probation services.

This was to be followed by the introduction of competition for some aspects of delivery. In addition, the concept of "offender management" has evolved considerably since the Offender Management Act 2007 was passed.

The coalition Government has announced that it wishes to introduce a 'rehabilitation revolution' that will pay independent providers to reduce reoffending, paid for by the savings this new approach could generate within the criminal justice system.

In this context the Justice Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role of the probation service.

The Committee held an on-line forum in this inquiry.

The inquiry has now finished and a Report (PDF) has been published.



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    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
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Select Committee Inquiries

Select Committees carry out inquiries on areas ranging from the work of government departments to economic affairs. The results of these inquiries are public and many require a response from the government.