Probation without boundaries? ‘Agile working in the Community Rehabilitation Company ‘transformed landscape
The repeated references to ‘agile working’ within the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) landscape led me to independently investigate what the terminology means. In this article, I share the findings from my brief examination of some of the available literature on these ‘new ways of working’. I place this information within the context of the publicized approaches that four out of the eight CRC owners promote. It is noteworthy that between them, these four corporate bodies own 16 out of the 21 CRCs in England and Wales. I conclude by highlighting some of the boundaries that could restrict probation practitioners’ ability to conduct meaningful probation work built around relationships of trust, collaboration and engagement.
‘All this is about is money and making sure that heads are on beds: Perceptions of payment by results in a therapeutic community
The aim of this article is to critically reflect upon some of the practical difficulties which surround the implementation of an outcome-focused payment initiative, colloquially referred to as Payment by Results (PbR), in a drug and alcohol service situated in the North of England. Drawing upon the findings of a longitudinal study in a residential rehabilitation service, the discussion illustrates some of the tensions and dilemmas which surround the introduction of increasingly business-orientated decisions within a person-centered environment that is designed to work alongside some of society’s most troubled and troublesome individuals. To conclude, the article suggests that financially-driven processes (such as PbR) commodify the rehabilitative ideal, making service users and practitioners alike increasingly accountable to a counterintuitive fiscal endeavour.
This article draws on doctoral research undertaken in 2013 to consider the likely impact of the Transforming Rehabilitation changes upon relationships between offenders and probation staff, in the specific context of Integrated Offender Management. Conducted during the initial stages of consultation and roll-out, the research gathered speculative but informed predictions of the impact of Transforming Rehabilitation.
Transforming Rehabilitation and Approved Premises: The effect of ideologically driven change upon probation practice in an institutional setting
This article considers the impact that Transforming Rehabilitation has had upon Approved Premises (APs) since the process began following the publication of the National Probation Service Review Paper, E3 Blueprint (the three Es being Effectiveness, Efficiency and Excellence), in November 2015. This paper outlines what service delivery across the organisation will look like in the near future. At the time of writing we are in the consultation phase, which has yet to be concluded. I have drawn upon quality assurance information from a number of National Probation Service (NPS) North West Region Approved Premises documents published between 2009 and the dissolving of Probation Trusts in 2014. This has enabled some analysis of the efficacy of existing group work programmes and purposeful activities in place at each AP. The paper reflects the personal experiences of the author, including experiences from a previous change process, and how the initial transfer from Trusts to the NPS altered the practice and political landscape for an innovative and creative AP team. The paper concludes by considering the potential consequences for APs as their rehabilitative regimes will inevitably change. It considers how this could be a constructive process as each hostel is measured against quality improvement and assurance measures determined by an external body – the Royal College of Psychiatry (RCP). This is as a consequence of each hostel working towards or having achieved the RCP Enabling Environment Award (EEA) status, involving full team training in the Knowledge and Understanding Framework to better understand and respond to residents who have emerging or diagnosed personality disorders. Reaching and then retaining this EEA standard is likely to be an ongoing challenge. Refreshingly, creating an enabling environment demands high levels of engagement, coupled with the development of understanding, nurturing and caring relationships for residents and staff alike.
Good cop, bad cop, both? Examining the implications of risk based allocation on the desistance narratives of intensive probationers
The following paper shall discuss the implementation of the Coalition Governments Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) reforms in 2014 by focusing on the impact of these reforms on the desistance narratives of high risk intensive probationers, paying particular attention to the division of probation work between the National Probation Service (NPS) and the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC). It is argued that the reallocation of offenders between the NPS and CRC altered high risk probationers’ perceptions of self, caused probationers to question the occupational competence of CRC offender managers and saw probationers evidence the emergence of an attitudinal dissonance between the two services.