Politics

Probation services set to be renationalised as Government accepts failure

Probation services are set to be renationalised as the Government prepares to accept its experiment has failed.

An announcement on how supervision of thousands of offenders will return to the National Probation Service is expected in weeks.

Reforms introduced by Chris Grayling when he was Justice Secretary have cost taxpayers almost £500million and led to an increase in murders committed by criminals.

Sources said the news could be broken as early as Thursday.

Harry Fletcher, of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, said: “The original reforms were rushed through without due consideration of their risk assessments and it’s been a disaster. The new reforms must be good for victims.”

The Ministry of Justice began partially privatising the probation service in 2013.

It involved 21 “community rehabilitation companies” monitoring people released from jail after serving short sentences. But the Government announced last year their contracts would end in 2020 – 14 months early.

Dame Glenys Stacey, the Chief Inspector of Probation, has previously described the current model as “irredeemably flawed”.

She told MPs on the Commons Justice Committee yesterday there were “deep-seated, systemic issues”.

She said it was “remarkably difficult” to condense probation into a set of contractual measures.

The Mirror revealed this year that 225 people had been murdered by convicted criminals being monitored by firms since privatisation.

The toll soared to 71 last year from 42 in 2015, shortly after Mr Grayling introduced the changes.

Justice Secretary David Gauke is now expected to hand some treatment programme work to charities.

There will also be an increase in the use of satellite technology to monitor criminals.

The MoJ said: “We will set out our plans shortly.”

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