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Is Integrity possible for a Probation Mutual?

16, September 2013

A Response to a posting on Russell Webster’s Blog pages from Saleha Wadee CEO of  Laurus Development, the first mutual to spin out of the probation service that she titles “

“Developing a probation mutual: from theory to practice”

http://www.russellwebster.com/developing-a-probation-mutual-from-theory-to-practice/

“427-695″ was what as a child I used to parrot as I went to the Co-op Chemist, in Higham’s Park, Walthamstow, about 1958 – on an errand for my Mum. That was her divi number, at Christmas she got a bit back from what she spent because she was a member of the London Co-op.

So who will be ‘members’ of a Probation Co-op – staff – clients – anyone who wants to be and makes an investment? What investment will be required? What will the divi be? When and how will it be paid?

Will Saleha Wadee please address these questions in her third post?

Meanwhile, I cannot see how the principle that “staff are safeguarded, as are their skills, knowledge and expertise” can be applied in the Transforming Rehabilitation world’s parameters set by the Lord Chancellor. They require all the existing probation work to be done PLUS supervise ALL prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months – including the costs of a pre-release visit and a meeting at the prison on the day of release by a mentor, and where necessary the introduction to accommodation that will have been sourced already for every homeless prisoner. All the work is to be done within the existing approximately £800 million budget per anum for all current probation services.

More, MUCH more for the same spending – I think Joe Kuipers’ blog title of the ‘The Emperor’s new clothes’ is apposite: –

http://joekuipers49.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-emperors-new-clothes-by-hans.html?view=classic

I have blogged a response to that:-

https://essexandrew.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/response-to-joe-kuipers-blog-about-the-emperors-new-clothes/

That contains a link to an extract from the film – where Danny Kay, sings that song – ‘The Kings new clothes’ which I think puts the emphasis in the wrong place, although the children’s comments that precede the song stimulate reflection about what is really being created. A child suggests that its a Queen with a moustache (and no clothes)!

Even if a Probation Mutual somehow manages to protect the jobs of the staff it comes to employ, I cannot see how the books will balance if jobs are to be found for all the staff now working for probation trusts. Those most vulnerable seem likely to be the administrative and support staff, along with the senior managers.

I cannot imagine how the overall set up will get by with less administration and managers than now when with the probable significant movement of cases(risk levels change in 25%) between Mutual/Contracted out Probation Companies and the National Probation Service, there is likely to be a need for extra liaison and management unless some very sophisticated systems can be established in time for the changeover.

Andrew Hatton

PS. Sorry about the mixed text – I haven’t worked out how to edit the font settings – yet!

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