Probation services are undergoing significant change, with the application of Payment by Resuts to the majority of rehabilitation work, and mandatory supervision of all offenders sentenced to less than 2 years in custody to be contracted out to a mix of providers. The new National Probation Service has managed high risk offenders since June 2014

Since 2010, the police have been given greater responsibility for charging decisions and prosecutions with the aim of cutting bureaucracy. The police are now responsible for nearly 80% of all charging decisions and prosecuting an increased range of offences, including, for example, criminal damage under £5,000 and careless or inconsiderate driving. The Crown Prosecution Service retains responsibility for the most complex and serious cases.

  • Research Briefing

    The Bill covers a range of issues but its most controversial aspect (at second reading and in Committee) is that it would pave the way for the contracting-out of offender rehabilitation services for low and medium-risk offenders to private and voluntary sector providers, leaving a national probation service to manage high-risk offenders. The Government had intended to make these changes through secondary legislation, but a non-Government amendment in the House of Lords brought the changes onto the face of the Bill. That new clause was removed in Committee.

  • Research Briefing

    This Bill would extend the mandatory supervision of offenders released from custodial sentences to provide that all offenders would be subject to at least 12 months of supervision in the community. It would also introduce new requirements, including drug appointments and residence requirements, which could be applied to offenders subject to such post-release supervision and offenders subject to community and suspended sentence orders.

  • Research Briefing

    The Ministry of Justice plans to allow organisations from the voluntary and private sectors to provide rehabilitation services in the community for low and medium risk offenders. New providers would be paid according to the reductions in re-offending they achieve. It is also legislating through the Offender Rehabilitation Bill to introduce and extend statutory supervision periods for short-sentence offenders. The Ministry of Justice says these and other proposals set out in the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation strategy document (published 9 May 2013) will help to reduce reoffending while continuing to protect the public.

  • Research Briefing

    There is case law to suggest that, although under a general duty to uphold the law, chief officers of police retain discretion as to the degree of effort they will attach to enforcing any particular law at any particular time.

  • Research Briefing

    This note outlines the main recommendations from the Holtham Commission's final report, briefly summarises the Commission’s first report and includes reaction from the Welsh Assembly and UK Government to the Commission’s recommendations.