Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Probation ~ return to a unified service

Amid the fuss surrounding the resignation of the Health Secretary (Matt Hancock MP), a key reform of Probation Service has received minimal media attention.

UK Government - Bigger, better Probation Service to cut crime

With effect from 26 June 2021, a "unified" Probation Service has been created in what is a reversal of the reform introduced by Chris Grayling during his time as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.

A House of Commons Library Research Briefing (7 June 2021) notes -

"The new model will largely reverse the heavily criticised reforms of probation services that took place from 2014. These reforms, known as "Transforming Rehabilitation" divided the probation service into two: The National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies."

The Howard League for Penal Reform has welcomed the return to a unified system but has some criticisms.

Justice Committee - April 2021:

The future of the Probation Service (parliament.uk)

Earlier posts:

Posts on the 2014 reform were Rehabilitation Reform: A gamble with public safety or a useful reform? and Justice Committee - Transforming Probation.


Chris Grayling served as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor from 4 September 2012 to 9 May 2015. During his tenure the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force. The Act received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012 and was therefore the work of Grayling's predecessor Ken Clarke (now Lord Clarke). The Act has had a severe impact on the provision of legal aid for representation. Another Grayling reform was the Criminal Courts Charge which applied from 12 April 2015 until 24 December 2015 when it was scrapped by Grayling successor Michael Gove.

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