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The controversial Transforming Rehabilitation initiative, which was introduced by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in 2014, looks set to be reversed following claims by MPs that the reforms have failed in their efforts to deliver an effective probation service.

Under the initiative, it was hoped that reoffending rates would be reduced as Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) were given the task of supervising low and medium risk offenders, whilst the newly formed National Probation Service was set up to supervise high-risk offenders.

However, just four years on, an enquiry from the Justice Select Committee have described the reforms as a “mess” and it is thought that the contracts of each CRC could potentially be terminated as early as 2020.

Bob Neil, the Committee Chairman says “We are unconvinced that Transforming Rehabilitation will ever deliver the kind of probation service we need. Hard working and dedicated staff are doing their best with a probation system that is currently a mess.”

The enquiry highlighted a range of issues including a disappointing reduction in reoffending rates, a lack of involvement from the voluntary sector, low staff morale and poor training provision for staff. It has recommended that the government review the future of the entire probation sector and they have requested that the findings of any review are published before 01 February 2019.

In response to the enquiry, Prisons and Probation Minister Rory Stewart said “Fewer people are re-offending and there have been some innovative and impressive programmes. However, we accept that there have been challenges and it is clear that CRC services do need to improve. We are currently in commercial discussions with providers and will consider all possible options to ensure we deliver this improvement.”

We will keep you updated on the latest news and information relating to Transforming Rehabilitation as more information is revealed in the coming months.
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