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Unification of probation services: one year on

One year on, how well has the transition to the new unified Probation Service worked?

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The new unified Probation Service combined the previously outsourced management of medium- and low-risk offenders with the public sector National Probation Service, which managed high-risk offenders. Launched by the government on 26 June 2021, it was the fourth major restructuring of probation services in 20 years.  

This involved hundreds of thousands of cases, thousands of staff across hundreds of sites, six companies and scores of sub-contractors – all with different ways of working. 

One year on, how well has the transition worked? What more needs to be done to improve the running of probation services? And what opportunities – and challenges – could the next year bring?  

To discuss these questions and more, the IfG was delighted to bring together an expert panel including: 

  • Jim Barton, Executive Director for the Probation Reform Programme at the Ministry of Justice 
  • Suki Binning, Chief Social Worker at Seetec and Executive Director at the Interventions Alliance  
  • Linda Neimantas, Head of Probation Inspection Programme at HM Inspectorate of Probation.

The event was chaired by Nick Davies, Programme Director at the Institute for Government. 


Institute for Government

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