Documents to download

There are over 250,000 people under the supervision of probation services at any one time. Under current policy, professionals provide rehabilitative probation services to all prisoners; this starts twelve weeks before their release, with supervision in the community continuing for twelve months after release. While on probation, individuals may have to:   

  • do unpaid work;
  • complete an education or training course;
  • get treatment for addictions; and
  • attend regular meetings with an ‘offender manager’.

Since 2014, two services have managed offenders on probation: 

  • the National Probation Service (NPS), a statutory criminal justice service, supervises high-risk offenders; and
  • 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) managing low and medium risk offenders.

However, the Government has recently announced plans to reform the probation system. The plans propose a new model of probation services in England and Wales, where the NPS would be responsible for managing all offenders on a community order or license, including those currently managed by CRCs.

This briefing considers on the Government’s recent announcement. It focuses on the probation system in England and Wales and outlines: plans for the proposed system; the history of the current system; and criticisms it received. It also includes statistics relating to probation and re-offending. Information on conditions in prisons is set out in further reading.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides the UK Supreme Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland with the power to depart from retained EU case law after the end of the transition period. Draft regulations, introduced by the Government in October 2020, seek to extend this power to the Court of Appeal and other equivalent courts and tribunals. This article looks at the detail of the regulations and recent scrutiny that has taken place.

  • ‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.

  • On 18 March 2020, the Government introduced the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill in the House of Commons. It completed report stage and third reading in the Commons on 3 November 2020. The second reading date in the House of Lords has yet to be announced. This briefing provides a summary of the bill’s provisions and its passage through the House of Commons.