Britain privatising probation services

LONDON — An overhaul of the probation service in England and Wales will see low-risk offenders supervised by the private sector, the government has announced.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled plans to let security firms and voluntary groups manage probation on a “payment by results” basis.

Prisoners serving short sentences will also have to undertake compulsory rehabilitation for the first time.

Trade unionists fear that the move could “compromise public protection”.

Most released prisoners and people serving community sentences are managed by the public sector probation service – provided by 35 trusts across England and Wales.

Transfer of 200,000

But under the Ministry of Justice’s proposals, responsibility for monitoring some 200,000 medium- and low-risk offenders will transfer to the private sector.

Private companies and charitable bodies successfully bidding for contracts will be paid according to their results in cutting re-offending.

However, the public probation service will continue to supervise some 50,000 high-risk offenders, including all serious violent and sexual offenders. (BBC)

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