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Probation Reforms: Fresh Blow For Troubled Part-Privatisation As Another Provider Slashes Jobs

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The troubled part-privatisation of the probation service has taken another hit with one new owner, Working Links, planning hundreds of redundancies across the country.

The group, which is a public, private and voluntary-sector company whose shareholders include Capgemini, Manpower and the Department for Work & Pensions, is understood to be planning 200 job cuts in the Welsh probation service alone.


The reforms were overseen by the former Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling. He privatised 70 per cent of the service in England and Wales, with only the most dangerous offenders still looked after by the state.

Mr Grayling confirmed last December that the private sector would be handed 21 “Community Rehabilitation Companies” (CRCs) in deals that are worth around £450m a year.


One CRC, the Sodexo-run South Yorkshire region, has failed a Ministry of Justice audit and has until February to improve or be renationalised.

Napo, the probation union, has long claimed that privatisation would cause redundancies and a poorer service, but ministers believe that greater commercial nous will reduce the costs of Britain’s highly expensive legal system.

Ministry sources confirmed that an audit of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex CRC, run by Seetec Group, had “identified some areas for improvement”. But the situation is not as bad as that in South Yorkshire, where the MoJ audit found “lack of contact with offenders, ineffective enforcement and little or no evidence of any offence- or risk-focused work”.

Jobs need to be cut to increase profits, and keep cutting until you are renationalised and I'm sure a tidy profit will have been made.

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