Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1104/31435

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2020

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead

Napo members striking against privatisation in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson

Napo members striking against privatisation in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A probation hostel worker

The criminal justice system was already stretched to breaking point before Covid. Massive redundancies have left prisons understaffed, with inexperienced officers dealing with prisoners with complex needs.

And the Probation Service has also taken a hit with cuts and privatisation of certain sectors. Parts of probation dealing with low-risk offenders are being taken back into the public sector, because offending rates went up when they were privatised.

Probation hostels work with high-risk offenders, usually violent or sexual offenders, and were not privatised - although maintenance of buildings and equipment is contracted out.

We can wait months for showers to be fixed and spend hours chasing jobs. Contractors often come 50 or 100 miles to fix something that should take less than half an hour, only to discover they haven't brought the correct part.

In one hostel, a corroded gas pipe was discovered. The pipe was directly beneath the duty office and could easily have caused an explosion.

Private contracting is the most inefficient, dangerous and environmentally unfriendly way to maintain the service. Risk assessments are written by management and staff are expected to sign.

We need to insist on union oversight but the leadership of our union, Unison, is very weak. Staff feel patronised by management posters around the hostel thanking them for being heroes during the pandemic.

Most high-risk offenders leave prison on parole and spend three months in a hostel, where staff monitor their risk and support their move back into society. Many hostels around the country are in converted buildings, often Victorian. Some bedrooms have two or three residents.

Because of Covid, single occupancy of rooms has been introduced, potentially causing a backlog of prisoners waiting to be released. This has been partially overcome by moving offenders on after one month into a B&B, with far less supervision.

However, the funding for B&Bs came to an end at the end of August. Maintaining single occupancy of rooms over a long period of time is unsustainable. It is likely that management will demand further cuts in staff pay and conditions to pay for it.

Staff are angry, frustrated, and some are frightened. They feel helpless without a lead from their union. But all that could change. Like the gas pipe, battles could explode unexpectedly.

The Socialist Party says:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 7 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope


Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


News

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Students

Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment


Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


International

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


Campaigns

9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services


Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 October 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Probation:

triangleNapo kickstarts fight against pay freeze

triangleNapo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

triangleRenationalisation of the probation service

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleWorkers celebrate renationalisation

Union:

triangleCarmarthenshire Unison: 'Recognise our union!'

triangleOaks Park school: Redbridge Labour council backs strike-breaking bullies

triangleClick here for a report. Speakers included: Sharon Graham - newly-elected Unite gen sec; Sarah Woolley - BFAWU gen sec; Carmel Gates - Nipsa gen sec (designate); Joe Simpson - POA deputy gen sec; Joe Kirby - RMT NEC & offshore worker

triangleObituary: Roger Henshaw, comrade and class fighter

Cuts:

triangleReturning to campus: Students need to fight

triangleUniversity bosses push through pension cuts proposal

triangleEnd service cuts and care charges

Covid:

triangleOn the frontline, and still fighting for the NHS

triangleUnion action needed to make schools Covid safe

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

15/9/21

The Socialist

We need a new political party for workers and youth

15/9/21

Universal Credit

Hands off the uplift

15/9/21

Workers

What's behind the worker shortages, and what can be done about it?

15/9/21

Health

Deaths of despair: Health crisis - capitalism in the dock

15/9/21

Climate change

Climate change, capitalism, and the struggle for socialism

15/9/21

NHS

Take the wealth off the super-rich to fund: NHS and social care, pay and benefit rises

15/9/21

NHS

Social care plans: A sticking plaster instead of surgery

15/9/21

Pensions

Unite young and old to defend the pensions triple lock

8/9/21

Education

Union action needed to make schools Covid safe

8/9/21

Trade union

A pivotal moment for the trade union movement

8/9/21

NHS

NHS and social care - make the rich pay, not the workers

8/9/21

Health

Workers shouldn't pay for health and social care plans

8/9/21

Cuts

End service cuts and care charges

8/9/21

Care Homes

Families demand rights for care home residents

8/9/21

NEU

Fighting NEU leadership needed to tackle school funding crisis

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999