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

Coronavirus crisis - 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 government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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 AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

triangleRenationalisation of the probation service

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleWorkers celebrate renationalisation

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

Union:

triangleCovid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

triangleYoung Socialists organising for our future

triangleAfter Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation

triangleObituary: Paul Chettle

Cuts:

triangleTUSC sets out core policies for May 2021 local elections

triangleWomen workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Covid:

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

trianglePublic sector workers must not pay for the Covid crisis - press release from the campaign 'Hugo Pierre for Unison General Secretary'

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/11/20

Health

Stop the Tories putting profit before health

25/11/20

Covid

Covid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

18/11/20

Unison

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

18/11/20

Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism

18/11/20

NEU

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue

18/11/20

Government

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

18/11/20

Government

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party

18/11/20

Children

System failing thousands of children in care

18/11/20

Education

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?

18/11/20

Croydon

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

18/11/20

Universities

Tories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

11/11/20

Police

Spycops inquiry : why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism

11/11/20

Covid

Capitalists vs working class - not in it together

11/11/20

Children

Tory U-turn: Free school meals

11/11/20

Jobs

Tory U-turn: Furlough extended - not enough to save jobs

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: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999