I attended two Probation focussed conferences at the end of last week.
The first was looking at gathering data from small organisation – predominantly – that work with offenders in the criminal justice (CJ) system. From this data, with the usual caveats, will come statistics about what is promising approaches to work with people in the CJ system. An insightful afternoon was spent with some vigorous debate
The second was the first conference of the National Probation Institute (NPI). There is another in York on 20th June. At this meeting the concept of the NPI was discussed along with some interesting sessions on practice and policy.
You would think that the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) who will be taking over from the Probation Trusts would be attending, if nothing else to network and to look at the new approaches to working with “offenders”. The sum total of CRCs at both events was three!!
This begs the question what are they doing in bidding for the Probation contracts. Clearly they are not interested in new ways to reduce offending – their absence speaks volumes. I wonder what else they might be interested in?