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Probation Changes: update

Posted: 18th August 2014 by Essex CRC.
CRC relationship w MOJ diagram
CRC relationship w MOJ diagram

Changes to the Probation Service, in place since June 1st across England and Wales, are being bedded in by Probation chiefs in Essex.

Essex Probation no longer exists as an entity, having been divided into two organisations: the Essex Community Rehabilitation Company (Essex CRC), including 70% of the old Essex Probation Trust staff, takes on the bulk of Probation work; the remaining 30% will be part of a National Probation Service and will be responsible for reports to the courts and for dealing with the small number of high-risk offenders in each county.

Mary Archer, OBE, is the Chief Executive of the CRC and chairs the CRC Board. The National Probation Service is led by two former members of Essex Probation senior management team, working with a regional Director.

One of 21 CRCs across England and Wales, the Essex CRC is Public Sector-owned in the first instance. Unlike many of the Probation counties, which have merged into larger areas, Essex remains separate – large enough to be a single working entity.

Each CRC is up for share sale. An array of organisations have met the end-of-June deadline for offers and the government will be scrutinising them and deciding by the end of this year which bidder will take on each CRC. It is thought that around four organisations are in the bidding for Essex. Some Essex Probation employees have been working in their spare time on forming a Mutual, which has put forward its own bid.

“Probation is used to change,” said Mary Archer. “We are good at it. This is the biggest change ever, and has involved us all in making major adjustments. However, as one of the top-performing Probation organisations in the country, we are proud of our work in reducing reoffending in Essex. Our performance has never been higher. Our staff regularly receives praise and win honours in the National Probation Awards. While there will now be two organisations working to protect the public, we intend that the county of Essex will continue to receive as excellent a service as we can provide.

“We will be working as hard as usual to sustain our strong response to crime in this county and to ensure that continuity of service is maintained throughout.”

Click to download a diagram showing the structural relationships between CRCs and the MoJ