26 July 2011
The South Yorkshire Probation Trust very much welcomes the
report of the Justice Select Committee published today.
The Committee's report strongly supports a local probation
service, freed from nationally imposed bureaucracy, managing the
risk offenders pose and facilitating local solutions to local
We believe here in South Yorkshire that we already do this very
well - currently we are the best Trust at reducing re-offending in
England and Wales and have been consistently over the last few
years. This is partly due to the excellent work of our staff but
also due to the work we collectively do with other local agencies,
and here in South Yorkshire crime is falling as a result.
We have already started to implement changes with the freedoms
we have been given - we believe we could do it even better if given
the greater autonomy recommended by this report and signalled by
the Minister for Probation and Prisons, Crispin Blunt when he
"I heartily agree that the Probation Service needs to be freed
up from unnecessary red tape, in order to focus on reducing the
appalling rates of reoffending. Half of the people we release from
our jails are reconvicted within a year of getting out. That's why
we're making changes to enable Probation Officers to use their
judgement and discretion more widely. The culture of target-setting
and box-ticking is over."