A leaked document from the Ministry of Justice has revealed the private probation service will not take over responsibility for high risk criminals and those attracting significant media attention
By Claire Carter http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/claire-carter/ , and Keith Perry
14 Jan 2014
Criminal justice experts are concerned that the public probation service will be left responsible for the highest risks, after it emerged the private sector will not take over the supervision of the most dangerous and high profile criminals when it is outsourced.
Murderers and serial sex attackers, as well as cases involving criminals who have attracted significant media attention, will be the responsibility of the public probation service. The split was revealed in leaked guidance from the Ministry of Justice about the allocation of offenders in England and Wales to private and voluntary sector providers when it is outsourced this year, the Guardian reported.
The 'restricted policy' guidance, also state that in cases involving celebrities or those with significant public interest management approval will be needed before their supervision can be handed to a private firm - even if the person has not been sentenced to prison.
Harry Fletcher, a criminal justice expert, said: "The case allocation system has been devised so that all risk is carried by the public sector. Even cases which are deemed low risk but which might attract media attention will be held by the public sector."
The guidance also explains a new procedure to determine whether offenders are classed as high, medium or low risk using a complex 'risk of serious recidivism' calculator, which critics have said would be time consuming.
The disclosure has emerged as a fresh attempt was due to be made in the House of Commons on Tuesday to require a vote from both houses before privatisation can take place. Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: "Around 85,000 crimes are committed every year by prisoners released from short sentences. We must act now to address the scandalous gap that allows our most chaotic offenders to leave prison with no support or supervision to turn their lives around. For anyone to complain about more extensive risk assessments and greater supervision of these chaotic offenders would be a pretty strange position to take."