Following from the House of Commons Justice Committee’s report on Transforming Rehabilitation which outlined the failings that the reforms could ever deliver effective probation services, on Friday 27 July the Ministry of Justice said that it would end its community rehabilitation contracts two years early.

The MoJ said it would end its community rehabilitation company contracts in 2020, instead of 2022, then launched a consultation to strengthen the Transforming Rehabilitation programme and design new and improved CRC contracts.

A report published by Clinks earlier this year said that voluntary sector involvement in the MoJ programme was lower than claimed, unsustainable and required many charities to dip into their own reserves to maintain services.

In the 27 July announcement, the MoJ said it would consult on reforming the Transforming Rehabilitation programme and invest £22m in existing CRC contracts.

It said it accepted that probation providers had ‘faced significant challenges’ under the programme and wanted to use ‘the lessons learnt so far to put in place improved services in the future, with more effective commercial arrangements’. 

The government will also try to improve joint working between CRCs and the voluntary sector, as well as other local partners, the government said.

Lorraine Preece, YSS Chief Executive, commented: “Transforming Rehabilitation was supposed to offer effective and innovative support for people to turn away from crime with the voluntary sector playing a key part in this process. Almost without exception, this did not happen. I had the opportunity to say this when giving oral evidence to the Justice Select Committee in February 2018, and was pleased that YSS was referenced frequently in the subsequent report. I am glad that the MoJ are now looking to design new and improved services and YSS will fully engage in the consultation process which we hope will ensure that the same mistakes are not made again.”

For more information about the evidence given by Lorraine to the Justice Select Committee please click here.