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UK Probation services to be renationalised

The supervision of all offenders will be undertaken by the state in a major renationalisation of the probation sector. Only five years after introducing a widely derided programme of privatisation. Following years of damning criticism from MPs, inspectorates and former probation officers, the justice secretary, David Gauke, has decided to bring all offender management under the National Probation Service (NPS) by spring 2021. He said the private sector would still play a part in the provision of services, with £280m worth of contracts for rehabilitation services such as the provision of unpaid work and accredited programmes. But the core function of the service – supervising and managing about 250,000 offenders in the community – will once again be publicly provided.

Source: the Guardian

Unions call for public control over private prisons

Unions are calling for public control over private prisons after outsourcing giant G4S is permanently stripped of its contract to run the troubled HMP Birmingham. “For the Prison Officers’ Association, the return of Birmingham to the public sector was welcome. ‘We have campaigned tirelessly since it was wrongly privatised in 2011 to have it returned to the state,’ POA chair Mark Fairhurst said. ‘The more recent events enabled us to pressurise the government into making what is undoubtedly the correct decision for staff, prisoners and the taxpayer.’ But Fairhurst said other private prisons must follow suit. ‘The obsession this Tory Government has to outsource and privatise public sector work must cease. It is obvious that when you put profits above safety you sow the seeds of disorder, mismanagement, cover ups and misery.’”

Source: The Big Issue

G4S stripped of contract to run Birmingham prison

G4S is to be permanently stripped of its contract to run Birmingham prison after the government was forced to take control of the failing jail. The Ministry of Justice took the unprecedented step of seizing control of the prison last August, removing its governor and moving out hundreds of prisoners, hours before a severely critical report was published by the prisons inspectorate.

Source: the Guardian