Cuts Watch #250: Probation Services
Probation Programmes, a new report from the National Association of Probation Officers, warns that draconian cuts cut lead to the abandonment of programmes that have a track record of reducing re-offending and lead to an increase in re-offending; when these programmes are not available as an alternative, the courts will fall back on prison sentences that are actually more expensive.
Probation programmes, the report shows, can halve the risk that someone who is released will re-offend. But if 25% cuts at the Ministry of Justice force the probation service to reduce staffing there will almost certainly be an impact on the availability of these programmes. If the courts have instead to rely on imprisoning offenders, ironically, the annual cost will be more than five times as high.