MAJOR concerns about government plans to reduce re-offending have been by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commissioner, who has put forward recommendations for a fresh approach.
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, raised concerns in connection with the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda.
He said: "I have previously expressed major concerns about the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda because of the indecent haste with which it was introduced and the risk posed by introducing profit into the criminal justice system.
"The reality is that from June 1 national changes to probation will come into force and I am determined to use my role as Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to work with colleagues in the criminal justice system to ensure that, together, we continue to protect people and places at a time of such significant change."
His recommendations followed a conference on March, jointly hosted by the Commissioner and the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Rupert Younger.
• Local Police and Crime Commissioners should be empowered to hold the local community rehabilitating company to account for delivery against the commissioner’s reducing re-offending objectives, where they exist.
• The Government should evaluate the spend on custodial sentencing and promote more innovative approaches to reducing re-offending.
• Government should form an independent cross party commission to implement and monitor the changes and alleviate concerns about political cycles and rapid changes in direction of justice policy.
• Government should reform sentencing guidelines and introduce the ability for the court system to dispense and monitor community justice resolutions.
• Government should encourage intensive and whole family intervention to commence at custody.
• The Government should engage more proactively to support ex-offenders and their family.