Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust leads the way in better services and less red tape
Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust (SSPT) has paved the way for an innovative new way of working announced by the Ministry of Justice.
SSPT was chosen to pilot a project which allows probation officers to exercise more professional judgement when managing cases.
The pilot was such a success that the new working model will be rolled out across England and Wales. Revised Probation National Standards have been published on the Ministry of Justice website and will be implemented over the next year.
Previously probation officers had instructions on exactly how frequently they should meet with and assess offenders. The new National Standards allow frontline probation staff to manage their work with offenders as the risks of each case demands, using their knowledge and drawing on their professional training and experience
SSPT chief executive Sonia Crozier said: The pilot showed that staff had more purposeful and better focussed contact with offenders when they were allowed to exercise their professional judgement in deciding how to work with each individual.
"We were delighted to be chosen by the Ministry of Justice to pilot this important initiative. It shows that we are recognised as a trust which can deliver results which improve the probation service for offenders and the public alike."
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We are committed to allowing frontline staff to better use their judgement and professional skills to cut reoffending and protect the public.
"Offender managers must be able to focus their work on the most serious offenders, they should not be spending their time on tick-box exercises.
"The new standards will remove the unnecessary proscription and red tape that restricts frontline decision making."
SSPT has made a video with staff explaining just how the Professional Judgement Project has made a difference, which you can watch below.