Labour has tabled amendments to the Offender Rehabilitation Bill that would force the Government to pilot their controversial changes to the probation service.
We believe their proposals constitute a serious risk to public safety because of their untested and untried nature.
Because the Government is misusing 2007 legislation, this means they require no change in the law to introduce their proposals. By tabling these amendments, Labour is ensuring that their ill-thought through plans receive proper parliamentary scrutiny.
And, if successful, they would mean that the Government’s changes to probation could not happen until they have been properly piloted and independently evaluated to ensure there is no risk to public safety.
Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said:
“The Tory-led Government’s privatisation of our probation service is an enormous gamble with public safety. There is no evidence that their ill-thought through plans will work. Instead of rushing ahead they should be looking for evidence of what works to reduce re-offending.
“At a time when the Government wants big private companies to run our courts and to take over some roles from the police, they also want the supervision of dangerous offenders, including of those who have committed serious and violent crimes, taken over by global corporations more interested in profit than public safety.
“Because of Labour, MPs will be able to debate and hopefully improve these plans, which otherwise would have been sneaked through by the Government. If passed, Labour’s amendments to the Offender Rehabilitation Bill would mean that the probation service can only be run by the private sector if these plans have been properly tested and evaluated to ensure that they work and don’t endanger the public’s safety.
“The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, was the architect of the failed Work Programme and now he wants to import the same payment by results model into criminal justice. But while it is bad enough when those out of work don’t get a job because of the Work Programme failing, if Chris Grayling’s failures are repeated in probation we could have violent criminals walking our streets unsupervised. The Justice Secretary risks compromising public safety with his cack-handed reforms.”