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Channel 4 News Probation Services survey

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 31 August 2010

Channel 4 News asked the 35 Probation Service chief executives in England and Wales to answer the following questionnaire. Of the 35 probation bosses 20 completed the survey.

Channel 4 News Probation Services survey

Question 1:
Do you agree with the statement from a recent Justice Committee report ("Cutting Crime: The case for justice reinvestment, Dec 2009") that "neither prisons nor probation have the capacity to keep up with the current levels of offenders entering the system"?
Agree                                       15  75 per cent
Disagree                                   5   25 per cent

Question 2:
How would you describe the Probation Service's current capacity to manage offenders effectively in the community?
Outstanding                              0
Good                                        10  
Average                                    7  
Poor                                           3  
Completely inadequate         0

Question 3:
Are Probation Services currently commissioned in the most appropriate way?
Yes                                            0
No                                            20  
Don’t know                               0

Question 4:
Does the probation service currently have the capacity to cope effectively with a move away from short custodial sentences to more community-based sentences?
Yes                                            3  
No                                            17  
Don’t know                               0

Question 5:
Do you agree with the Justice Committee report’s conclusion that `resources for community-based interventions have been depleted in relative terms and are now spread too thinly’?
I agree                                    16  
I disagree                                 4 

Question 6:
Have the caseloads of your staff supervising offenders increased or decreased in the last 5 years?
Increased                                13  
Decreased                                 1  
Stayed the same                      6  

Question 7:
In your opinion, do the current caseload levels pose a threat to the personal security of some of your staff?
Yes                                              2  
No                                              17  
Don’t know                                 1  

Question 8:
With the current caseload levels and resources, how often are you able to offer the public the required levels of protection?
All of the time                             3  
Most of the time                        17  
Some of the time                        0
Never                                            0

Question 9:
Of the full range of 12 requirements under Community Orders, how many can you guarantee to be offered routinely in your area?
7/8                                                1  
9                                                    2  
10                                                  1  
11                                                  5  
12                                                 11  

Question 10:
Are you expecting your budget to be cut in the next two years?
Yes                                                20  
No                                                  0
Don’t know                                   0

Question 11:
If your current budget was cut by 10 per cent or more, how often do you think you’d be able to provide the required level of public protection in management of offenders?
All of the time                                0
Most of the time                          10  
Some of the time                         10  
Never                                             0

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