Justice Secretary launches HM Prison and Probation Service

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will have full responsibility for the operational management of offenders in custody and the community, including strengthening security in prisons, building intelligence about criminal gangs and supporting offenders when they are released.

The introduction of the new service coincides with prison governors being given greater control over how they run their establishments – a key commitment in the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.

The Secretary of State pledged in November to recruit 2,500 staff to bolster the frontline as well as introducing a comprehensive package of measures to improve safety and security across the estate.

Probation services will also be more empowered in providing support to offenders both under our supervision and in the community when they come out of prison. As part of the further growth opportunities we are enhancing professional qualifications for probation officers and increasing the integration of prison and probation services.

The launch of HMPPS, alongside development opportunities for staff, will further professionalise and build pride in the service.

Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

The creation of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service is part of our far-reaching changes that will ultimately reduce reoffending and make prisons places of safety and reform.

We are building a Service that is focused and driven to make our prisons safe and reduce the risk of reoffending, in turn creating fewer victims of crime and safer communities.

The launch of this new organisation is a crucial step towards achieving our reforms. Staff will be given the training and support they need to succeed so they can be proud to work for an agency that will help to transform lives.

The new operationally focused service will be supported by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) taking on responsibility for overall future policy direction, setting standards, scrutinising prison performance and commissioning services.

As part of the Government’s commitment to boost opportunities for staff in the newly-formed HMPPS, we are creating 2,000 new senior promotion opportunities for valued and experienced prison officers to progress into.

Apprenticeship schemes are being launched to give recruits a clear progression pathway, underlining the Government’s commitment to develop the skills of prison and probation staff.

HMPPS Chief Executive Michael Spurr said:

The launch of HMPPS is being backed by new investment which will make a real difference to the work we do with offenders both in prisons and in the community.

We have a compelling reform agenda and the new Agency will focus relentlessly on improving performance to better protect the public and reduce reoffending.

HMPPS working together 960From today (April 3), governors in all adult prisons in England will take control of budgets, allowing them to decide how they spend money rather than being given specific budgets for different things.

They will be able to develop local commercial relationships with businesses to provide work opportunities for their prisoners, and reinvest income to deliver additional services in their prison.

Governors will have more flexibility in setting staffing structures and the ability to hire people with the skills they think their prison needs, whilst they will also be directly involved in the decision making process for commission health services for their establishment.

The launch of HMPPS will be supported by measures in the ground-breaking Prisons and Courts Bill, which sets out a new framework and clear system of accountability for prisons. For the first time, it enshrines into law the purpose of prison and sets out that a key aim for prisons is to reform and rehabilitate offenders.

It is further backed by measures in the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper, which identifies a clear structure of accountability for delivering reform.

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