The service that works to stop criminals re-offending in Northamptonshire is "simply not good enough", a critical report has found, after it revealed too many cases were given to staff "without the skills needed."
A national watchdog has today released its findings following an inspection of the work currently being carried out by the National Probation Service (NPS) and the Community Rehabilitation Company in Northamptonshire.
But Chief Inspector for probation, Dame Glenys Stacey said there were flaws in the work of the two organisations.
Namely, the report found work to reduce reoffending by the CRC was not up to scratch.
Dame Glenys, said: "We found that the CRC’s work was simply not good enough. Too little is being done to reduce the risk of someone committing a further offence, or to minimise risk to the public.
"Local leaders are committed, but stretched, and don’t have a good enough grasp on the quality of work actually being delivered to turn people away from crime.
Among the criticisms responsible officers "did too little to understand what led to offending behaviour," the report found, "and therefore couldn’t put plans in place to turn people’s lives around."
Dame Glenys found too many cases were assigned to staff "without the skills and support needed" to put criminals back on the right track.
Inspectors were also concerned at the lack of privacy in open booths used for confidential interviews, and at the prospect that some people would be supervised solely by telephone contact or biometric reporting.
"Without meaningful contact, people are less likely to develop the will to change their attitudes and behaviour," the report continued.
Generally, the work of the National Probation Service in Northamptonshire was found to be "good" however.
NPS’s work to protect the public was Inspectors found probation officers worked effectively with the police but could do more to tackle substance misuse.
The NPS did not always provide the CRC with enough information at the beginning of sentences also, causing extra work for the CRC in order to be able to manage its cases effectively.
“The public can be assured that the NPS are managing high-risk cases well overall, but I was disappointed to see that the quality of work varied across the area.
"We have found this elsewhere, and the NPS now has the opportunity to make sure offices perform consistently well in future.”