News has arrived by way of a Cabinet Statement issued to members of the Government of Wales, on the developing plans to devolve the Justice system. Although there is some way to go before a definite position can be reached, this important statement sets out the various initiatives that are under discussion between the Welsh Government and various stakeholders involved in aspects of the Criminal Justice System. The full statement can be read here https://www.gov.wales/written-statement-preparing-devolution-justice
In terms of the potential implications for Probation the statement says: ‘We are seeking to take forward a focussed piece of research on the practical steps needed to make the devolution of probation a reality. This will complement the work that is being taken forward by the Probation Development Group, a group of academics and those with operational probation experience, under the auspices of the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice, on exploring best practice in relation to probation and reducing reoffending and identifying some of the potential opportunities arising from devolution of probation in Wales.’
As our members would expect, Napo will be taking a keen interest in future developments as the direction of travel would seem to endorse our own long standing policy position, which is to see the restoration of a localised Probation Service engaging with the communities that we serve, and freed from the centralised control of HMPPS.