MPs warn of significant risks of government probation overhaul

Kate McCann
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MEMBERS of parliament have warned of significant risks posed by government changes to the probation service, amid wider calls for a tighter grip on UK prisons.

Chair of the public accounts committee Margaret Hodge said the plans to overhaul the way prisoners are put on probation are complex and untested.

“The scale, complexity and pace of the changes are very challenging, and the Ministry of Justice’s extremely poor track record of contracting out – such as the recent high-profile failures on its electronic tagging contracts – gives rise to particular concern,” Hodge said in a statement.

Ministers plan to contract out the provision of rehabilitation services to private and public contractors and bring in a payment by results model, but concerns about the timescale and unproven nature of the scheme have been raised.