Napo says morale is at an all time low for staff and this is likely to worsen as workloads soar and private providers make job cuts

probationMorale among BME probation staff has fallen alarmingly as a result of government policies, according to a new survey.

The interim report from NAPO, the Association of Black Probation Staff and National Initiative for Leadership and Empowerment shows

  • 80% of respondents had experienced a ‘decrease’ in their confidence in the Probation Service;
  • 83% of respondents reported a ‘decrease’ in their morale as members of staff in the Service; in both instances, the majority of respondents stated that the impact of TR had ‘greatly decreased’ their confidence (59%) and morale (65%);
  • 40% of respondents believed that they had been treated unfairly during the TR assignment process;
  • A third of respondents (33.3%) believed that the Probation Service breached official guidelines during the TR assignment process.

Napo general secretary Ian Lawrence said: “Grayling’s dangerous social experiment has had a devastating impact on our members. We said all along that the staff transfer process was unfair and these results provide further evidence to support that. Morale is at an all time low for staff and this is likely to worsen as workloads soar and private providers make job cuts.”

NILE chair Bevan Powell said: “It is clear from the survey results that the introduction of TR and the assignment process has demoralised BAME staff and undermined their confidence in the probation service. This has serious implications for the effectiveness of the service and its credibility within black and Asian communities.

“BAME staff bring critical cultural competencies to the rehabilitation process, and we are extremely concerned about the knock – on effect that this situation may have on the rehabilitation of BAME offenders (who are already over-represented in the criminal justice system), and what that may mean in terms of additional pressure on police and prison service resources, at a time those resources are being cut. “

ABPO co-chair Earl Smith said: “The report reflected initial concerns expressed by its members regarding the potential impact of the TR reforms on staff and service delivery. Of greatest concern is the lack of transparency during the staff assignment process and the impact on our members’ morale and confidence.  We hope the findings will lead to actions to address the concerns expressed by ABPO members.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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