“So far David Cameron’s Government has refused to listen to the chorus of warnings about their rushed and half-baked plans to privatise probation, including from experts, probation staff, Probation Trust Chief Executives and Chairs, and even the Chief Inspectors of Probation and Prisons. While I hope this embarrassing two month delay is a sign that these warnings are at last being taken seriously by Chris Grayling, I doubt it.
“We already know through newspaper reports that the Ministry of Justice’s own internal risk assessment warned of the very high chance probation privatisation would put public safety at risk. If reports I’m hearing are true that today’s announcement of a delay is due to fears over public safety then Ministers need to come clean.
“But a two month delay is still not enough. With no evidence fragmenting supervision of serious and violent offenders and bringing in big multinational companies will do anything to improve re-offending rates while keeping the public safe, the only sensible option is for this whole reckless gamble with public safety to be abandoned.”