‘ End to end offender management’ has never truly been implemented
This is primarily due to difficulties in marrying prison and probation IT systems.
The National Audit Office has described how the C-NOMIS project originally costed at £234m in 2005 had, by 2007, spent £155m, was two years behind schedule, and was estimated to rise in total cost to £690m.
McNeill also emphasises the quality of personal and professional relationships
“ Like everyone else, offenders are most influenced to change (and not to change) by those closest to them and those whose advice they respect and whose support they value. Approaches to ‘offender management’ that fail to recognise the significance of the relational aspects of penal practice are unlikely to work”
But offender managers are primarily commissioners. And are you friends with your manager?!
One final (Big Society) gripe: impact on voluntary sector
Thus far the effect of market reforms have been detrimental to charities, in particular small organisations
Pressure on commissioners to scale up services. Volume allows savings. Small charities can’t compete
Gap between the political rhetoric and reality: small, local, diverse charity culture being replaced by large, regional/national, isomorphic culture
Between 1908 and 1939, England and Wales reduced its prison population by 50%. This effort was initially led by Winston Churchill.
The example of Canada in the 1990s. Public spending cuts saw the prison population reduced by 11%. During that decade, crime also fell to its lowest rate for 25 years, including drops ranging from 23% for assault and robbery to 43% for homicide.