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Oldfield Report: Probation Service Dynamic Framework

Volume 700: debated on Tuesday 14 September 2021

2. What steps he is taking to implement the recommendations in Richard Oldfield’s report on the dynamic framework of the probation service, published in June 2021. (903406)

I thank my hon. Friend for his question and for his interest and input in this area. I welcome the findings and recommendations of Richard Oldfield’s report, and in particular his primary conclusion that we should do more to encourage the participation of smaller organisations in the delivery of rehabilitation services. We are looking at how we can use more grants rather than contracts where it is appropriate to do so as well as how to simplify the qualification process and bidding process for the dynamic framework.

I declare that I am the founder and chairman of a small charity working in prisons and probation. I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for that answer. I congratulate Richard Oldfield on his report and the Minister on commissioning it. I am pleased to hear about the progress being made. Does the Minister agree that we need a culture change across the justice system, with managers and commissioners being prepared to trust the small community-based organisations that can deliver such good value, and that that entails having a bolder attitude to risk?

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. It is really important that local community services deliver rehabilitative services in the communities that they serve and we are trying to ensure that culture change. Of the 26 organisations delivering rehabilitative services in the unified model, 23 are voluntary and community sector organisations, but we will do more to ensure that those small community organisations deliver services for us.