Probation Officers Face Redundancy in Plan to Replace them with Machines
"The largest UK private probation operator plans to allow offenders to
report in at ATM-style electronic kiosks as part of cost-cutting plans
that will involve large-scale redundancies.
Sodexo justice services,
which runs six of the 21 newly privatised community rehabilitation
companies (CRCs) in England and Wales, intends to introduce the kiosks
so offenders can report in without having to see a probation officer.
The company’s 'new operating model' makes clear it intends to introduce 'biometric reporting' using cash machine-style kiosks.
The machines, which use fingerprint recognition technology to check
identities, allow an offender to report in, to give and receive
information, and to request a face-to-face meeting with a probation
officer. Offenders are to be allowed to report into probation using the
kiosks as a reward for good compliance with the early stages of their
supervision order or prison release licence.
The company also plans to set up one centralised administrative hub
supporting operational staff in face-to-face contact with offenders. The
Napo says this will mean some low-risk offenders being supervised via a
call centre despite the majority of serious further offences being
committed by offenders categorised as low-to-medium risk."