Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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 probation union 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."

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