Alarm bells are being rung at the Probation Institute this week following the meeting of the Institute’s Electronic Monitoring Working Group which includes, practitioner, academic, sentencer and industry input.
The group, in their third meeting since being established, is calling for probation leaders and practitioners to take a far more pro-active stance on electronic monitoring (EM) or risk having the technology forced upon them without proper consideration of how it should fit into ethical and best probation practice.
“The technology is moving forward rapidly,” said Savas Hadjipavlou, the Institute’s Chief Executive. “There is the potential for it to enhance the work of probation and our relationships with service users but only if we play our part now in shaping how the technology is used rather than letting the technology drive our practice.”
The group listened to presentations by technology providers this week so that they could understand latest developments and then discussed a range of key issues in terms of ethics, the evidence-base for EM’s effectiveness, how it’s currently being use by police and sentencers and its potential impact on community rehabilitation companies and their contracts.
The EM group is currently working on a report covering all these issues and is holding a stakeholder consultation event in November to lay down the challenge to probation leaders on how they are going to address current and future challenges.
Other stakeholders at the event are expected to include representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Police, PCCs and EM technology providers.
“Community rehabilitation companies are currently focussing most of their attention on designing their delivery models to meet the demands of their contracts. This is understandable but if we miss the boat on shaping electronic monitoring now the consequences could hit probation a couple of years down the road, when it will be much harder to change the direction of travel,” said Savas Hadjipavlou.
Practitioners can keep up-to-date with developments in electronic monitoring, including relevant documents and research, by joining the Probation Institute and signing up for the EM professional network.
Find out more here: http://probation-institute.org/membership/
Members of the Institute Electronic Monitoring Practitioner network include:
David Bebb – Head of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, Wales CRC
Trevor Beckford – Solicitor & Legal Enforcement Advisor, Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS)
Jo Easton – Head of Policy & Research, Magistrates Association
Savas Hadjipavlou – Chief Executive, Probation Institute
David Hearn – Darzi Fellow, Oxleas NHS Trust
Andy Homer – Operations Support Manager, Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS)
Anthea Hucklesby – Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Leeds
Mike Nellis – Emeritus Professor of Criminal and Community Justice, University of Strathclyde
Neil Moloney – Chief Executive, BENCH CRC
David Raho – Probation Officer, London CRC (Seconded to NAPO)
Tessa Webb – Independent Criminal Justice Consultant
For more information contact:
Ian Glennie, justice communications consultant working on behalf of Probation Institute
Tel: 07734 858121