Public Protection? The Implications of Grayling’s ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ Agenda on the Safety of Women and Children

Published 11/12/2013
Type Article
Author(s) Beverley Gilbert
Corresponding Authors Beverley Gilbert, University of Worcester

The Coalition Government’s new Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) agenda jeopardises the work undertaken with perpetrators of domestic abuse by highly skilled, qualified probation staff. Under new changes outlined by Grayling, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, probation clients who are assessed as posing a medium/low risk of causing harm will be assigned to private sector/voluntary organisations rather than come under the remit of the National Probation Service. This article argues that victims of domestic abuse, primarily women and children, will be placed at an increased risk of harm given this latest TR strategy. The majority of domestic abuse cases will be assessed as posing a medium risk of causing harm and will receive lower levels of intervention by a variety of disparate agencies and organisations. The Ministry of Justice states that the National Probation Service will directly manage offenders who pose a high risk of serious harm to the public, this article will argue that all perpetrators of domestic abuse should be considered as an important exception to this stance, and should remain under the auspices of Probation supervision, irrespective of statistical risk assessment, as has sex offender case management and sex offender treatment programme delivery.