A Leading Article in today's Times adds its voice to the near-universal condemnation of the so-called Victims' Advocates' scheme. In the same edition Frances Gibb, Legal Editor, writes about the enormous cut in funding that is being imposed on the courts' service just at a time when the demands on it are increasing.
I have not spoken to a single person who works in the courts, lay or professional, who does not see trouble ahead. I have never been a fan of conspiracy theories, preferring as I do the cock-up theory as the most likely explanation for events, but sometimes the idea of a conspiracy looks attractive.
On top of likely trouble in the courts, the Probation Service faces an increase in its workload, from Custody Plus and pressure to improve supervision of prisoners released on licence. It is widely expected that many Custody Plus sentences will be breached and result in prison sentences, at the same time as the Parole Board delays the release of more offenders for reasons of safety. Since the prisons are already full, something is going to have to give.
Whatever happened to joined-up government?
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