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Probation Service supports migration to Teams for community rehabilitation companies


Mark Say Managing Editor

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HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has begun to support community rehabilitation companies (CPCs) in migrating to the use of Microsoft Teams.

It is part of an effort to ensure they can work effectively with the service as it takes up more remote working.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) minister Alex Chalk MP (pictured) outlined the move in response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Lyn Brown.

He said the move has been prompted partly by a thematic review into delivery models for the probation service, carried out by HM Inspectorate of Probation.

While several CRCs have adapted their ICT to enable remote working, HMPPS has begun to support them in migrating staff to the same equipment used by the National Probation Service. This will enable them to access digital solutions they require for partnership liaison and remote services provision.

PeoplePlus was the first CRC to migrate in mid-February and it expected that all will have done so by the middle of June.

“Remote supervision has played a key part of our exceptional delivery models through the pandemic,” Chalk said.

“Whilst video call capability has offered a digital solution for maintaining virtual contact with our service users, we recognise that digital poverty disproportionately impacts the people we supervise.”

Talk and text

In April 2020 the service sourced 6,500 talk and text devices for its users who do not have access to a mobile phone, while the CRCs sourced another 11,000 – but these do not provide access to digital applications for video calling such as Teams.

Chalk said the service is now scoping its requirements to cover demand over the next 12 months.

CRCs are private sector suppliers of rehabilitation services for offenders who have served short term sentences.

Image by David Woolfall, CC BY 3.0



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