Probation that is. Indeed it's a third sector invention and we ran it for many decades; where the emphasis was on rehabilitation; indeed "reformation" as the 1601 Charity law has it.
Since it was taken over by the State the emphasis has changed and there has been less rehab work- not solely the fault of the service it has to be said but the demands of the prison and criminal justice system.
I welcome the proposals from Chris Grayling. Opening up the service for bids by the sector can help shut the revolving door of prison, release, back in again. Half of prisoners currently reoffend within a year. Surely an indictment of our current system, not to mention a massive drain on resources and harm to communities.
We must learn the lessons of the work programme and ensure proper access to capital, a PBR system that recognizes the weak cash flow of charities and encourages consortia rather than a private sector prime approach.
ACEVO will be working with the MoJ to try and ensure a system that fits charities and also helps members prepare for bidding. As I blogged recently, some charities have magnificent records in keeping people out of prison; ... Jocelyn Hillman and her organisation Working Chance achieved a 1% reoffending rate. So PBR could be hugely valuable. But only if we are able to take part!