Tracking the voluntary sector’s experience of the probation reform programme
The commissioning of day one services
This report looks at the voluntary sector's experience of the probation reform programme during the commissioning of day one services. It draws on evidence gathered from a survey of 241 voluntary organisations and interviews with eight organisations between May and July 2021.
The research was conducted by Clinks with support from research partners at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Wolverhampton, and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research.
It finds that the commissioning process was complex, cumbersome and bureaucratic and the financial costs of working to be involved were significant. Organisations also found it challenging to receive support from HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) when they had difficulties. Many small, specialist organisations were unable to engage with the commissioning process due to the financial thresholds that needed to be reached, the geographical footprint of contracts and the information required during the process.
The report makes nine recommendations aimed at supporting future commissioning processes including that in order to encourage and facilitate the engagement of small, specialist organisations in commissioning processes to ensure true diversity of providers, grants should be the default funding option for voluntary sector organisations.