Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Professor Rod Morgan, HM Chief Inspector of Probation

  When I, together with HMIP colleagues, gave evidence to the HAC on 11 February, HAC Members requested, and we agreed, to provide a note regarding the relationship between the Probation Service's workload and budget in recent years.

  The relationship is, as you will appreciate, complicated. The demands made on the Service have greatly changed, as has the quality of what has been provided. However, as the attached note indicates, the Service has by any standards delivered a great deal more for proportionately fewer resources. In the next year or so, I hope that as a result of work that the NPD are developing, it will be possible to generate a much more precise fix on the relationship between workload and budget than is currently possible.

May 2003


  HMIP undertook to provide a note subsequent to the hearing on the extent to which expenditure on the probation service had increased in line with probation caseload in the last 10 years.

  Information is given in the following table, which shows total expenditure in both cash and real terms, and total caseload for the period 1991-92 to 2001-02, the most recent year for which caseload data are available.
Total expenditure on the
probation service (cash
Total expenditure on the
probation service (real
Total caseload of
probation (number of
offenders supervised as
at end-December)
1991-92334.3428.2 136,400
1992-93364.7455.4 136,600
1993-94392.8480.7 145,000
1994-95409.1495.3 158,300
1995-96405.3479.1 160,800
1996-97437.2503.0 170,300
1997-98428.1479.3 184,300
1998-99432.7472.4 203,500
1999-00456.7487.6 204,000
2000-01479.1503.1 204,600
2001-02523.0536.1 207,400
Increase over
period 1991-92 to



  As indicated, over the period as a whole, the increase in expenditure (25% in real terms) has not kept pace with the increase in caseload (52%). Also, this latter figure may understate the increase in work since, as we indicated in our evidence, the work involved in an individual case has typically increased as a result of changes in probation service work over this period—particularly the development of national standards for contact with offenders and of accredited programmes. It is not though possible to quantify this increase. The National Probation Directorate are developing measures of the workload currently involved in a case.

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