New Labour: The real costs to the Public
Professor | November 3, 2009 at 07:27 amby
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00 00 2004 National Offender Management Information System (C-NOMIS) began – at some £<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />234m.
12 03 2009: Offender tracking system 'fails'. More than two years behind schedule and expected costs had more than doubled to £690 million - NOW SCRAPPED and replaced with five separate programmes which will cost at least £279 million more than the original budget.
03 11 2009 Offender IT failure 'a shambles'. A government IT project for tracking offenders in England and Wales through the criminal justice system was a "shambles", MPs have said. Its replacement will instead use three separate databases.
Opinion: It appears that the UK has many problems to overcome against the backdrop of a Gov awarding itself bonuses while attempting to deny the Public knowledge as to its expenses. It all rather begs the question as to “value for money” top down as oppose to bottom up through targets and league tables which are seemingly tearing the Country apart.
11 07 2003 Prison population hits new high. The prison population has hit an all-time high with the number of inmates now exceeding some 74,000, said the Prison Service. More people are jailed in England and Wales than in any other western European country - and more, per capita, than Libya, Malaysia and Burma. The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) criticised the Home Office for encouraging judges to impose harsher sentences with rhetoric such as the slogan "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", without providing the extra capacity harsher sentences require. Home Secretary David Blunkett has extended measures to speed up releases from jail.
06 01 2004 Blunkett hails new offender body. Home secretary David Blunkett announces the Prison and Probation Services are to be merged into a single service called the National Offender Management Service. The new body, to be headed by ex-Prison Service chief Martin Narey, will have responsibility for the rehabilitation of offenders in and out of custody. In a Commons statement, Mr Blunkett said from this month, Kirkham Prison in Preston and Morton Hall Prison in Lincoln will trial periods of intermittent custody, such as imprisoning offenders at weekends only. Other new schemes could include "day fines" - giving minor offenders means-tested fines for a certain number of days or they face prison for the same amount of time. The aim of the measures was to "reduce crime by radically transforming the performance of the prison and probation services". The government hopes the plans will reduce the projected 2009 prison population from 93,000 to 80,000. Mr Blunkett said: "This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the way we manage offenders to make sure they pay back the community they have harmed, to reduce reoffending and to cut crime. David Heath, for Liberal Democrats, welcomed the new service, adding that the Probation Service was in "melt-down, both in financial terms and in the scant support it's able to offer tens of thousands of offenders".
00 00 2004 National Offender Management Information System (C-NOMIS) began - £234m. Aim: of allowing the prison and probation services in England and Wales to follow offenders "end-to-end" through the criminal justice system.
08 02 2005 No-one wanted' top UK jails post. Martin Narey said he inherited prisons which were a "nightmare" in the run-up to the murder of inmate Zahid Mubarek. Now head of the National Offender Management Service, a key Home Office department, Mr Narey said: "The only reason I became director general is because no-one wanted the job. Offered the post by Home Secretary Jack Straw, Mr Narey said he would only take it if he could speak frankly about how bad prisons had become. "London was a nightmare," Mr Narey told the inquiry. "Wormwood Scrubs was a deeply violent, evil place. Wandsworth was not a violent place but it was one where the staff culture was utterly reprehensible. "Holloway was in a permanent crisis, or very nearly unmanageable. Brixton was filthy with the most outrageously appalling health care. I could go on.". In an earlier hearing, the former head of Feltham's independent watchdog said her group had warned two home secretaries - Conservative Michael Howard and his Labour successor Jack Straw - about Feltham's conditions. Lucy Bogue said she believed the lack of response from the Home Office contributed to the lack of adequate care for young offenders between 1998 and 2000. Mr Narey earlier told the inquiry that he had been threatened when he began taking on racists. He had used his first speech as director general in 1999 to say he would make race relations a key element of a "decency agenda" for jails. "There was a small amount of hostility," said Mr Narey. "I came across two governors in my time as director
11 03 2005 Inquiry hears of racist beating. An Asian inmate was badly beaten in a racist attack weeks before Zahid Mubarek's murder at the same young offenders' institution, it has emerged. The teenager was left without help for 24 hours and, when he did receive treatment, needed 19 days in hospital with a broken jaw and other injuries. Although the two assailants were immediately identified to staff, they were never disciplined. Despite the victim and his Asian friend, who was also attacked, giving statements at the time, police were not called in for a year.
29 04 2005 Jail population hits record high. The prison population has hit a new high, with the number of inmates reaching 75,550 - exceeding the record set a year ago by six. The number of male prisoners has risen sharply and more inmates are serving long sentences, including life terms. The increase in the prison population may also be due to more offenders being jailed for violence, criminal damage and arson. The spokeswoman said some of its places were currently out of use for refurbishment, while some privately-run jails had cut their capacities to reduce crowding.
10 05 2005 Police 'demoralised' by sentences. A police chief has questioned whether tougher sentences are needed to crack down on repeat offenders. Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan, of Hampshire Constabulary, says officers are being demoralised by courts appearing to favour criminals. He said it was "demoralising for officers and the communities they serve when some courts appear more concerned with the needs of offenders and the size of the prison estate than the need to prevent re-offending."
There were 5,415 burglaries across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight last year, the same number as in 1974.
25 05 2005 'Startling' rise in jail returns. The number of offenders being returned to prison after being freed on licence has more than trebled in the last five years, says the Prison Reform Trust (PRT). In 2003-2004, 8,135 offenders were recalled to jail, compared with 2,337 in 2000-2001, it says. A Home Office spokeswoman said the number of recalls showed how well the probation service was doing its job. However, among all types of prisoner the majority were recalled for breaking licence conditions rather than for re-offending. Martin Narey, chief executive of the National Offender Management Service said "People now have to do what they're told. They know that probation isn't a soft touch and they know that if they don't do what they're told by their probation officer they'll end up back in prison.". A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Prisoners on licence, whose behaviour gives cause for concern, face swift action to recall them to custody.
13 01 2006 Reforms 'will not help cut crime'. A former top Home Office civil servant says the government's offender management strategy will not cut crime. Carol Hedderman said the new National Offender Management Service (Noms) will "never have much impact" on crime, while clear-up rates remain low. The Home Office said it was "confident" a new five-year plan would see a "real reduction" in re-offending by 2010. The office says it is about to launch this plan. The creation of Noms was announced in January 2004, when the government set out its plans for transforming the management of offenders.
29 06 2006 Devastating indictment' of prisons. The findings of the inquiry into the murder of Asian prisoner Zahid Mubarek by a racist cellmate have been described as a "devastating indictment" of the prison system. Psychopathic killer Robert Stewart should have been identified as a risk two years before Mr Mubarek died in 2000 in his cell at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution, the report found. Mr Mubarek's uncle Imtiaz Amin said: "We make no bones about the death of Zahid Mubarek. He died because of institutional murder. "The report exposes a litany of failures from prison staff to senior management all of which are culpable for the circumstances in which Zahid was placed in a cell with a known racist and psychopath. "It was obvious what would happen. "The judge who has written this report and heard all the evidence was rightly shocked and dismayed by what he found. The family have suffered terribly in order to expose these appalling failures." The Mubareks' lawyer Dexter Dias criticised the Home Office over the case. "But the report does something else. It brings great shame on the Home Office for trying to conceal these failings from the public's scrutiny. "Shame on them for what they have done. Shame on them for opposing the fight of Zahid's parents to find the truth. The Home Office should know better.
"This report has shown quite clearly, shockingly, devastatingly, that Zahid Mubarek suffered a double dose of racism," he said. "Racism from a prison service which put him into the same cell as Robert Stewart. Racism from Robert Stewart who killed him in brutal, callous fashion."
Mr Wheatley, director general of the Prison Service, said "With 41% of our prisoners sharing a cell at the moment, that would be an enormous prison-building programme that would be very expensive," he told BBC Radio 4's The World At One. Shadow home secretary David Davis criticised the government for not calling a full public inquiry. "The sheer number of failures identified in this report is a shattering condemnation of the way the prison service has been run under this government," he said. Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: "Justice Keith's conclusions must prompt the government to pull its head out of the sand and accept that we cannot keep filling our prisons to bursting point without devastating and potentially tragic consequences."
00 07 2007 Project was two years behind schedule - estimated costs had increased to £690m. Staff "grossly underestimated" the likely cost and neither ministers nor senior management at the Home Office, nor even the project board, were aware of problems until May 2007. The National Offender Management Service has no idea what £161m was used for before October 2007!.
12 03 2009 Offender tracking system 'fails'. The "avoidable" failure of a multimillion-pound government IT system has been condemned in an official report. The National Offender Management IT System was intended to track criminals "end-to-end" from sentence through the prison and probation systems. But within two years the project, known as C-NOMIS, was more than two years behind schedule and expected costs had more than doubled to £690 million, the National Audit Office report found. now been scrapped and replaced with five separate programmes which will cost at least £279 million more than the original budget.
03 11 2009 Offender IT failure 'a shambles'. A government IT project for tracking offenders in England and Wales through the criminal justice system was a "shambles", MPs have said. Scheme abandoned after costs trebled and Officials in charge lacked even a "minimum level of competence", the Public Accounts Committee found. The ambitious project to institute a single database to manage individual offenders through the prison and probation systems. "The result has been a three-year delay in the roll-out of the programme, envisaged separate databases for prisons and probation instead of the original one, each with different information about an offender, and a doubling of costs.
Its replacement, NOMIS, will instead use three separate databases and is not expected to be working fully until 2011. A Prison Service spokesman said: "The work done so far has not been lost but is being used as the basis of the revised NOMIS programme. "This will support our commitment to ensuring that prison and probation service staff have improved access to the informationthey need to protect the public by managing offenders in custody and in the community. "The prison element of the programme commenced roll out to public sector prisons on 22 May 2009 and is on schedule to complete in summer 2010."