Indeed, the Carter report was not devoted to structural changes, but to the condemnation of policy and practice and the execution of sentences whose aspects were either explicitly or implicitly considered to be serious errors. For example, too many minors or first-time offenders have received more sentences, while “the system needs to improve its control over hard-line offenders” (Carter 2003: 18). There have been unjustified sanctions and “mismanagement of autonomy with regard to criminal practice” (ibid.: 20). However, Mr. Carter also found that detention and probation services remained largely separate. “A more strategic approach to end-to-end management of offenders beyond their sentence is needed” and “no front-line organization ultimately aims to reduce injury.” This is in stark contradiction to youth justice services, which clearly aim to “prevent insults from children and young people”. They have a strong focus on the management of young offenders (by youth insult teams). This structure … Seems to have had a considerable influence on reissue rates” (ibid.: 23). This restructuring plan builds on the two proposals for the elected government to recognize the wishes of justice and the community at large, that the National Offender Manager and the ROMs will interpret how these wishes will be adapted to local realities and needs, and that a more open and competitive market will ensure better efficiency and value for money. If, on the one hand, the consequence of these rules leads to a lack of continuity in supervision relations with offenders and, on the other hand, to the fragmentation of probation officers with respect to local partnerships, the consequences will be jeopardized both for reduced recidivism and for an effective merger of criminal justice policy. The probation service has been widely referred to as a “failure service.” In addition, the landscape of adjacent services, particularly the prison and juvenile justice communities, of which many probation officers were now integrated, has undergone fundamental and structural changes that indicate that probation services are unlikely to remain in their current form. Beginning in 1992, the new executive agency entrusted the management of some new prisons to commercial enterprises and many independent commentators, some of whom were not in favour of the initiative, concluded that, despite the start-up difficulties, the trend was positive both in terms of the improvement of the rules in contractual institutions and the consequences for the public service (see Morgan 2002: 1147-9).
In 1998, the Crime and Disorder Act reformed the youth justice system. Multi-agency, local youth authorities offend teams (YOTs), to which probation officers were initially seconded (many remain seconded), were created, supervised by a NDPB, the Office of Juvenile Justice (YJB), with important tasks of command and procurement and powers. As a result of these and other doubts, a compromise was reached. In July 2004, the Minister of the Interior announced that it had been decided not to pursue the national/regional approach, and in January 2005, the Offender and Conviction Management Act was published, which provides for the maintenance of probation boards but authorizes the Secretary of State to direct the services they were or would not provide. In response, the PBA announced that the boards were eager to expand their commissioning role with NOMS (PBA 2005b). Jack Straw appointed Eithne Wallis, former Chief Probation Officer, with the transition to public service, and his successor, David Blunkett, appointed her as the department`s first national director.