Success in the United Kingdom After MTC Helps Reduce Re-Offending
In 2015, MTC was honored to become a major player in a bold experiment in the United Kingdom.
The British Ministry of Justice decided to change the way they managed the transition of people from prisons to the community, who are medium to low risk, as well as people whose sentences are non-custodial, but require community supervision. This innovation was called Transforming Rehabilitation.
“Transforming Rehabilitation was about transforming the probation system in the UK,” says David Hood, MTC vice president of international business. “It was an incredibly ambitious program, a huge change in the system, the idea of outsourcing probation.”
To manage this outsourcing, the government created Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) across the country. MTC was awarded contracts to operate the London and Thames Valley CRCs, areas which, historically, had been two of the worst performing areas of probation services in all of the UK.
These new CRCs were structured by the government to provide payment to the operators by result–specifically–providers would only be paid in full where they were successful at reducing re-offending.
MTC eagerly took this challenge and ran with it.
Accordingly, the MTC CRCs determined to empower the probation officers and staff who worked directly with the service users. This was accomplished through outsourcing the administration burden, allowing staff greater flexibility in working one on one. Pay and working conditions were also improved, as was delivery and analytic tools utilized to manage cases.
It took some trial and error and careful evaluating and re-evaluating, but how did MTC do with the CRCs we operated? David Hood explains.
“The level of quality of delivery had improved substantially, by up to 80%. One of the things that we are measured on and incentivized on was reducing re-offending, If you take London as an example, in a 12-month period, that reduced by almost 10%.”
David refers to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation which inspects probation services.
“If you look at some of the inspection reports, they reflect the work that we were doing was inevitably having an impact on service users.”
As the contracts came to an end, the London CRC had improved to the number-two operation in the system, with the Thames Valley CRC being number one!
“I think,” reflects David, “the legacy that MTC left at the end of that program was one of an incredibly challenged system now having a chance to be successful.”