Major changes brought in affecting probation in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 09:16 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 February 2015
Two major changes have been introduced which will affect those on probation in Hertfordshire.
The Offender Rehabilitation Act has been introduced affecting short-term prisoners while Sodexo Justice Services are the new owners of the BeNCH Community Rehabiltation Company, made up of the former Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Probation Trusts.
Both changes came into effect on February 1.
The new act will apply to those sentenced after this date and means anyone who receives more than one day in prison will be subject to at least 12 months supervision and support after they are released.
The new law also allows for increased drug testing powers.
Sodexo will employ a new operation model, which gives staff more time to spend with those on the caseload. They say this will be more effective in helping people turn away from crime.
They will continue to work from their exisiting offices, including St Albans, which supervises the Welwyn Hatfield area.
Neil Moloney, BeNCH CEO, said: “This is a very important day for BeNCH and probation colleagues everywhere. This means everyone sent to prison under the new Act will be released on licence and will have to follow the new rules.
“This includes getting support and guidance. We know many short-term prisoners otherwise fall back into offending easily through not getting the support they need to make the right choices in their lives.”