'Private companies are failing to enforce the sentences handed down by courts, leaving convicts to commit more crime or simply disappear, a damning report has found.
HM Inspectorate of Probation said firms commissioned in a 2014 overhaul of the service are “stretched beyond their capacity”.
Inspectors found that staff in community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) are not seeing the offenders they are supposed to supervise during community orders and suspended sentences often enough.
They said the lack of proper engagement with convicts has led to poor decisions in managing violations, which can cause people to be sent back into overcrowded prisons.
In one case, a CRC officer made no contact with a 33-year-old pregnant woman due to be released on licence after being jailed for shoplifting.
The person charged with meeting Lucia, a heroin and crack cocaine addict, was on long-term sick leave and no action was taken when she missed other appointments.
CRC officers did not visit her home, even when a social worker reported Lucia was injecting heroin and taking other drugs, and she was eventually recalled to prison'
Read more: Private probation companies letting convicts commit more crime and allowing them to disappear, report finds
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