A distinguished audience of over 200 delegates gathered at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on November 6th for ‘Parole, Probation and Prisons – Past, Present and Future.’ Organised by The Butler Trust and supported by HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), the conference marked the 50th Anniversary of The Parole Board. An exceptional roster of speakers included The Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice; Nick Hardwick, Chair of The Parole Board; and Michael Spurr, CEO of HMPPS; as well as leading academics and representatives of victims and service users.
Butler Trust News
After a summer spent reviewing and rating the 300+ nominations received for this year’s Award Scheme, our volunteer Sifting Panel met at the end of September to agree the shortlist to go through to the final stage of judging for the 2017-18 Butler Trust Awards.
The standard was as high as ever and the decision-making as difficult as always – but after much deliberation, the Sifting Panel agreed to put through a final shortlist of 43 nominations.
After the success of last year’s Prison Officer Summer School at Cambridge University, which brought together front line staff and world-leading academics in the prisons field, to share their knowledge and experience with one another, the Butler Trust ran a follow up event in August, at the University of Oxford.
Last year’s event led, among other things, to changes in POELT training, the introduction of mentoring for new staff, and a review of training and development for existing staff. This year’s event brought together 117 officers, with over 1150 years of experience between them, and representing over 95% of the custodial estate in England and Wales, to build on last year and drill down in more detail into: how to recruit, train and support staff better; and how to hold on to, and get the most out of, more experienced staff.
After receiving a record-equalling number of nominations this year, judging for the 2017-18 Awards is now well underway.
In the first stage of the process our Sifting Panel reviews all the nominations to prepare a shortlist of around 40. They are still reviewing all of the 343 nominations received this year and will meet later this month to consider their final shortlist. From there, the shortlisted nominations will be pass on to our Judging Panel, who will make the final recommendations to Trustees later in the year.
We hope to announce the shortlist for this year’s Awards in early October, and the final outcomes at the end of the year.
After a turbulent year for the sector, it is a pleasure – and a highly positive comment on those working on the frontline – to report that nominations for the 2017-2018 Butler Trust Awards have equalled the record-breaking nominations seen last year. Once again, there has been an impressive range of nominations by prisoners, accounting for over a quarter of all prison nominations. We have also seen a very high number of nominations from probation, in particular from the National Probation Service.
These results are a reminder that, for all the negative headlines that dominate the media, there is an extraordinary amount of generally unsung and extremely positive work going on. It is work that gets noticed and appreciated by colleagues and offenders alike, however, and so a Butler Trust nomination is a chance to acknowledge someone making a real difference to people’s lives.