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CPS response to joint Inspectorate COVID-19 recovery progress report, 17 May 2022


General Comments

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation have today issued a progress report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the criminal justice system. This is a joint CJS Inspectorate progress report to the January 2021 ‘state of the nation’ report on the criminal justice system (CJS) and is based on their combined inspection findings over the previous year, when the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted services.

The CPS welcomes the report and the acknowledgement provided of the significant challenges we and the wider criminal justice system have faced, and continue to face, as restrictions have eased and society lives with COVID.

The report highlights the demands placed on our people to manage increased workloads as part of the recovery phase and the sustainability of this environment without building up wellbeing or morale issues. However, we are pleased that the Inspectors have recognised the significant levels of recruitment being undertaken to mitigate these issues alongside strong management and corporate support to best balance the health, safety and wellbeing of our people. It is acknowledged that recruiting at scale can have short term costs in terms of induction, training and mentoring, but it was also noted how CPS Areas consistently applied well-structured induction programmes to onboard people in an effective manner.

We welcome the report's recognition of the proactive cross Criminal Justice System relationships in CPS Areas where stakeholders are focused on dealing with the backlog. We also welcome the report’s finding of the innovative ways of working to tackle backlogs and other pressures.

These pressures and caseloads will continue to set challenges for the CPS and the Criminal Justice System as a whole for some time to come. The progress we have made so far is testimony to the professionalism and commitment to delivering justice of all of our people. Our employees will continue to show the same levels of outstanding dedication and commitment whilst we continue through the recovery phases and we are wholly grateful for each of their contributions.

There were no recommendations or aspects for improvement in this report.

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