THE civil servant in charge of prisons and probation paid a visit to Portsmouth.
Michael Spurr, chief executive of the National Offender Management Service, visited the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company at the civic offices in the city.
He met probation workers and offenders who are completing community work.
‘It has been great to come and hear about the commitment to working with local communities being put into practice,’ he said.
‘It has been particularly good to hear from service users who have spoken so positively about this inclusive approach.
‘This is all really encouraging and hopefully will make a difference to people’s lives.’
The CRC – a private company – runs probation in the area.
Yvonne Thomas, managing director for justice at Interserve, which runs the CRC, was also in the city.
She said: ‘I’m delighted Michael took the time from his busy schedule to visit HIOW CRC and to see the work we are doing to reduce reoffending.
‘I am especially pleased that Michael was able to meet our service users to learn first-hand about the benefits that our approach to rehabilitation is having in Hampshire.’
Mr Spurr also attended a Integrated Offender Management house run by the Society of St James.
Staff at the CRC showed him a new fleet of minibuses set to be used to transport offenders for community payback schemes.