Invitation to submit a proposal to conduct an audit 

Dear CEP member,  

With this letter, we would like to invite you to submit your proposals to conduct an audit of the CEP work programme and activities in order to grow and develop as organisation.  

For the 2022 business audit, CEP will evaluate the caseload and workload of probation staff across Europe. Over the years, prison overcrowding has been put high on the agenda of many European countries as the consequences related to prison overcrowding might not only prevent prisons from fulfilling their main function including providing effective and efficient rehabilitation and programmes but also causes serious obstacles towards meeting basic human needs which can, in the end, lead to an increasing number of mental health problems, violence and suicide rates, self-harm etc. To avoid this situation, the need for a broad application of community sanctions that replace detention has been stressed. The SPACE II Annual Penal Statistics1 shows that “in 34 out of the 41 probation agencies and prison services included the probation population rate is higher than the prison population rate”. However, the total number of probation staff does not meet the overall needs.  

The objective of this evaluation audit is to explore how probation bodies across Europe deal with the increasing caseload, what measures are taken to prevent the excessive workload, what steps are to be taken to encourage national jurisdictions to increase the number of probation staff in order to fulfill the main aim of probation – to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders in the community, to contribute to safer communities, to provide the best possible interventions, to reduce reoffending and the impact of crime, to protect victims of crime.  

With this audit, CEP wants to initiate a further discussion and address this matter on a European level as it realizes the importance and necessity to tackle the probation overcrowding in order for probation bodies to be able to continue delivering high-quality services aimed at rehabilitation, reintegration and resocialization of offenders. CEP also aims to implement the recommendations from this audit in its future actions and work programme, as well as the outcomes, will provide CEP members with the opportunity to share the solutions that can be implemented within their respective organizations.  

The audit should, as a minimum, include interviews with CEP members with respect to regional balance, CEP staff and board members, group consultations, review of documents and other materials furnished by CEP, discussions with partners, stakeholders and experts, questionnaires – all work forms and options that are considered valuable and appropriate for the audit’s purpose. Some of the meetings and consultations may be conducted via Zoom, video conference or telephone instead of actual physical meetings.   

The work must be completed between 15th November 2022 and 31st January 2023. The Audit Report, with recommendations, must be submitted to the Secretary-General on behalf of the CEP Board by 1st February 2023 at the latest 

The candidate to carry out the audit does not have to be a CEP member (e.g. an employee of the CEP member organisation, individual or associate member etc), however, any external organisation or individual to conduct the audit has to be nominated/indicated by the CEP member.  

Proposals to conduct the audit, with an outline of the proposed programme of work, must be submitted to the CEP Secretary–General Ms. Jana Špero by email at by 5 pm (CET) on Wednesday 9 November 2022 

Feedback on the proposals and the announcement of the chosen successful candidate will be done by Monday 14th November 2022