Expert Group on Caseload and Workload

Background information

The 2022 evaluation audit on caseload and workload recognized that excessive workloads threaten the effectiveness and quality of probation work; have negative impacts on the experience and treatment of offenders, mental health and well-being of probation staff. The size of the community sanctions caseload is determined by many factors that lie beyond the control of probation bodies but reflect the broader penal and economic climate.

The importance of adequate time and resources for probation work is clearly stated by the Council of Europe in its Probation Rules. The evaluation showed that probation staff across Europe want to talk about caseload and workload, especially the ways that probation bodies are responding to increasing caseloads and systems for measuring the volume of work, the steps that probation organizations are taking to manage large and growing workloads as well as measures to prevent workloads becoming excessive, ensuring that probation work is adequately resourced, and that probation supervision is purposeful and proportionate.

CEP finds it highly important that the broader use of alternatives at all stages of criminal procedure is addressed on both national and European levels in connection to the effort to reduce the net-widening in probation and criminal justice in general.

In 2023, the Expert Group on Caseload and Workload was launched to deal with the topic of caseload and workload. The objectives of Expert Group work meetings are to define the comprehensiveness of the topic in the context of national probation services, but also in the European context; to identify different approaches in caseload and workload management and reach a consensus on best practice examples; to develop guidelines and recommendations in the caseload and workload area.