The government is proposing major changes to the way the probation service is run in England and Wales.
Under the plans, private companies and charitable groups would take over responsibility for the monitoring of some offenders - and be paid by results.
The public sector trusts, which operate the service at the moment, would continue to look after high-risk offenders.
The Chief Inspector of Probation, Liz Calderbank, explained to Today presenter James Naughtie that payment-by-results could have benefits but also pose some challenges: "The probation service deals with a huge range of individuals, some of whom... are very difficult, damaged individuals.
"What do you do with those individuals on a payment-by-results scheme? You can't say [these individuals are] not worthy of the investment," she added.
"There is a public duty to manage them safely within the community."
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.