French firm Sodexo has confirmed it is studying plans to allow UK offenders to report in for probation at biometric ATM-style electronic kiosks.The firm's justice services wing currently runs six out of 21 privatised community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) in England and Wales.According to a report in the Guardian, the company's “new operating model” also makes clear it intends to introduce “biometric reporting” using cash machine-style kiosks.The machines use fingerprint recognition technology to check identities, allow an offender to report in, to give and receive information, and to request a face-to-face meeting with a probation officer. The biometric solution is a reward for good compliance with the early stages of their supervision order or prison release licence.But the biometric plans come alongside a plan for significant job cuts, sparking criticism that the machines are designed to replace trained probation officers.Emails from Sodexo chief executives have confirmed job losses in South Yorkshire (36% job losses), Cumbria and Lancashire (30%), Northumbria (30%) and the CRC covering Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (30%). A similar figure is expected in the remaining Sodexo company covering Essex.”The use of call centres and machines instead of highly skilled staff is downright dangerous and will put the public at risk,” Ian Lawrence, general secretary of the probation union Napo told the Guardian.