Probation practice and the new penology: practitioner reflections

John Deering

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


    In recent decades theories of late modernity place the criminal justice system in a time of change and perceive amongst the general population growing levels of insecurity and intolerance of crime and offenders. Along with government policy and practice, these developments are seen as contributing to an increasingly punitive system that imprisons more than ever before and seeks to punish and manage offenders in the community, rather than to attempt their rehabilitation. For these reasons, along with a loss of faith in rehabilitation, the probation service is described by many as becoming a law enforcement agency, charged by government with the assessment and management of risk, the protection of the public and the management and punishment of offenders, rather than their transformation into pro-social citizens. This book discusses the extent to which a sample of practitioners within the National Probation Service for England and Wales ascribe to the values, attitudes and beliefs associated with these macro and mezzo level changes and how much their practice has changed accordingly. It examines offender assessment, case management and supervision and the enforcement of community sentences and post-custody licences, concluding that whilst this group of practitioners do not reject these new approaches outright, they interpret them in ways that may be seen to differ somewhat from those of government, mainly around the aims and purposes of probation practice, the enforcement of orders and especially the invasive influence of managerialism. As a result, ‘real practice’ may not be developing in quite the way intended by government and may have more links to ‘traditional’ modes of practice than has sometimes been assumed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationAldershot
    PublisherAshgate Publishing
    Number of pages204
    ISBN (Print)9781409401407
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


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