Pandora's box and the perceptions of a probation order : from the perspective of the offender

Grice, Robert

June 2003

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© 2003 Robert Grice. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

A probation order is a sentence of the court built around rehabilitation. However, over the last decade the philosophy of the probation service has changed from 'advise, assist and befriend', to one based around the principles of enforcement and control. Changes which have brought with them a conflict for officers between care and control, between welfare and law enforcement. Such changes have had an impact on how an order is enforced, the supervision of the order and the control of the offender.

Whilst the philosophy of the probation service may have changed those whom they deal with has not. It is a central argument of this study that rehabilitation would be better served by addressing the reasons for offending behaviour (criminogenic factors) rather than by strict enforcement. Within this thesis it was found that National Standards could be at odds with 'effective practice' and that one could detract from the other. Throughout this study it was found that officers failed to achieve 'effective practice' and as a consequence failed not only the offender, but the community at large. The argument is that only by addressing offending behaviour centred around criminogenic factors within the principles of 'what works' and motivated involvement through the 'sensible' use of national standards, would a probation order achieve its aim of rehabilitation.

Department of Criminology, The University of Hull
Hucklesby, Anthea
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