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Probation and Politics

Academic Reflections from Former Practitioners

Editors: Vanstone, Maurice, Priestley, Philip (Eds.)

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  • Offers an academic perspective on the positive contribution of probation to the criminal justice system
  • Exposes the destruction of the contribution of probation by successive governments
  • Provides a critical approach to understanding probation and rehabilitation
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eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59557-7
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Hardcover $119.99
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About this book

This book is a collection of essays by a unique group of authors about the political destruction of the probation service in England and Wales. All of them are probation officers turned academics, with a collective scholarly output that is both prodigious and distinguished. They address the history of probation, its underlying values and working methods, and the way it has been systematically dismantled by successive political administrations. The book offers essential reading for those interested in broadening their understanding of the probation service and its vital role in rehabilitation. In addition it makes a compelling case for the reinstatement of an evidence-based probation service as the primary criminal justice agency concerned with helping people who come before the courts to become contributing citizens. A lively and engrossing read, it is destined to be invaluable to policy makers, social science theorists and commentators, as well as scholars of criminology and the justice system, and all those who work in it.

About the authors


Maurice Vanstone worked in the probation service for 27 years and is currently Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Swansea University, Wales. His research and writing has focused mainly on probation-related topics, in particular, the effectiveness of community sentences, and the history of probation.
Philip Priestley has been a probation officer and academic. He helped pioneer services to victims, mediation, and probation day-centres as alternatives to prison. Has written on prison history, and developed cognitive-behavioural programmes, shown to reduce re-offending by up to 25%; which have been used in five countries.

Reviews

“This volume provides a uniquely honest insight into the research that has been conducted in the field of probation over the last 40 years and thus serves as a valuable body of work that can be used by anyone, specialist or otherwise, to understand what probation is all about and what it might become.” (Jake Phillips, The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 59 (2), March, 2019)



“The enormous wisdom and personal insight in this unique collection of essays from a generation of former probation practitioners-turned-scholars reminds us just how much will be lost if current trends endure and probation work continues to be undermined. Based on personal narratives of probation's recent past, Probation and Politics provides hope and good sense for what the future should hold.” (Shadd Maruna, Dean, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark)

“This is a very original collection, which, as seen through its authors’ personal experience in both probation and academia, tells us about the recent changes in English and Welsh probation and its institutional and political roots. It makes for an enjoyable yet informative read, and raises essential questions. Particularly noteworthy is the following: how can we avoid state bureaucratic and centralist ‘prisonbation’, whilst promoting local embeddedness, flexibility and innovation, without ‘selling out’ to for profit agencies or atomising probation? Whether in the UK or abroad, probation urgently needs to find the right balance, and to convince politicians that quick fixes and simplistic ideologically fuelled Uturns are not helping.” (Martine Herzog-Evans, University of Reims, Law Faculty)

“None of us wanted what actually happened to the Probation Service, and perhaps we all underestimated, politically and culturally, until too late, how much time and tide were against its survival in the form we desired.  There are dark times when the writ of reason and the claims of virtue lose traction, but it is still necessary, in however dissident a spirit, to record why the public Probation Service was dismantled, to point out the moral and practical inferiority of the structures that have replaced it, to nurture such seeds as there are, to insist that things could have been politically and professionally otherwise and, even more so, to insist that they still ought to be. That is the form of truth-telling to which this reflective book aspires, and there is wisdom in the effort whether it bears fruit or not.” (Mike Nellis, Glasgow School of Social Work, Strathclyde University)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59557-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Probation and Politics
Book Subtitle
Academic Reflections from Former Practitioners
Editors
  • Maurice Vanstone
  • Philip Priestley
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-59557-7
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-59557-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59556-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 412
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations
Topics