Post-sentence supervision: a case-study of the extension of community resettlement support for short sentence prisoners

Cracknell, Matthew ORCID: (2020) Post-sentence supervision: a case-study of the extension of community resettlement support for short sentence prisoners. Probation Journal . ISSN 0264-5505 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/0264550520942834)

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Introduced under the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 created a period of post-sentence supervision (PSS) after licence for individuals serving short custodial sentences. This empirical study features on the ground views and perspectives of practitioners and service users of PSS in one case-study area. Findings from this paper suggest a number of issues and ambiguities with the enactment of the sentence. These include ambiguities regarding the correct use of enforcement procedures; the antagonistic relationship between third sector and CRC staff, primarily centred around transferring cases; and concerns over the use of ‘light touch’ supervision and uncertainties over what the rehabilitative aims of this sentence mean in practice. These issues led to practitioners questioning the legitimacy of the third sector organisation involved in the management of PSS, while service users experienced PSS as a frustrating pass-the-parcel experience, where resettlement support was constantly stalled and restarted at each juncture of the sentence. Before briefly discussing the potential future of PSS under the next iteration of probation policy, this paper concludes by arguing that there is emerging evidence of a commonality of failures occurring at every juncture of the short sentence, undermining resettlement prospects for the long-neglected short sentence population.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 30704
Notes on copyright: Copyright © The Author(s) 2020
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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Depositing User: Matt Cracknell
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 16:28
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2020 09:12

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