The diminishing voice of the probation service

Cracknell, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: (2023) The diminishing voice of the probation service. Probation Quarterly, 27 . pp. 35-40. ISSN 2752-6933 [Article]

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In the past twenty years, the probation service in England and Wales has undergone four large-scale reforms, placing the service in a near-constant state of flux as it adopts to a revolving door of top-down re-organisations (Mair and Burke, 2013). Indeed, probation has recently emerged from the near ‘death knell’ (Newburn, 2013) of the failed transforming rehabilitation (TR) reforms and has since been reunified into one National Probation Service (NPS). However, the NPS faces a renewed set of challenges as it adopts to its increasingly centralised role within the civil service structure and subordinated role within HMPPS (HM Prison and Probation Service). This article will briefly outline three current challenges probation is facing, including: the straight-jacket imposed by a monolithic civil service culture; the further domination of prisons arising from the ‘one HMPPS’ leadership restructuring, and; the diminishing voice of probation in court work and parole hearings. These three challenges demonstrate concerns that a vital service is losing its independence and critical voice on a local and national stage. These challenges will also be assessed in light of the negative media reporting regarding probation’s role in a number of recent serious further offences (SFOs) (Editorial, 2023). This article will conclude by suggesting a potential pathway to ensure the distinct voice of probation continues to be heard.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 37646
Notes on copyright: Probation Quarterly is published with an open access licence (CC BY 4.0).
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Depositing User: Matt Cracknell
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2023 12:12
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:20

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