A Failed Social Experiment: Damaged Professional Identity Post ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’

Published 23/09/2021
Type Article
Author(s) Sam Cooper
Corresponding Authors

Following the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation process of privatising half of the Probation Service, research found that profession identity and resilience had been damaged in the aftermath. Five years later, just after the Government announcement that Probation is to be re-unified, this paper explores the impact of the last five years on 7 members of staff working in one of the CRC companies that originally reported the lowest resilience and the most difficult working experiences. Narrative inquiry was used to allow staff to tell their own stories, and then followed up by semi-structured interviews to fill in any gaps in data. Key themes which emerged were loss of professional discretion, resistance to financial driven decision making and diminished self-efficacy as a result of inconsistent management oversight. Recommendations are made at the end of the paper to assist new managers to ease the transition and support staff resilience.