Almost a Century of Residential Work with Offenders: Past, Present and Future Roles of Approved Premises

Published 20/06/2007
Type Article
Author(s) Dr Emma Wincup
Corresponding Authors Dr Emma Wincup, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds

This article charts the development of residential work with offenders, explores its place within contemporary criminal justice and speculates upon its future role. Its starting point is the 1914 Criminal Justice Administration Act which gave the courts powers to add a condition of residence to a probation order and paved the way for the establishment of hostels for young people. Over a period of almost a century, the contribution of hostels to the delivery of criminal justice has altered significantly and hostels, known as approved premises since the implementation of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act  2000, are used increasingly for supervising high-risk adult male offenders following their release from prison. Approved premises were not considered in Carter’s strategic review of correctional services yet they appear well-placed to support the policy aspirations it advanced. In particular, they can contribute to the end-to-end management of offenders from whom the public must be protected. However, one barrier to effective practice is that little is known about ‘what works’ in relation to residential work with offenders thus further research is needed to develop an evidence base.