Risk Management and/or Punishment in the Community: Supervising Conditional Sentences

Published 20/06/2007
Type Article
Author(s) Denis C. Bracken
Corresponding Authors Denis C Bracken, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba and Visiting Lecturer, Glasgow School of Social Work, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde

This paper is based on a small, qualitative study of probation officers’ perceptions of the supervision of offenders sentenced to a conditional sentence. A conditional sentence is imposed in Canada when a judge deems custody to be an appropriate disposition, but feels that the sentence could be safely served in the community. Probation officers perceived the tension between focusing supervision on compliance with the punitive conditions which frequently are part of a conditional sentence, and developing a strategy for intervention based in the What Works principles of risk assessment, identification  of criminogenic need, and responsivity-based interventions.