Throw Out the Bathwater but Keep the Baby! The Role of the Supervisory Relationship in ‘What Works’ Initiatives Among Swedish Male Probationers

Published 13/06/2005
Type Article
Author(s) Anne H. Berman
Corresponding Authors Anne H. Berman, Karolinska Institutet

‘What Works’ initiatives have led to fears that the role of probation officers will be reduced to that of competent functionaries rather than skilled experts in criminal justice social work. A quantitative pattern analysis of four key variables among 3286 male Swedish probationers showed that worse contact than planned and a prior criminal record are associated with reconviction more often than expected. Worse contact could be a marker of potential reconviction during probation, indicating a need for immediate response. Probation may ‘work’ better when manual-based programmes and the