PROBATION IN 2020: INSIGHTS, FEARS AND HOPES

On the 28th April 2016, on the eve of his departure from his Chair at Sheffield Hallam University, Paul Senior gave the final lecture in the Community Justice Portal series. A recording of this lecture has recently emerged, and we are proud to offer here an edited transcript of that lecture. The lecture was penned in the early days of Transforming Rehabilitation: Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) came into existence in June 2014 and probation as a whole was still in the throes of change. In this lecture Paul was looking to the future of probation, and given probation is changing once again with the recent demise of CRCs and the reunification of the National Probation Service, it is interesting to reflect on his thoughts at that time.

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Editorial (Volume 17, Issue 2)

This Special Issue is themed around the Future of Probation - post 2020. Contributors were invited to take as their starting point (but not exclusively) the special issue of this journal which we published in March 2016 (Vol 14 Issue 1). The landscape of probation provision in England and Wales looked very different then.

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A Response to Laura Frampton’s ‘Paedophile Hunting and the Managment of Sex Offenders’

Whilst reading Laura Frampton's thoughtful and balanced article on 'Paedophile hunting and the Management of Sex Offenders' (BJCJ 12th July), I reflected on some of the real dilemmas that sentencers face when judicial decision making constrained although not confined to working within existing sentencing guidelines, (in the interests of justice test is the fallback position when departing from prescribed guideline penalties for offences that often lie on the cusp between community and custodial outcomes).

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“SAFETY IS FREEDOM FROM TRAUMA”: LESSONS FROM THE BROWNSVILLE COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER

This interview with one of the leaders of the Brownsville Community Justice Center explores how the innovative project in Brooklyn, New York is working to promote community health and safety without conventional law enforcement strategies. The article also provides an overview of the history of community justice centres in both the US and the UK, including the short-lived North Liverpool Community Justice Centre. 

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PAEDOPHILE HUNTERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICE COURTS AND PROBATION

Whilst public naming and shaming of those convicted of sexual offences against children is not a new phenomenon, the rise in popularity of the internet and the surge in content available online is. Increased accessibility to information made available by paedophile hunters has implications on all aspects of the criminal justice system...

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Can a better understanding of trust unlock the ‘black box’ of relational probation practice?

Throughout our lives, most of us are taught that trust is important between people, whether that be in a romantic and/or work relationship. But what about people with convictions, the vast majority of whom, the evidence suggests, have had poor relationship and/or work role models? How do they view trust? What does trust mean to them? My interest in this notion of trust in probation practice was piqued whilst studying as a mature student during my undergraduate degree in criminology. It became clear from my reading that there was more to it than we realised. Perhaps if we could develop a deeper understanding of the role of trust in probation supervisor and service user relationships, we could help those working in the criminal justice system with their relational work.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Race and Criminal/Community Justice

What explains the persistence of ethnic and racial disparities within the criminal justice system in the UK and other jurisdictions and how should they be addressed? Whilst there is far reaching agreement that such disparities exist and need to be eliminated or mitigated, the explanations for these differential outcomes are more contested.

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A RAPID EVIDENCE ASSESSMENT TO ASSESS THE OUTCOMES OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTODY DELIVERED VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMMES ON REOFFENDING

We undertook a Rapid Evidence Assessment to assess the outcomes of vocational training and employment programmes on reoffending. A meta-analysis of a subset of the most methodologically robust studies found that vocational training and employment programmes were associated with 9 percent fewer programme participants reoffending, when compared with nonparticipants. Studies conducted in the UK were associated with 6 percent fewer programme participants reoffending. However the expected high degree of observed statistical heterogeneity amongst the analysed studies suggests considerable variation in programme effects on recidivism outcomes. It is also possible that publication bias inherent in the reviewed studies may mean that in real terms reductions in recidivism would be marginally lower than our headline findings suggest. This is the first review of this type to combine a review of custodial and community settings, to include a meta-analysis, and to include a number of UK studies.

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Editorial (Volume 17, Issue 1)

Reflecting on the findings and recommendations of the MacPherson report, this is the first of a two-part special issue which examines the processes of hate crime (the term now used to include all crime motivated or aggravated by prejudice, not just racism) from the perspectives of victims, victim services, the criminal justice system and perpetrators.

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AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF UNDERSTANDINGS AND EXPERIENCES OF IMPLEMENTING RESTORATIVE PRACTICE IN THREE UK PRISONS

This paper highlights how qualitative research can enhance causal explanation in impact evaluations and provide additional causal leverage to findings from randomised experiments.

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