HM Inspectorate of Probation today publishes a report by Professors Chris Fox and Kevin Albertson, exploring the concept of innovation and its application to the delivery of probation services.

As shown in the report, while probation could be said to have its roots in social innovation, the role of innovation has become confused in recent times with a lack of alignment between stated aims and the reforms implemented. To support innovation, it is clear that networks and relationships are key, both at the level of individuals and organisations. There are natural links between innovation and (i) approaches which involve co-creation with service users, (ii) localised approaches that focus on the development of shared values, and (iii) the concepts of evidence-led and evidence-based practice. It is critical that new ‘evidence-led’ innovations are tested and evaluated, so that the evidence base underpinning the delivery of probation services continues to develop and broaden.

The report can be downloaded from here.