This article emerges out of a three year research project with Cheshire Probation Trust on their Veteran Support Officer (VSO) initiative. At a time when the offending of veterans is a subject of national concern with vast political and social interest this article is the timely provider of a series of questions and debates about how those concerns (the noise) are translating into probation practice. Although this is a national concern, to date there is no national strategy to guide practitioners. Instead a series of ad hoc grassroots initiatives have emerged in response that vary greatly across probation areas. The findings suggest that Cheshire’s pioneering model has been instrumental in raising awareness of veteran offending both regionally and nationally but more needs to be done to fully understand the needs of this unique offending population. The aim is not one of resolving problems at this stage but to encourage a series of questions and debates about how veteran offenders are managed in the community using the experience of Cheshire Probation Trust’s journey to date to create discussions and encourage debates that are relevant to all probation areas.
Enforcement and compliance: Critical practices for Community Rehabilitation Companies and the new NPS?
Efforts to secure compliance have always been a core element of probation practice, although compliance has been constructed in diverse ways and promoted through different means throughout its history. This article takes a brief historical perspective and reviews recent research on enforcement practices and developing understandings of compliance. These guide a critical discussion of the practices that might develop as responsibilities for enforcement are divided between the new National Probation Service (NPS) and Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) under the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda, highlighting inevitable tensions and challenges, and anticipating how inter-agency practices might shape the ongoing construction of compliance. Charging more than one agency with responsibilities in relation to enforcement is tricky and creates risks in terms of legitimacy, credibility and justice. On the whole, future prospects seem difficult, but not hopeless and, in particular, there are examples of positive practices in probation and youth justice for the NPS and CRCs to draw upon as they develop their inter-agency structures and processes. Elsewhere, initiatives in problem-solving courts, focused, for example, on drug users, may also give indicators of constructive ways forward.
October 9, 2014 by Lang, N., Hillas, A., Mensah, M., Ryan, S., Glass, L.
Filed under Probation
In 2011, Hounslow public health opened a dialogue with probation, asking what the obstacles were, in terms of access to healthcare. The first issue raised was a difficulty in clients registering with a GP practice. This formed the start of a robust partnership between probation, public health, the forensic mental health practitioner, GPs and community health services. The health and well-being initiatives have included GP registration, with 10 dedicated practices for probation and Drug Intervention Programme clients, in-house stop smoking support, and the start of a health trainer scheme. This work will help to reduce health inequalities in a marginalized and underserved group and also meet the goals for both public health and criminal justice agencies
Allan Weaver's autobiographical account and the corresponding analysis by Beth Weaver, is an enlightening personal account and analysis of an ex-offender and ex-prisoner turned Scottish criminal justice social worker, and an example of the value that professionals with offending and penal experiences can bring. There is much to learn from drawing on the offender/ex-offender experience to understand desistance, and this will hopefully become a key component in formulating future probation and rehabilitation policies, strategies and training and development. The unique, and sometimes hidden, journeys of qualified probation and rehabilitation professionals with similar backgrounds should be valued in developing successful supervisory/rehabilitative practices.