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.
The transition from public to private in probation: Values and attitudes of managers in the private sector
This article reports the values and attitudes of a small sample of managers working for the private sector in criminal justice roles. All had previously had careers within the probation service. Their reasons for moving are discussed, along with their views of the relative merits of public and private criminal justice provision. In the main, their views appear underpinned by a clear acceptance of the legitimacy of a role for the private (and third sectors) in the criminal justice system that echo recent pronouncements by the Coalition government. However, their values in other regards reflect what might be seen to be more ‘traditional probation values’.
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.