Reunified Probation: An opportunity to finally progress a desistance paradigm of practice?

AINSLIE, Samantha (2022). Reunified Probation: An opportunity to finally progress a desistance paradigm of practice? Early Career Academic Network Bulletin, 50, 28-34.

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Despite the fact that a desistance paradigm of probation practice has long been advocated (McNeill, 2006) and the main principles of such an approach operationalised (McNeill and Weaver, 2010), barriers continue to exist for probation practitioners in practicing in a desistance-focused manner consistently. This is despite the presence of an aligned and enduring value base (Ainslie, 2021). Debates continue in relation to potential ways of reconciling the perceived tensions between traditional (but prevailing) risk-based approaches to correctional rehabilitation with a desistance-informed approach (Maruna and Mann, 2019). In recognition of the argument that a desistance paradigm of practice is dependent on the legal and organisational context (McNeill and Whyte, 2007), consideration needs to be given to the opportunities presented by the reunification of probation services to enable a desistance paradigm of probation practice to flourish, and thereby benefit those individuals subject to probation intervention and the communities in which they live. Drawing on findings from a qualitative study undertaken in one National Probation Service (NPS) division in 2018, this paper explores the difficulties shared by NPS practitioners in their attempts to consistently apply a desistance-informed approach to practice. These difficulties are presented as 'practice pains' consisting of solely managing high risk and complex caseloads, target and accountability culture, fragmented approaches to intervention and insufficient training and development.

Item Type: Article
Page Range: 28-34
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 13:18
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 13:30

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