So Who Are the Victims Now?

Published: 13/03/2002

The purpose of this article is to explore the interconnections between different strands of victimological thought, their relationship with the contemporary victims' policy scene and the relevance of this work for community justice. In so doing the argument will be developed that in order to understand contemporary policy concerns it is necessary to situate those concerns within the wider changing relationship between the citizen and the state and the extent to which that changing relationship has resulted in the politicisation of the crime victim. Particular attention will be paid to the re-orientation of the probation service, the introduction of the victim personal statement scheme, and the contemporary use of restorative justice, as policy examples currently concerned with the victim of crime. The conclusion will draw out some of the implications of policy orientations of this kind for the field of community justice.

In or Out?: Some Critical Reflections Upon the Potential for Involving Victims of Youth Crime in Restorative Processes in England and Wales

Published: 13/03/2002

Expanding the use of restorative approaches within the youth justice system has become a key objective of recent government policy and reflects the international growth of restorative justice. Three recent evaluations of the use of restorative practice within the reformed English and Welsh youth justice system established very low levels of victim participation. The main focus of this article is to discuss the findings from these evaluations in relation to these low levels of victim involvement. These findings are then contrasted with international evidence, and the experience of two English restorative justice projects. It is argued that this evidence demonstrates that the recent low levels of victim involvement in England and Wales represent a failure in practice, to date, rather than a general reluctance on the part of victims to become involved in restorative processes.

Community Justice, Risk Management and the Role of Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels

Published: 13/03/2002

This paper discusses recent developments in the ‘risk management’ of known sexual and violent offenders in the community, including the work of Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs). It considers the extent to which such developments can be understood as one facet of a growing trend towards ‘community justice’ and an extending network of community justice programmes. In doing so it explores the significance of different interpretations of community justice as a concept and a strategy, from idealistic formulations which emphasize social inclusion and positive involvement by local communities, to those which see it as largely risk-focussed and exclusionary, linked to the pervasive concerns about insecurity which have come to characterize late modernity. It is noted that the involvement of local citizens in the social control of sex offenders has so far been limited mainly to vigilantism and campaigns to expel them, and that criminal justice agencies have generally tried to ‘manage’ their risk secretly, avoiding debate or the release of information; however, the ‘populist challenge’ unleashed by the Sarah Payne case cannot now be ignored, and some attempts have recently been made to develop constructive dialogue about the nature and levels of risk and to involve community members in decision-making and even the support of sex offenders. The article draws at various points upon empirical research conducted by a team including the authors (Maguire et al 2001).

A Critical Review: Integrating Knowledge and Practice

Published: 13/03/2002

Now having completed a 'Rolls Royce' training programme (Schofield, 1999) the time has come to critically review the product of this new probation training. Have I become the 'paragon' of reflective practice that probation trainers dream of? Or rather the Frankenstein creation of a trainee production line, a Home Office automaton, as the most cynical of service colleagues would dare to suggest? The new probation training has been described by some as, 'too good, too thorough, too complex and too expensive' (ibid), but its innovation has been its approach to the integration of learning and working. The training combines a degree with a Level 4 National Vocational Qualification and has sought to encapsulate the skills, knowledge and values of probation officers, as defined by both employers and employees, over a two-year period of work-based learning. The following review of my experiences as a student, trainee and employee over the last two years will attempt to provide an account of my professional development located within the framework of the training programme. Furthermore, this review will explore my experience of a programme that has sought to combine the development of criticality, reflection and analysis with a competency-based approach. This dual aim in many ways replicates dilemmas inherent in current probation practice where practitioners are similarly faced with the constant balancing of conflicting priorities.

A Model for Community Safety and Community Justice

Published: 13/03/2002

This paper explores and develops a model for Community Justice and Community Safety in which three 'drivers' of Protection, Rehabilitation and Inclusion are held in constructive tension. The model identifies the different objectives, assumptions and methods of each driver and links these with recent trends and policies impacting on community justice. The model aims to show how Community Safety and Community Justice works at the hub of these three drivers and suggests that a joined–up, over-arching strategy driven by partnership working can integrate the three elements of the model. The model is illustrated by drawing from three areas of Community Safety practice: domestic violence; mentally vulnerable offenders; and youth crime.

What Works and the Conjunctural Politics of Probation: Effectiveness, Managerialism and Neo-Liberalism

Published: 13/03/2002

The probation service in England and Wales has undergone massive change during the late 20th and early 21st centuries to become a National Service. This paper examines the wider social and political contexts in which such change has occurred. The reconfiguration of probation is argued to reflect the transition from a society governed through a political rationality of welfarism to one reflecting the tenets of neo-liberalism. A key shift has been in the massive purchase made in the service by managerial strategies and tactics which have been legitimated by their incorporation of the "What Works" research findings into the role of management. Such findings are argued to be provisional rather than universally applicable principles, and the meta-analyses from which they are derived are discussed in terms of their shortcomings and tendency to collapse rather than extract, detail. The "What Works" principles have been used as a mechanism to effect change in a service that hitherto had resisted various incursions by elements of the New Public Management. The key principles of effectiveness are depicted as being resonant with the notion of the rational-choice actor which provides the core model of individual behaviour within neo-liberal politics and which marks a disjunction with probation's older association with issues of social justice and disadvantage

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