1st Edition

Delivering Rehabilitation The politics, governance and control of probation

By Lol Burke, Steve Collett Copyright 2015
    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    Do offenders have the right to be rehabilitated and should the state be responsible for their rehabilitation? Should the public expect punitive and coercive approaches to offender rehabilitation? Why should the state be interested in the reform of individuals and how can helping offenders be justified when there are other disadvantaged groups in society who are unable to access the services they desperately need? Finally, why does the state appear to target and criminalise certain groups and individuals and not others?

    These are just some of the questions asked in this new text, which offers an analysis of the delivery of rehabilitative services to offenders over the past two decades. It focuses particularly on the ideological and political imperatives of a neoliberal state that intends to segment the work of the Probation Service and hand over the majority of its work to the private sector. Issues covered include:

    • governance, politics and performance of probation,
    • occupational culture and professional identity,
    • markets, profit and delivery,
    • partnership, localism and civil society,
    • citizenship, exclusion and the State.

    This book is aimed at academics, practitioners, managers and leaders within the field of corrections and wider social policy. It will also appeal to undergraduates and postgraduates specialising in criminal justice, criminology, politics and social policy.

    1. Introduction  2. Contextualising Rehabilitation  3. Governing Rehabilitation: Politics and Performance  4. Providing Rehabilitation: Occupational Culture and Professional Identity  5. Competing Rehabilitation: Markets, Profit and Delivery  6. Widening Rehabilitation: Partnership, Localism and Civil Society  7. Blaming Rehabilitation: Citizenship, Exclusion and the State  8. Conclusion: Re-Imagining Rehabilitation. 


    Lol Burke is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University. He has worked as a Probation Officer and Senior Probation Officer and was involved in the delivery of probation training prior to his current appointment. Lol has written extensively on probation policy, practice and training issues and is co-author of Redemption, Rehabilitation and Risk Management: A History of Probation (2011) with Prof. George Mair. Lol is currently editor of the Probation Journal and a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Probation. He is also a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Research Advisory Group, the European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions and CREDOS (an international collaboration of researchers for the effective development of offender supervision).

    Steve Collett worked for three North West probation areas over nearly three decades, retiring from the Cheshire Probation Trust in December 2010 after ten years as its chief officer. He also taught social work & social policy in further/higher education in the early 1980s before returning to Probation to take up a joint appointment with Merseyside Probation & Liverpool University (1987-1991). Steve has been an Honorary Fellow within the Department of Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology since then and following his retirement in 2011, he was made an Honorary Reader in criminology within the School of Law at Manchester University. In 2012, he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University. Steve has been a member of the Probation Journal Editorial Board for over 20 years and was a founding vice chair of the Probation Chiefs Association.

    ‘This is a timely and well-judged book that offers an acute analysis of probation’s recent past, combining many perceptive and original insights with a searing critique of the political ineptitude and cynicism that have destabilised – and perhaps wrecked - the probation service. Its account of the way in which social problems are constructed and managed in our times makes the book of value not only to students of criminal justice, but to anyone with an interest in modern social policy.’ - Rob Canton, Professor in Community and Criminal Justice, De Montfort University, UK

    ‘They say "timing is everything", and what an incredible time this is for a book on the politics and governance of probation in the UK. Yet, Delivering Rehabilitation also addresses timeless and crucial questions about the right to rehabilitation in a democratic society. If there is any justice left, this transformative book will have a longer lasting and more profound impact on probation than the latest Government shake-up.’ - Shadd Maruna, Dean, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University – Newark, USA

    'Delivering Rehabilitation offers an exemplary exercise in reinvigorating an immensely important, and significantly neglected, professional service.'Russ Immarigeon, Journal of Community Corrections

    'This is a book which deals with issues that are of pressing contemporary concern.... The authors bring considerable experience of the probation service from academic, practitioner and management perspectives. They combine this with a well-informed account of the wider forces that have shaped the delivery of public services over the past 20 years. The work is admirably up to date and the scholarship is evident...'— Jane Dominey, University of Cambridge, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice

    'Overall, this is an informative and captivating read for the wide range of readers it aims for. It is necessarily wide ranging, yet also concise enough to remain on topic which is a real achievement given the title of the book. It is unashamedly political rather than a neutral review of the state of probation, which, whatever political persuasion the reader adopts, is the main draw to reading this book.' - Paul Crossey, Prison Service Journal

    "Burke and Collett have made one of the first important attempts to theorize the new privatization as the culmination of development in probation which stretch back at least two decades… This book rightly deserves to be widely read and debated both within probation academic and practitioner circles, and the criminal justice and criminology arena." - , Wendy Fitzgibbon, Professor of Criminology. London Metropolitan University, Probation Journal

    "It is also very refreshing to read a text in which ‘rehabilitation’ is understood as a broad endeavour aimed at encouraging desistance and involving the civic reintegration of ex-offenders. All too often – and certainly in the policies which Burke & Collett critique – rehabilitation is understood in purely instrumental terms -- as a technical means of bringing about reductions in recidivism, as cheaply as possible. Burke & Collett are right to remind us that rehabilitation is not a commodity to be exchanged in a marketplace; nor are the thousands of dedicated people who still choose to work with offenders in the humanitarian tradition of the probation service. It is also refreshing to read a text in which poverty, class and race are rightly acknowledged as key social divisions." - Gwen Robinson, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books, May 2016