Supervising Offenders in the Community: A History of Probation Theory and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Supervising Offenders in the Community

A History of Probation Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

By Maurice Vanstone


208 pages

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Paperback: 9780754671749
pub: 2007-05-28
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In this work Maurice Vanstone provides an authoritative and original account of the history of probation. This invaluable reference tool offers readers a new way of reading probation history and presents an original context for thinking about current policy and practice. While the study is essentially UK-focused, it also provides a comparative perspective by exploring the history of probation in the USA. The author’s research has produced the only history of probation practice that does justice to the mixture of influences on the early probation service and paves the way for today’s more evidence-based approach. The work is based in part upon original documents and interviews with retired and serving officers. Supervising Offenders in the Community will greatly interest criminologists and criminal justice, social policy, social history and social work academics and postgraduate students.


’…essential reading for anyone with an interest in probation and its historical origins.’ Gill McIvor, University of Stirling, UK ’…an impressive and insightful history of probation thinking and practice…offers an invaluable guide to penal thinking in the twenty-first century.’ Andrew Willis, University of Leicester, UK ’At a time when the probation service "as we know it" may be fast disappearing, it is ironic that one of the best histories of its traditions, culture and practice should appear. Vanstone's scholarly yet highly readable book offers new insights into the relationship between practice on the ground, the theories and rhetoric which accompany it and the broader political and social landscape.’ Mike Maguire, Cardiff University, UK ’…excellent…Vanstone brings a freshness to the accepted (and indeed respected) accounts of commentators such as McWilliams and others, and adds further layers of understanding to them, while exposing an increased level of complexity and nuance to the previously received history…well written and easily read, although it seemed to this reviewer that every page and paragraph was filled with points worth re-reading and pondering over and over… highly recommended and will be of interest to students of probation work, as well as probation practitioners, managers and anyone with an interest in this field.’ Irish Probation Journal ’…provides fascinating insights into probation practice over the last hundred years which should be of interest to both students and practitioners of probation.’ The Howard Journal ’…Vanstone’s focus on practice rather than policy and legislation is what gives his account its originality and importance…this is a scholarly and original book that succeeds in being consistently readable without compromising its academic rigour and seriousness.’ Vista: Perspectives on Probation, Criminal Justice and Civil Renewal '…[it is] rather refreshing, especially whe

Table of Contents

Contents: The origins of the probation service: the orthodox accounts; The 'crusade' begins: the origins of the probation service revisited; Early practice: redemption, pledges and terrible warnings; From awakening the conscience to providing insight; Folk theories, practice and the heyday of treatment; The emergence of doubt: the non-treatment paradigm and alternative therapy; The rise to dominance of evidence-based practice; Conclusion: back to where we started; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Maurice Vanstone is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice and Criminology at the Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Wales, Swansea. He has experience of practice, training and research on community sentences over a 30 year period, and has been a regular contributor to teaching and research over the last 24 years. Previous publications include Effective Probation Practice (with Peter Raynor and David Smith), Understanding Community Penalties (with Peter Raynor), Betrayal of Trust (with Matthew Colton) and Beyond Offending Behaviour (with Mark Drakeford), as well as numerous articles and reports arising out of the 'Straight Thinking on Probation' experiment. He has collaborated with Mike Maguire, Peter Raynor and Julie Vennard in ground-breaking research for the Home Office on prison after-care.

About the Series

Welfare and Society

Welfare and Society
The focus of this series is on all aspects of social welfare including research, history, theory and practice. Characterised by a contemporary perspective on social welfare issues, published work has emanated from a wide range of subjects, including criminal justice, child welfare, community care, and social policy. The series is aimed at both an academic and professional readership.

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