Where Did It All Go Wrong? Probation Under New Labour and the Coalition

  • Lol BurkeEmail author


This chapter will focus on how during the past 18 years the work of probation and its rehabilitative role has become increasingly politicised and its values contested and challenged and how the service itself has been the subject of unrelenting change and organisational turmoil. Two main themes will be explored. First, how the ideological commitment to economic neoliberalism and accompanying social conservatism by both New Labour and Coalition governments has shaped contemporary probation policy and undermined core traditional probation values. Second, how these developments have impacted upon the occupational culture and working practices of probation staff, and in particular on the role of recruitment and training. Finally, the chapter will seek to locate the contemporary problems facing probation within longer-standing debates around its purpose in order consider the potential tensions and contradictions in its current direction of travel and illuminate and provide a critical commentary on the present.


Criminal Justice Criminal Justice System National Probation Consultation Paper Criminal Justice Agency 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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