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    Wholesale changes to the probation system should be slowed down and piloted

Wholesale changes to the probation system should be slowed down and piloted

The coalition government is pressing ahead with the privatisation of the probation service in England and Wales in the hope of reducing re-offending rates despite serious concerns about the scale, pace and complexity of the changes. Noting the hitherto tepid political response, Rob Allen examines how the reforms are progressing and what they mean in practice, arguing that the validity of the MoJ’s expectations should […]

We can learn lessons about the dangers of precipitate policy-making from political reaction to the murder of toddler James Bulger

Tomorrow it will have been 20 years since the murder of toddler James Bulger. Rob Allen reflects on the tragic case and its implications for criminal justice in the UK. He argues that the rapidity with which policy was made in the face of a national outcry holds important lessons for  contemporary policy makers, particularly in relation to the Government’s controversial plans to effectively dismantle […]

This is not quite the death knell for the probation service, but it is certainly the most radical change it has ever seen

Tim Newburn evaluates the rehabilitation reforms announced this week by the Ministry of Justice, arguing that they represent the most radical change the probation service has ever seen. There are serious questions to be asked about whether these reforms have a basis in evidence and whether their potential implications have been properly thought through.  Ever since Chris Grayling replaced Ken Clarke […]

Restorative approaches can make a difference in the relationship between local government bodies and the communities they serve

Part of the push behind the localism agenda is the need to re-negotiate the relationship between local governance bodies and the communities they serve. One example of this is the use of restorative approaches that are most often linked to the justice sector. Here Carey Cake and Kirsten Cooper outline the work that a Norfolk partnership has been doing on […]