By George Mair
The What Works initiative is having a profound impression at the paintings of the nationwide Probation provider, and masses has been invested in new authorised programmes - either when it comes to the numbers of offenders deliberate to accomplish those programmes and their expected impression upon offending. but there was little scholarly or expert dialogue of the character and hazards of the hot paradigm: it is crucial that it's subjected to serious debate and scrutiny. This booklet goals to supply a severe evaluation of What Works, delivering a much wider set of views on a venture that's important for the way forward for the nationwide Probation provider.
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Extra resources for What Matters in Probation
And so too should the fact that Martinson’s analysis took no account of the operation and organisation of sentences – the factors that led to the recidivism rate (although this is not surprising as the primary sources utilised for the study generally failed to address such issues). g. it may have been to do with poor resourcing, ineffective staff, inappropriate targeting of offenders, inadequate organisational structures or bad management rather than programme failure per se). It is interesting to consider the impact of ‘nothing works’ on probation staff.
34 The uses and abuses of positivism The context The first position, of naïve optimism, could be justified on various grounds: that probation practitioners were known to be hard working, dedicated and conscientious; that the probation service enjoyed the support of successive governments (as shown by the expansion of its numbers and its functions, to encompass penal innovations such as parole and community service); and that it was the subject of an ambitious research programme, funded by the Home Office, that would soon demonstrate its effectiveness; in any case, as everyone knew, prison was not just ineffective but damaging.
This is seen as especially necessary for What 24 The origins of What Works in England and Wales: a house built on sand? Works programmes as these are finely calibrated so that effectiveness is dependent upon treating offenders who have specific needs or demonstrate certain types of risk. If the ‘wrong’ type of offender is placed upon a What Works programme he or she is more likely to fail – either in terms of failure to complete or by being reconvicted. So far, a single assessment tool is not available to the NPS so that consistency is threatened.