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On Probation

Swift and Certain Justice

In my view, implementing rapid sanctions alone is unlikely to promote reduced drug use or offending. Desistance and recovery rarely involve a simple, linear path to success. If every relapse is met with 5 days in custody, it is hard to envisage how offenders will achieve the long term stability and abstinence required to build a personally fulfilling and law-abiding lifestyle.


Prisoner voting in Britain and the US

The main argument in favour of allowing prisoners to vote is that we need to do everything we can to give offenders a stake in society and disenfranchising them merely adds to a general social exclusion and hinders the desistance process. But if the UK is out of step with Europe, the situation in the USA is far more extreme.

On Probation

The Desistance Framework

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) just published a new YouTube video which tells you everything you need to know about desistance in 5 minutes and 28 seconds. Featuring the “greats” of the field – Shadd Maruna, Fergus McNeill, Claire Lightowler & Stephen Farrall.

On Probation

Transforming Rehabilitation under the microscope

The latest edition of the British Journal of Community Justice is a special issue dedicated to Transforming Rehabilitation. It is more than double its normal length and has been made available for free online. You can also order the print edition for just £5 (+£2 p&p).


Drug treatment helps recovery but is not enough on its own

Measuring drug recovery is problematic, to say the least. Recovery from drug dependence is, like desistance from crime, rarely a linear process and typically includes lapse and relapse over many years. Different people choose different recovery goals: some people remain abstinent from all substances for life; others continue to use occasionally; or replace drug dependence with a reliance on alcohol.

On Probation

Re-offending on release from prison

SPCR is a longitudinal cohort study of 3,849 adult prisoners in England and Wales sentenced to up to four years in prison. Interviews were conducted with offenders on reception to prison, in the weeks prior to release, and in the community approximately two months after release. Participants were matched to the Police National Computer (PNC), allowing reconviction rates to be calculated.

On Probation

Mark Johnson of User Voice questions the commercial basis of Transforming Rehabilitation

Mark Johnson, Founder and CEO of User Voice, gives his views in the latest in a series of interviews about the MoJ’s probation reform programme: Transforming Rehabilitation. Mark questions the commercial basis of TR and says that the focus on re-offending misses the main point about enabling behaviour change – further offences provide the best opportunity for getting people on the road to desistance.

On Probation

The evidence on reducing reoffending

What works? One of the positive side-effects of the Transforming Rehabilitation project (launched in earnest yesterday) has been the debate it has provoked about what

Payment by Results

Funding PbR Outcomes: it’s complicated

Some things in life are complicated. Take, for example, deciding the causes of the August riots. The government,  Metropolitan Police and the Guardian/LSE  are just


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