On Probation: Pickled and Nothing to Say

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The probation service is at risk of serious harm from the discourses of toughness and cure. People subject to community rehabilitation orders are categorised first and foremost as ‘offenders’ by probation officers, their managers and governors. Not surprisingly, people on probation are increasingly viewed as bad or as misfits, either way they have nothing intrinsically valuable to contribute to their supervision nor to the work of the probation service more generally. As a counter to this exclusion and disenfranchisement, two replacement discourses are commended: first, the language of userism/consumerism; and, second, an integration of strain and rational choice crime theories, as an alternative to the ‘psychic prisons’ of conservatism and individual positivism fast enveloping the service.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2311.2004.00329.x

Affiliations: Anglia Polytechnic University

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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