Source: (2013) Probation Junior. 4(2):96-107.

The British government has announced a 'revolution' in rehabilitating offenders, to tackle some of the problems which many of them face, but it omits one serious disadvantage which many face: imprisonment itself. The article examines the consultative document, a central feature of which is to privatise much of the probation service on the basis of payment by results. It argues that the not-for-profit sector will be at a disadvantage, and proposes a network of local voluntary organizations, focused especially on restorative justice. The government is promoting deferred sentences; a further step would be deferred prosecution. The transformation should question the repeated emphasis on the ill-defined concept of 'punishment' (which is not as popular as often assumed), and replace it with 'consequences', which might also be unpleasant but would primarily be constructive measures aimed both at reparation and rehabilitation. (author's abstract)

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