Source: (2004) IN, George Mair,ed., What Matters in Probation?. Cullompton, Devon,UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 255-276.

According to George Mair, the What Works initiative has been planned and implemented in the probation service in England and Wales with considerable speed and fervor. So much so, says Mair, that the probation staff have had little time to reflect upon the significance of it. Yet the enthusiasm and commitment of staff are critical to the success of any such effort. How then do staff perceive and feel about the What Works initiative? Mair notes that to date staff views have not been examined in any great detail. Given the importance of staff views to the success of an initiative, and given the paucity of information on staff views about What Works, Mair undertakes to identify and examine the views of Chief Probation Officers (CPO) about the What Works initiative. Hence, in this chapter he first summarizes the research conducted to ascertain the views of a group of CPOs. Then he discusses the key findings about those views with respect to the significance of What Works, origins of What Works, and criticisms of What Works.