Source: (2004) IN, George Mair,ed., What Matters in Probation?. Cullompton, Devon,UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 327-345.

As Anne Worrall writes, in the last decade the doctrine of What Works has dominated the field of interventions with offenders. In English speaking countries, probation and community service have been preoccupied with a model of focused, accountable, standardized intervention in the lives of offenders. This model has been based on the actuarial concept of risk assessment, the science of cognitive behavioral psychology, the morality of individual responsibility, and the politics of restorative justice. At the same time, the world has seen a dramatic rise in the prison population and a blurring of the boundary between freedom and custody. In all of this can be seen a globalization of punishment talk, as Worrall puts it – an international trade in penal ideas, including restorative justice, family group conferences, and What Works. A result is that little account is given to regional, much less national and local, differences in demography, culture, and economy. What, asks Worrall, is to be made of these developments? To explore this question, she surveys the globalization of punishment discourse, with particular reference to community-based penalties. She then considers the specific case of Western Australia as a study in the adaptation of the What Works agenda to local needs. Finally, Worrall speculates about the future of What Works as a global discourse.