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Privatised probation: is payment by results compatible with restorative justice?

Wright, Martin
June 4, 2015

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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