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What Matters in Probation?

Mair, George
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Cullompton, Devon,UK: Willan Publishing.

Published in 2004, this book consists of a collection of essays about probation. More particularly, the collection is intended by editor George Mair and the contributors to provide a reasoned, critical overview of the “What Works initiative?” in probation in the England and Wales. The What Works initiative, as it has come to be known, stems from a June 1998 circular published by the Home Office on the supervision of offenders. According to Mair, this initiative emphasizes development and implementation of demonstrably “effective”? programs for supervision of offenders, with most programs being heavily dependent on cognitive behavioral therapy for treating human behavioral issues. The What Works approach is a key component in current probation practice in the United Kingdom. Mair and others, however, have become skeptical of this approach. Noting that there has been little academic or professional debate about questions pertaining to the What Works initiative, Mair and the other contributors to this book seek to redress that gap by exploring issues and questions about the initiative, its bases, and its effects. Authors of the essays include academics and professionals in criminal justice and in probation specifically. The book contains biographical sketches of the authors and an index of key topics covered in the chapters.


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