Desistance, rehabilitation and correctionalism: developments and prospects in Scotland

McNeill, F. (2004) Desistance, rehabilitation and correctionalism: developments and prospects in Scotland. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(4), pp. 420-436. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2311.2004.00339.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2311.2004.00339.x

Abstract

This article argues that desistance research should provoke a reconsideration of the essential character of interventions with adults involved in offending behaviour. It begins by discussing broad accounts of the characteristics of late-modern penal systems as the background to an exploration of current developments in probation policy and practice. In particular, the discussion develops some contrasts between ‘welfarist rehabilitation’ and ‘correctional treatment’ as competing (but inadequate) paradigms for probation practice. In the context of these contrasts, the situation of criminal justice social work in post-devolution Scotland receives particular attention. Possible implications for practice of some important desistance studies are then developed, in order to stimulate discussion and debate about the extent to which desistance research might challenge the correctionalism that is emerging in probation policy and practice in the UK. In the conclusion, bearing in mind proposed organisational changes on both sides of the border that might tend towards advancing correctionalism, the prospects for more constructive developments in Scotland are considered in the light of emerging evidence about the views of frontline workers and in the light of existing ‘official’ objectives for criminal justice social work.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McNeill, Professor Fergus
Authors: McNeill, F.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
ISSN:0265-5527
ISSN (Online):1468-2311
Published Online:11 August 2004

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