Explaining probation

McNeill, F. and Robinson, G. (2016) Explaining probation. In: Durnescu, I., McNeill, F. and Butter, R. (eds.) Probation: 12 Essential Questions. Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 245-261. ISBN 9781137519801 (print) 9781137519825 (online) (doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-51982-5_12)

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Publisher's URL: http://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9781137519801


Most of the contributions to this collection deal with questions about probation that have obvious and immediate practical importance not just for scholars and students of the subject but also for policymakers and practitioners—and even for the wider public. This chapter is a little different, though we would suggest that it is no less important. Here, our focus is on the question: ‘How we can best account for probation’s emergence and development as a penal institution and as a set of connected penal discourses and practices?’ In essence, we aim to set out some possible approaches to developing a sociological account of probation. This matters—and has real contemporary import—because if we fail to understand the social, cultural and political conditions which gave rise to and subsequently have shaped probation’s development, and how they have done so, then we will remain poorly placed to assess or affect its prospects. The evolution of policy and practice is always and everywhere profoundly affected, not just, for example, by arguments about technical effectiveness (and cost effectiveness) but also by the extent to which a given policy or practice proposal ‘fits’ with the zeitgeist or spirit of the times.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McNeill, Professor Fergus
Authors: McNeill, F., and Robinson, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Publisher:Palgrave MacMillan
ISBN:9781137519801 (print) 9781137519825 (online)

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