The quality of probation supervision: comparing practitioner accounts in England and Scotland

Grant, S. and McNeill, F. (2014) The quality of probation supervision: comparing practitioner accounts in England and Scotland. European Journal of Probation, 6(2), pp. 147-168. (doi: 10.1177/2066220314542942)

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Whilst community sanctions and measures in the UK have enjoyed considerable academic focus on effectiveness and ‘what works’ (see McGuire, 1995; Maguire et al., 2010), until recently analysts have neglected practices and processes associated with the routine supervision of offenders in the community. Two recent studies of quality in the practice of offender supervision in Scotland and England begin to address this gap by exploring practitioners’ understandings of quality in each jurisdiction (Grant and McNeill, 2014; Robinson et al., 2013a, 2013b; Shapland et al., 2012). This article compares results from both studies, exploring convergence and divergence across key themes and offering a deeper understanding of what quality means in two distinct but connected jurisdictions. Despite significant and enduring differences in the formal arrangements for, and policy contexts of, probation services in England and Wales and in Scotland, our findings demonstrate substantial and significant similarity across what practitioners conceive as the important elements of supervisory practice. Our comparative analysis also found a surprising degree of concordance in practitioner resistance to managerialism – revealing a shared consensus on the importance of values and ethical practice within each country; indeed, shared understandings which seem relatively resilient in both jurisdictions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McNeill, Professor Fergus
Authors: Grant, S., and McNeill, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:European Journal of Probation
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2066-2203

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