Home > Publications > The Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders on Probation: An Assessment of the Changing Faces of Probation Service in England and Wales

The Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders on Probation: An Assessment of the Changing Faces of Probation Service in England and Wales

Basharat Hussain & Gwyneth Boswell

Abstract
In the field of criminal justice, one of the most difficult tasks facing practitioners is how to
work effectively with offenders. The aetiology of criminality is complex, yet the public
expect the responsible agencies to discourage potential offenders from offending, and actual
offenders from re-offending. This article describes the origins and development of the
treatment and rehabilitation of offenders on probation in England and Wales. It highlights
how the Probation Service started its journey as a voluntary service and eventually became
an integral part of the modern day criminal justice system. In this context, it explains all those
important events which have transformed the Probation Service from a philanthropic
organisation to a social welfare activity and, more contemporarily, into a correctional service
charged with dispensing punishment. It ends by suggesting that there are lessons to be
learned for jurisdictions in other countries so that effective policy and practice may be drawn
upon, and mistakes which have been made can be avoided by others.

Keywords: Community Punishment, Effective Practice, Nothing Works, Probation Service,
Rehabilitation, Treatment, Welfare, What Works