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Consumer society, commodification and offender management

McCulloch, Trish and McNeill, Fergus (2007) Consumer society, commodification and offender management. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 7 (3). pp. 223-242. ISSN 1748-8958

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Abstract

This article aims to set current developments in `offender management' services in England and Wales and in Scotland within the contexts first of a discussion of Bauman's analysis of crime and punishment in consumer society and second of wider debates about the commodification of public services. Rather than examining the formal commodification of offender management through organizational restructuring, `contestability' and marketization, the authors examine the extent to which the substantive commodification of offender management is already evidenced in the way that probation's products, consumers and processes of production have been reconfigured within the public sector. In the concluding discussion, they consider both some limitations on the extent of commodification to date and the prospects for the containment or moderation of the process in the future.