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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. ISSN 0265-5527

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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: Article
ID code: 38269
Keywords: Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Subjects: Social Sciences > Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Social Work and Social Policy > Social Work
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Pure Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2012 12:40
    Last modified: 06 Dec 2013 19:36
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/38269

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