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Offender management in Scotland: the first hundred years

McNeill, F. (2005) Offender management in Scotland: the first hundred years. Criminal Justice Scotland.

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Abstract

Set within the contexts of probation's upcoming centenary in Scotland (in 2005) and the current debate about the future of criminal justice social work in Scotland, this article provides a very brief account of the history of probation in Scotland, focusing on the rarely discussed period between 1905 and 1968. As a defence against the narrowing of our visions in the future, the article pieces together abd seeks to understand significant changes in Scottish probation's core identity and purpose from providing supervision as an alternative to punishment, through providing 'treatment' and then 'welfare' services as a means of reforming offenders, to managing offenders so as to protect the public. The article concludes that the current debate in Scotland should shift from 'second order' questions around organisational arrangements to ''first order' questions around which aspects of these various purposes and identitirs should endure in the 21st century.