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The diploma in probation studies in the midland region: celebration and critique after the first two years

Nellis, M. (2001) The diploma in probation studies in the midland region: celebration and critique after the first two years. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 40 (4). pp. 377-401. ISSN 0265-5527

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After a decade of uncertainty, a new form of training for probation officers, separate from social work training, was established by the New Labour government in 1997. This article deals with the development of the academic contribution – a BA Community Justice – to the Diploma in Probation Studies at the University of Birmingham, one of nine universities contracted nationally to deliver the new qualification. It sets the new award in the context of the history of probation training at the University of Birmingham, and explores how the personal beliefs and experiences of the author have shaped his teaching on it. As such, it seeks to contribute to the under-explored area of how criminology is taught in higher education, how it might be shaped to suit the needs of trainee probation officers, and to add a new chapter to established histories of probation training. The article was written to celebrate the graduation of the first cohort of newly trained officers.