Assessing the impact of co-production on pathways to outcomes in public services : the case of policing and criminal justice

Loeffler, Elke and Bovaird, Tony (2019) Assessing the impact of co-production on pathways to outcomes in public services : the case of policing and criminal justice. International Public Management Journal. ISSN 1096-7494

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    Abstract

    There has recently been an upsurge of interest in the role of co-production in public services. This paper focuses on how the capabilities of public service users and other citizens can improve the outcomes of public services such as policing and the criminal justice system, where the role of citizens is altering significantly. The paper develops a model of pathways to public service outcomes, showing the connections between citizen co-production and the core activities in policing and criminal justice, in line with the classic public policy model of problem prevention, detection, treatment, support for recovery and rehabilitation, and contribution to higher quality of life outcomes. The paper then explores the empirical evidence from the literature for the impacts of each of the identified pathways to outcomes in this co-production model. The literature review finds some evidence for almost all relationships modeled but also reveals serious limitations in the research base. Finally, the paper provides a conceptual framework for exploring potential dysfunctional implications of co-production of policing and community justice, and summarizes the evidence for this 'dark side' of co-production.