Justice and ethics in penal practice
This volume begins with a critical commentary on a selection of works published by Robert Canton between 1997 and 2007. Works and commentary are now submitted in 2007 in partial fulfilment of a PhD by a published work. The works themselves make up the rest of the volume. Much of the writing emerged from the author's attempts to make sense of the challenges of working as a probation officer and to practise in a manner that not only ‘works’, but is fair and wise. The overview demonstrates the development in the author's thinking over several years. The context and chronology of the writings are set out and the books themselves are summarised. The commentary then proceeds to try to identify some constant, though developing, themes and so to demonstrate that a set of writings with diverse titles can be seen to amount to a thesis. Two themes stand out: the concept of legitimacy which points to the need for (and possibility of) an alliance between moral principles and effective practice the complexity of ‘penality’ - both in terms of the influences that shape it and of its many meanings, functions and consequences. The commentary concludes with an attempt to identify the original contributions to knowledge made through these works.