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Title: Making sense of probation : a history of professional discourse
Author: Vanstone, M. T.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores the of the history of the theory and practice of supervising probationers in the community is represented by written and oral accounts of some of those involved. It offers a version of the history expanded beyond the traditional humanitarian accounts to encompass a broader social and political context. Its central proposition is that the context of that history is more complex than has been traditionally represented. It argues that these accounts trace the origins of the probation service in the United Kingdom to the police court missionaries and pressure of penal reform during the Victorian era, and that that pressure is portrayed as an outcome of homogeneous movement motivated by humanity and Christian principles. This study approaches that history from the underside (i.e. through the writings of practitioners and interested outsiders), and shows that it is tied inextricably to the emergence of the study of individual psychology, the shift from individualism to individualisation in the application of punishment, political and societal concerns about social disorder, and the evangelical humanitarian mission. It claims to revise the orthodox history through both a different emphasis and the suggestion that the evolution of probation is a configuration of those different and sometimes contradictory elements. It draws on aspects of the history of probation in the USA, and reflects on how a focus on practice, as opposed to policy discourse renders different meanings to, and understandings of the development of the concept during the 20th century. It begins with a discussion of the scope of the study, its methods and potential problems. This is followed by a summary of the main features of the orthodox history, and then the fuller version, which provides the context for the subsequent exploration of practice and theory. This is largely chronological, beginning with John Augustus in America, and continuing with the police court missionaries and early probation officers in the UK, the caseworkers of the post Second World War period, the challenge of the Non-Treatment Paradigm and 'Nothing Works' research, and New Rehabilitation. Chapters eight and nine depart from the chronology to explore first, the history of groupwork and second, work that is focused more on the environment than the individual.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available