The world economic crisis in combination with the 2010 change in the UK government brought a number of institutional restructures and a shift in the philosophy on public spending. Criminal justice service provision is gradually becoming an open market space where competition and privatisation are encouraged. Within this context, the role of probation trusts is revisited.
In a changing equality landscape where race is put at the bottom of policy and funding agendas, this timely book asks how service outcomes can be improved for black and minority ethnic users of probation services. London was the locus of investigation and the London Probation Trust the nexus of the book’s research. Issues around community engagement, restorative justice, mental health, substance abuse, foreign nationals, victims and resettlement are analysed, and recommendations are posited. The book identifies new paths to race equality that seize the international and national momentum of institutional and policy restructures. Its findings are not only relevant to anyone working within the field of criminal justice, but also to those fighting for race equality.
Reviews: "During my time with the Inspectorate of Probation, we looked twice at the Service's responce to racial difference and the picture we gathered was less than reassuring. Furthermore, I was personally concerned that the increasing centralised manegiarialistic culture that was being developed for the service during those years involved putting too many eggs in certain delivery baskets, that is adopting what this book warns against i.e. a "one size fits all approach". The core message of this report is that equality of treatment does not mean delivering the same treatment. It is about justice to difference. Showing and earning respect." Professor Rod Morgan, University of Bristol Law School, UK
“This important project comes at a time when the already disproportionate number of BME people, young men especially, in the prison system is still increasing in the aftermath of the civil unrest in August 2011. The system is creaking and London Probation cannot hope to meet ever growing demands and challenges. The book gives a unique opportunity for the Trust to examine empirical evidence and forge new ways of working with communities in relation to prevention, reducing re-offending and successfully reintegrating that lost generation into purposeful living in civil society” Professor Gus John, Insitute of Education, University of London
Contents: Foreword, Heather Munro; Preface, Professor Rod Morgan; Drivers and levers: living in the real world; Research methodology and some agreements; Dealing with user confidence and engagement; Improving outcomes in resettlement and recidivism; Mental health, foreign nationals and substance abuse: issues revisited; What about victims?; Towards measurable outcomes for probation services to BME users; Bibliography.
About the authors: Dr. Theo Gavrielides is the Founder and Director of Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS). He is also the Founder and co-Director of the Restorative Justice for All Institute (RJ4All) and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Criminology (Centre for Restorative Justice) of Simon Fraser University as well as a Visiting Professor at Buckinghamshire New University.
Sophia Blake is a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh, where she read history at an undergraduate level. She has a particular interest in issues of historic injustice, racial discrimination and international human rights. In 2012 she spent a summer working at the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice project in Boston where she developed an interest in the use of restorative justice measures to repair harm at community level.