The National Probation Service And Modernisation.

3522 words - 14 pages

During the course of discussing the chosen topic area, (Probation Service and Modernisation) I will examine the role of the Probation Service and/or the role of Probation Officers. I will outline the key objectives of the NPS. By looking at the history of the NPS I will be able to evaluate the contribution made by the NPS to the Criminal Justice Service. With reference to this question I shall then examine and analyse key policy frameworks looking at ways in which they have contributed to the history and development of the NPS. Finally, I will give a critical and analytical conclusion about the subject matter, using relevant research.

The Home Office clearly defines the aims of the NPS as follows:

*Protecting the Public
*Reducing re-offending
*The proper punishment of offenders in the community
*Ensuring offender' awareness of the effects of crime on the victims of crime and the public
*Rehabilitation of offenders

These aims operate within the Government's Correctional Policy Framework which primarily contributes towards ensuring "the effective delivery of justice, avoiding unnecessary delay, through efficient investigation, detection, prosecution and court procedures. (Web page, National Probation Service, 09/04/03)

During the early 19th Century, it was common practise for magistrates to commit young offenders into the care of suitable and willing employers. It has been argued that this practice heralded foundations on which the probation service was built. More developments in the middle of the 19th Century saw the extension of the jurisdiction of the magistrate's court and because of moral panic about the extent of drunkenness and drink related offences two Church of England Temperance Society officers were appointed to work within some of the London Courts.

1887 saw the Probation of First Offenders Act passed which introduced the concept of probation; however, it was not until 20 years later however, with the Probation of Offenders Act 1907 that a recognizable form of probation was implemented and there are still many key tasks and issues from that period that are significant to this very day. The moral reformation of offenders and the prevention of crime along with a strong sense of protecting the public are indeed still paramount to the role of the probation service.

The NPS progressed steadily since the 1907 Act with 1912 seeing the formation of the National Association of Probation Officers. A scientific diagnostic ideal came into fruition in the late 1940's. This ideal was a consequence of the development of positivistic science and identified the need for the training of probation officers in how to treat offenders/probationers. As more and more recognition was given to the probation service the 1907 Probation of Offenders Act was replaced with the 1948 Criminal Justice Act which allowed for the work of the probation service to be extended to include prison after-care. This Act fixed a minimum period of probation at 12...

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