With the powerful momentum for enduring reform in criminal justice systems captured most recently by the Black Lives Matter campaign in mind, I was particularly moved on reading Elliott Currie's timely analysis and policy blueprint for addressing the shocking levels of 'everyday' violence that besets many African American communities in the US.
One of my more recent but infrequent forays into the Canadian correctional literature field was reading a lively and absorbing anthology of real life case histories written by a former probation officer, Doug Heckbert, entitled provocatively, Go ahead and Shoot me!
Often when reading criminological tomes, a phrase or reference will leap out from the pages to evoke a memory of past probation practice.
It was whilst poring over the pages of Dan Werb's unsettling book, 'City of Omens', a troubling narrative of femicide on the US/Mexican borderlands, that I recalled a time in my probation career when my role in the union, Napo entrusted me with arranging guest speakers at branch meetings.
I suppose it was almost inevitable when I was reading a recently published and presciently informed book on risk control in criminal justice, that two pertinent terms in particular, risk and existential uncertainty, resonated most uncomfortably with me in the current all enveloping coronavirus pandemic.
Having just read a keenly awaited book that offers a lively and compellingly original scholarly foray into sentencing research, Sentencing: A Social Process: Re-thinking Research and Policy by Cyrus Tata, I was particularly struck by a phrase he used in the book, 'demographic distance’, denoting the experiential and social distance between those caught up in criminal proceedings and the professionals working in the court setting.
Read Richard Garside on accidental liberalism and criminal justice trends
The latest edition of Probation Quarterly features a piece by our Director, Richard Garside, on criminal justice trends in retrospect and their signification of a flawed, accidental and incomplete liberalism.
Tackling fluctuating police numbers, the dangerous condition of...
This week Neala talks to long-term friend of the Centre, Mike Guilfyole, about his time as a probation officer.