Chief Probation Officers in England and Wales and the 'What Works' Initiative

George Mair, Liverpool John Moores University

The probation service in England and Wales is currently undergoing the most significant changes since its inception in 1907. One of these changes is an attempt at the systematisation of probation practice based on so-called 'What Works' principles. It is clear that the success or otherwise of this programme will be a key factor in the future of the probation service. This paper examines the recent origins of the "What Works' initiative and reports on the views and attitudes of Chief Probation Officers (CPOs) on the importance of this development. The data are taken from the first study of Chief Probation Officers ever carried out in England and Wales, involving detailed interviews with all CPO's.

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Updated 05/20/2006