The Barking Dog? Partnership and Effective Practice in Offender Rehabilitation

Judith Rumgay, London School of Economics

This paper explores the area of multi-agency collaboration in light of the drive towards effective practice in offender supervision programmes. There has been an explosion of interest in multi-agency collaboration across many areas of criminal justice, crime prevention and allied fields of social provision. Enthusiasm for such initiatives, and optimism in their promise of enhanced effectiveness, contrasts with research revealing multiple problems in designing and implementing partnership projects. Nevertheless, in the drive towards standardisation of programmes, the `What Works' principles of effective practice neglect multi-agency issues. The paper explores how far the principles of effective multi-agency partnership are compatible with the prescriptions for effective supervision programmes contained within the `What Works' project. It concludes with a broader discussion, which explores the `barking dog' of the effective practice movement in offender supervision: neglect of multi-agency partnership leading to an impoverishment of opportunities for offender rehabilitation.

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Updated 05/20/2006