Reviewing 'What Works?': a social perspective

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Drawing upon the effectiveness research and the desistance literature, this article explores the relevance of an offender’s social context in supporting desistance from crime. The article contends that there now exists a clear theoretical rationale for attending to the social context of offending behaviour within change interventions which needs to be more routinely and confidently applied in practice. The article goes on to argue that,whilst our understanding of ‘what’ we should be addressing is advancing, our knowledge pertaining to ‘how’ offenders can be assisted to achieve change in their social circumstances remains limited. The article concludes by considering the implications of these findings for effective probation practice and calls on those involved to look beyond piecemeal, prescriptive approaches to ‘what works?’, towards more integrated responses capable of confronting not only what we know but, also, what we don’t.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-32
    Number of pages14
    JournalBritish Journal of Community Justice
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Probation
    • Social context
    • Effectiveness
    • Desistance
    • What works


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