Devolving Probation Services: An ethnographic study of the implementation of the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool John Moores University
Department Name: Law

Abstract

In 2013 the Ministry of Justice announced plans to implement a policy that will see approximately 70 per cent of the work carried out by the public Probation Service being outsourced to other providers. The first stage in the process involves the creation of 21 'Community Rehabilitation Companies' (from 1 June 2014) that will be owned by the Ministry of Justice for a period of several months, prior to being offered for sale to a variety of potential providers, including private sector companies.



This project examines this ‘devolution’ of the majority of probation services in one case study area.  It will look at the process and implications of moving the bulk of probation work (and staff) from the public Probation Service to a Community Rehabilitation Company with an uncertain future.



The project will seek to understand this process from a variety of perspectives, including those of managers involved in running the Company and probation workers engaged in supervising offenders. The researchers will attend and observe management meetings, collect and analyse policy documents and conduct interviews with staff at all levels within the organisation to record this profound development in criminal justice and, more broadly, of the process of 'outsourcing' a public service.

Planned Impact

This research has considerable capacity for policy engagement and practice as it provides an unprecedented insight, based on original fieldwork, into how current legislation and guidelines surrounding the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda are being received in the field. In so doing, the research will not only provide an in-depth, grounded analysis of the existing legislation, but also identify key areas for reform and improvement and as such we consider the following groups to be potential beneficiaries of the research:

- the host area Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) Management Group. By their own admission in their letter of support the CRC leadership state their desire 'to capture the learning that will come from the research to inform future organisational development initiatives'. Through the briefing reports we intend to provide at key strategic points of the project's development the research will look to provide real-time feedback and constructive policy/practice relevant commentary.

- the host area CRC staff group(s). We consider engaging with the research to be an empowering experience for the CRC staff not just in terms of the stimulation that derives from reflecting on processes and experiences of change, but importantly in being able to offer constructive commentary that can be fed back into the decision-making forums of the CRC through our briefing reports. This ensures the research retains the capacity to deliver real and manifest change in CRC policy and practice.

- CRCs Nationally. Whilst this research is a case study based in one CRC contract area staff perceptions of the transition process and experiences of the working cultures, practices and challenges/opportunities that emerge will resonate with CRCs nationwide. Through an end of project workshop with representatives from all the 21 CRCs invited to attend we will disseminate our findings and collectively engage in reflections on the extent to which staff feel participants within, and retain ownership of, processes of change.

- the Probation Institute. The newly formed Probation Institute is aiming to become a centre of excellence, setting new standards for the rehabilitation sector and providing an independent view of what constitutes good practice in working with offenders. We will engage with the Institute and contribute our research findings to their efforts to advance professional practice and promote organisation and skills excellence.

- Non-Governmental Organisations campaigning for penal reform. The research findings will provide evidence for organisations such as the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prison Reform Trust in their efforts to debate and explore the impact and consequences of outsourcing and the boundaries of marketization within the criminal justice sector.

- International Probation Practice Audiences. We will disseminate the research findings through the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) which coordinates probation organisations across Europe, audiences watching the groundbreaking marketisation of probation services with a keen interest.
 
Description In September 2013 the Ministry of Justice published details of how its Transforming Rehabilitation agenda would restructure the delivery of offender management services in England and Wales. Within these reforms approximately 70% of the activities carried out by a public sector probation service were to be outsourced to the private sector through the establishment of 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs). This research draws on 14-months of observation and interview-based research to capture, in one case study area, the experience of staff during this period of profound organisational change through the creation, early development, and sale of a CRC.

The project involved the research team conducting a series of interviews with staff throughout the CRC, and extensive observational research of key decision and policy-making forums. Made possible through an on-going dialogue with the organisational management group the study benefited from unprecedented access to the CRC in terms of engaging staff and attending meetings to observe how the decisions of senior managers within the new company were being formulated, implemented, and, in time, received by staff. We have demonstrated that it is possible to conduct ethnographic research in the probation context, even in circumstances of extreme upheaval: something that has rarely been attempted. We have also demonstrated the importance of studying organisational change in 'real time', rather than retrospectively, when the impacts are perhaps less raw and are likely to have been subject to narrative restructuring.

Our research has demonstrated that the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms have threatened the collective 'probation ethos' in a number of respects. Firstly, the notion of workers delivering a 'public service' is compromised by the introduction of a market-driven logic in probation work. Secondly, the restructuring of established working relationships, both within and external to the case study area, have renegotiated the distribution of status and power between the various stakeholders in offender management, particularly in respect of the relationship and interface between the National Probation Service and CRCs. Thirdly, the reconfiguration of probation service areas (and the probation staff groups working with them) has consequences for the endurance of locally formulated area based loyalties as powerful influences in how individuals and collectives operate. Fourthly, the reforms have resulted in a significant loss of 'human capital' in the probation sector as many experienced staff have decided to look for alternative employment.

More broadly, our research has been able to demonstrate that whilst there are some similarities between the experiences of workers subject to the involuntary transfer of their labour from public to private sector organisations within and between fields, there is also the potential for some important differences. In our study we have identified these as relating to the particular occupational cultures and loyalties involved; to the speed of processes of transition; the leadership approaches adopted to drive through change; and to the certainty of outcomes. How workers experience and manage such transitions, we contend, tells us much about the prospects for retaining (formerly) public sector staff within fields that are increasingly being subject to private sector influence.
Exploitation Route The research team provided the host organisation with three substantive reports and accompanying presentations to provide real time commentary relevant to the on-going delivery of offender supervision/rehabilitation services. This has been seen, by managers and staff alike, as providing a valuable stimulus for reflective learning in the development of the CRC. These findings underpinned a workshop attended by national CRC management leads, acting as prompts for sharing best practice.

The study has contributed to the wider academic, political, and at times more public debates around the privatisation of probation services through being able to offer the unique perspective of those charged with implementing the changes currently sweeping through the sector. We have delivered a series of presentations to a variety of national and international level audiences that have routinely mixed academic and practitioners together. We have presented to and are writing for the European-wide CREDOS (Collaboration of Researchers for the Effective Development of Offender Supervision) and delivered papers at the annual meetings of the European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions and Measures (Sheffield, 2015) and the European Society of Criminology (Porto, 2016). The team also delivered a keynote address at the EU COST Action Offender Supervision in Europe (Brussels, 2016) conference to an audience of approximately 150 delegates drawn from academics, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from across Europe. In what is part of an on-going body of work engaging academic and practitioner audiences alike about understanding the opportunities and challenges within the devolving of probation services in England and Wales project team member Lol Burke has been asked to speak (in November 2016) to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee about the reforms in the probation sector.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice
 
Description The defining feature of our research proposal was that capitalising on the extensive access granted by the host Community Rehabilitation Company would allow us to capture the experience of organisational change from the inside, from the staff groups most affected by the change agenda. The splitting of probation services from 35 Probation Trusts into seven regionally based public sector National Probation Service divisions and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies formally took place on 1st June 2014, a little over a year after the devolution of probation service was first mooted in consultation leading to the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda reform programme. In the run up to the splitting of services concerns were expressed about the speed and scope of the changes and there remained a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the processes and timelines. The ambition was that as the CRCs commenced operations in June 2014 so too would a bidding process begin to identify potential new owners, assess their suitability, formalise the outsourcing processes and have them in place to assume full ownership within the space of 12-months. The ability of our research to capture and report upon the staff experiences of implementing these changes has, and continues to, enable us to reach out and make rich contributions to debates in academia, practice, and beyond. The profound and dynamic nature of the changes has been a source of interest for policy commentators and interest groups within this field; the experience of probation is expected to be repeated in other criminal justice sectors. European practitioners and academics have sought to engage with our findings to see how the devolution of probation services in England and Wales proceeds as the probation models of practice delivered in the UK have been influential in shaping practice in a number of European jurisdictions. Evidence of this interest was the invited keynote address at the EU COST Action Offender Supervision in Europe (Brussels, March 2016) conference to an audience of approximately 150 academics, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from across Europe. We have presented and are writing for the European-wide CREDOS (Collaboration of Researchers for the Effective Development of Offender Supervision) and delivered papers at the annual meetings of the European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions and Measures (Sheffield, 2015) and the European Society of Criminology (Porto, 2016). In all these instances we have engaged with mixed academic and practitioner user groups and have been asked for further information about our findings. Our case study of the impact of policy on the transition of the organisational identities, occupational cultures, and practice values of probation practitioners has informed presentations at joint academic and practitioner-facing events at a local and national level. We have generated written outputs in leading academic journals and forthcoming titles. We have spoken at events concerned with the broader privatisation of the criminal justice sector (invited keynote address at the University of Leicester); we have presented to practitioner forums to promote thinking, professional reflection explore the representativeness of the findings (NAPO practitioner's forum Liverpool); and to seminars for policy-makers highlighting specific areas of change in probation practice emerging out of the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda (events at the British Academy and Institute of Government). We have produced briefing notes for non-governmental organisations like the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prison Reform Trust who campaign and raise awareness around punishment and sentencing policies. The two articles we have published to date have both been subject to blog reviews and social media coverage/promotion on twitter by established commentator Russell Webster (see http://www.russellwebster.com/the-identity-of-new- probation/ and http://www.russellwebster.com/how-has-the-privatisation-of-probation-affected-staff/). They have also been featured in probation-orientated social media forms like the 'On Probation Blog' http://probationmatters.blogspot.co.uk that are read and extensively engaged with by practitioners in the field. The recent (23rd September 2016) publication of a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee into the performance and progress of the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda has stimulated interest beyond those with a routine interest in the field. The report was critical of the level of progress being made to innovate and develop new working practices within the sector and expressed concerns that the 'rehabilitation revolution' sought by the Ministry of Justice was not being realised (see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/ cmselect/cmpubacc/484/48405.htm#_idTextAnchor007). Project team member Lol Burke was invited (on Tuesday 1st November 2016) to provide evidence to the Justice Select Committee who are reviewing the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. Members of the Select Committee have been supplied with copies of our research outputs and this will ensure the research is able to feed directly into a senior level of government and policy-making. There are three further, continuing impacts: Firstly, the team provided the host organisation with three substantive reports and accompanying presentations to provide real time commentary relevant to the delivery of offender supervision/rehabilitation services. Senior Managers and staff reported (and provided written evidence) that our engagement with the organisation and our reports provided a valuable stimulus for reflective learning in the development of the new organisation. The successful bidders for the contract area of our host organisation were happy for us to continue our fieldwork for the three months in which they assumed full ownership of the CRC. They were keen to engage with our research outputs to inform their understanding of the organisational and occupational culture of the CRC and attended presentations of our findings. Having seen the benefits of engaging in independently funded and rigorous action-research they are keen to consider facilitating a further sweep of research activity to capture the changing dynamics of the working cultures and identities. Secondly, the project design and ambitions has helped to develop further research activity. Burke and Millings have worked with LJMU colleagues to design a project that examines the experience of implementing the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda within the prison setting, specifically the experience of developing Through The Gate service provision. The same research design has enabled activity to access, engage with, and track members of staff involved in implementing change. The experience and generated learning from this project has been crucial in securing a partner's investment in research process and in securing funding to allow the activity to take place. Thirdly, there continues to be an educational impact arising from the experience of conducting research within the practice setting. The research data has informed sessions delivered to undergraduate and postgraduate students across a range of courses in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Psychology, Law and Policing Studies. Beyond this, the relationship with the organisation who now own the host CRC has encouraged discussions around developing programmes of postgraduate level practitioner-focused research training and supervision.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services
 
Description The House of Commons Justice Select Committee hosted an informal seminar on probation and the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda. 15 individuals ranging from representatives of the new providers of probation services, previous senior executives from the probation and prison service, and academics research active in the field were invited to make written submissions and attend the event held at the House of Commons. Lol Burke from the project team was one of those invited to attend (by virtue of conducting research into the reform of probation services) and within his written and verbal submissions made explicit reference to our research outputs.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Internal University Research Funding
Amount £14,500 (GBP)
Organisation Liverpool John Moores University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 03/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description Collaborative relationship with Merseyside Police developed through the joint HEFCE, College fo Policing and Home Office backed Police Knowledge Fund 
Organisation Merseyside Police Service
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Principal Investigator (Matthew Millings) moved from the 'Devolving Probation Services' ESRC project into a project management role for a Merseyside based Police Knowledge Fund Project (one of fifteen funded to run nationally). The joint collaboration between Liverpool John Moores University, Merseyside Police, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside funded jointly by the College of Policing, HEFCE and Home Office ran from August 2015 to March 2017. Under the title 'Embedding Evidence Based Practice in Public Protection and Crime Prevention' the partnership (managed by Matthew Millings) was underpinned by three objectives; 1) to build capacity amongst police officers and staff to understand, critique, and use research; 2) to embed engagement with contemporary criminal justice and policing research in promoting evidence-based problem solving practice; and 3) to demonstrate innovation in developing evidence-base and in the dissemination and application of findings through knowledge exchange mechanisms across all levels of policing (publications, workshops and presentations). The core activity of the bid has been the development and delivery of a credit-bearing programme of research training and supervision delivered by a mixed team of LJMU-based research fellows and Advanced Practitioners (officers seconded from Merseyside Police 3 days a week for the duration of the project) who have been managed by the PI. The programme that has been delivered to 72 officers across two sweeps of teaching - the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Policing Studies - culminates with student officers completing a piece of work-based research that is intended to positively influence policy and practice on Merseyside. In this way the programme seeks to develop the individual skills sets of the officers (through developing their confidence and ability to identify, engage with and utilise research evidence) and to make a contribution to the force's efforts to embed evidence-based thinking in organisational working culture of Merseyside Police. Beyond the administration and delivery of the programme the project has looked to develop knowledge exchange events to help identify and build new avenues for collaborative research activity. The role of project manager and the direct oversight of the day-to-day operation of this project has supported efforts to establish and develop links to Merseyside Police to sustain and develop research activity within the organisation. The leadership experience of the ESRC project was seen as a determining factor in being moved to manage the Police Knowledge Fund project and the same skills on engaging with the practice community have been utilised on this project to help shape practice relevant research products. To ensure a project legacy and sustain the relationship the PI has helped shape a number of mechanisms within Merseyside Police to support research activity and to maintain a working relationship with Merseyside Police (an Evidence-Based Research Steering Group and being the catalyst for the development of Merseyside Police's Knowledge Hub). This co-production model of generating research activity and learning is now being proposed to develop new relationships with other criminal justice partners.
Collaborator Contribution Merseyside Police have played a role in the recruitment and appointment processes of the three seconded Advanced Practitioners who have worked at the University during the project's development. The organisation has helped efforts to recruit student officers and provide study time opportunities for them to engage with the course. Importantly though the organisation has been enthusiastic in supporting the development of mechanisms that have helped generate and then facilitate the operation of research projects. This has meant officers have felt supported in conducting research and that when their findings are disseminated there have been forums for those findings to be feed back into practice and decision-making processes.
Impact Student Officers from the Police Knowledge Fund Project all produce individual pieces of practice relevant research as part of the completion of their bespoke postgraduate qualification. In November 2016 30 officers graduated and each had produced and presented research findings to the Chief Officer group to help positively inform pratcie innovation/development. On completion of the project other outputs will be listed here.
Start Year 2015
 
Description A Symposium on Risk run by the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield (February 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The University of Sheffield's Centre for Criminological Research hosted a one day Symposium on the topic of Risk; to explore 'risk' in the domains of crime, harm, deviance and criminal justice. Presentations provided insights from theory and practice, and were made by speakers from universities in England, France and the Netherlands on subjects as diverse as probation reform, poverty, the Victorian security industry and child sexual exploitation. Gwen Robinson delivered a presentation developing out of the research data titled 'Probation, risk and the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda'. The project helped enhance the paper's ability to use empirical data to illuminate the way in which approaches to risk management are being challenged and altered through the language and ambitions of the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/law/research/clusters/ccr/risk
 
Description An event titled Penal Policymaking: A Collaborative Symposium (an event emerging out of a joint ESRC and Political Studies Association Project) that took place at the Institute for Government, London in April 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A fuller summary of the event is available through the web-address below. Under the title 'Penal Policymaking; A Collaborative Symposium' the event drew together a range of policy participants and academics to explore how questions of criminal justice are ineluctably bound up with questions of, inter alia, politics, evidence, expertise, ethics, morality and practicality. The event was developed around three themes with the research project being a prominent feature of the session concerned with 'Localism, Markets and Criminal Justice Policy'. Gwen Robinson (representing the project) was one of the session leads in her discussion of the project. The event raised the profile of the research further and the very recent experiences of practitioners we reported on provided a real stimulus and authenticity to debates around the increasing role of markets within criminal justice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/396241/1/62297_PenalPolicyReport_WEB.pdf
 
Description Conference presentation of research findings, University of Leicester Criminal Justice and Privatisation Conference 17th September 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A paper based on the first phase of the research activity was presented under the title 'The Impact of Transforming Rehabilitation in one CRC area'. The paper is to be written up and published as part of an edited collection from the day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description House of Commons Justice Select Committee Seminar on Probation and Transforming Rehabiliation, London, November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The House of Commons Justice Select Committee hosted an informal seminar on probation and the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda. 15 individuals ranging from representatives of the new providers of probation services, previous senior executives from the probation and prison service, and academics research active in the field were invited to make written submissions and attend the event held at the House of Commons. Lol Burke from the project team was one of those invited to attend (by virtue of conducting research into the reform of probation services) and within his written and verbal submissions made explicit reference to our research outputs. He along with the other 14 invited attendees discussed current challenges in the delivery of probation services that had been brought into sharp focus with the publication of a House of Commons Public Accounts Committee Report in September 2016 that had identified concerns around the pace and scope of the innovation and progress being made by the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. The research activity we have been able to report on helps capture the views of the probation staff most effected by the profound changes witnessed within the sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Leaders experiences of implementing the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda, Liverpool John Moores University, 20th November 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The key objective of the workshop was for the research team to share the emergent learning and findings from the completed project. With an invited audience of CRC organisation leaders we explored how far our findings resonate with other experiences in different CRCs, and to capture these leaders' reflections on their TR experience. The discussions sought also to share good and best practice between attendees at a time when co-production activity is compromised by the fragmentation of the probation service landscape.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Meeting of CREDOS (Collaboration of Researchers for the Effective Development of Offender Supervision), Porto, Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This meeting of CREDOS (Collaboration of Researchers for the Effective Development of Offender Supervision) brought together academics and some practitioners to engage with research around contemporary challenges for probation services. Gwen Robinson from the project delivered an input that drew on the research to explore the development of risk within a probation landscape being reshaped by Transforming Rehabilitation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.esc-eurocrim.org/images/esc/files/eurocrim-2015-final-program.pdf
 
Description Opening plenary presentation at Bridging Research, Policy and Practice EU COST Action IS1106 Offender Supervision in Europe Final Conference, Free University of Brussels, 11th and 12th March 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The research team gave the opening conference plenary entitled 'Probation in the Public and Private Sectors: The Case of England and Wales' at the Free University of Brussels (see http://www.offendersupervision.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/OSE-Brussels-Conference.pdf). The event marked the end of a four year EU COST Action project (COST Action IS1106) titled 'Offender Supervision in Europe' (see http://www.offendersupervision.eu/). It was attended by over 120 delegates from 23 different countries and included representatives from the European Commission and the Directors of Probations Services in the Netherlands and Belgium. As a research team we were invited to give a presentation that reported on our 20-month ESRC funded project (ESRC Ref ES/M000028/1) entitled 'Devolving Probation Services: A study of the implementation of the transforming Rehabilitation Agenda' as our findings represent the most detailed assessment of staff experiences of the devolving of probation services and helps identify the challenges for probation services in moving into the private sector.

In September 2013 the Ministry of Justice published details of how its Transforming Rehabilitation agenda would restructure the delivery of offender management services in England and Wales. Within these reforms approximately 70% of the activities carried out by a public sector probation service were to be outsourced to the private sector through the establishment of 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs). Our research draws on 14-months of observation and interview-based research to capture, in one case study area, the experience of staff during this period of profound organisational change through the creation, early development, and sale of a CRC. The project involved the research team conducting a series of interviews with staff throughout the CRC, and extensive observational research of key decision and policy-making forums. Made possible through an on-going dialogue with the organisational management group the study benefited from unprecedented access to the CRC in terms of engaging staff and attending meetings to observe how the decisions of senior managers within the new company were being formulated, implemented, and, in time, received by staff. We have demonstrated that it is possible to conduct ethnographic research in the probation context, even in circumstances of extreme upheaval: something that has rarely been attempted. We have also demonstrated the importance of studying organisational change in 'real time', rather than retrospectively, when the impacts are perhaps less raw and are likely to have been subject to narrative restructuring.

Our research has demonstrated that the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms have threatened the collective 'probation ethos' in a number of respects. Firstly, the notion of workers delivering a 'public service' is compromised by the introduction of a market-driven logic in probation work. Secondly, the restructuring of established working relationships, both within and external to the case study area, have renegotiated the distribution of status and power between the various stakeholders in offender management, particularly in respect of the relationship and interface between the National Probation Service and CRCs. Thirdly, the reconfiguration of probation service areas (and the probation staff groups working with them) has consequences for the endurance of locally formulated area based loyalties as powerful influences in how individuals and collectives operate. Fourthly, the reforms have resulted in a significant loss of 'human capital' in the probation sector as many experienced staff have decided to look for alternative employment.

More broadly, our research has been able to demonstrate that whilst there are some similarities between the experiences of workers subject to the involuntary transfer of their labour from public to private sector organisations within and between fields, there is also the potential for some important differences. In our study we have identified these as relating to the particular occupational cultures and loyalties involved; to the speed of processes of transition; the leadership approaches adopted to drive through change; and to the certainty of outcomes. How workers experience and manage such transitions, we contend, tells us much about the prospects for retaining (formerly) public sector staff within fields that are increasingly being subject to private sector influence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.offendersupervision.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/OSE-Brussels-Conference-Programme.pdf
 
Description Paper at the Annual Meeting of the European Society of Criminology, Porto, September 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The paper delivered here 'Becoming a CRC' was the first airing of a planned written output with which we were keen to engage scholars from across Europe. The discussions that followed allowed us to sharpen the focus of the subsequent written submission.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation at the British Academy for a policy-maker orientated seminar series entitled Coping with Crime (London, March 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Professors Joanna Shapland and Stephen Farrall from the University of Sheffield co-ordinated a series of day conferences on 'Coping with crime: citizens and government' at the British Academy in London. The seminars are for senior practitioners, policy makers and politicians and are evidence-based, focusing on ideas for the future and designed to help to create new policy ideas on coping with crime and how citizens can relate to criminal justice agencies and the state. Gwen Robinson was invited by the conveners to present a paper entitled 'Risk in the 'old' and 'new' worlds of probation'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation of Sweep 1 Findings to Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation of the 1st sweep of our research activity to our host organisation Executive Board (and accompanying report) identified the emergent themes concerning the 'process of change' generated by our fieldwork. We reported on the very individual and personal experiences of the challenges faced by staff at all levels of the organisation in implementing fundamental changes to the structure and working practices of probation services. The research captured the mood of staff at all levels, the strengths and weakness of communication and engagement strategies, and identified the fears and anxieties employees had moving forward into the establishment of the(ir) new organisation.

The host organisation senior management team appeared to use the report to act as a stimulus to conduct a further round of staff engagement events and used it to help inform future attempts to engage in communication with staff about the processes of change and of trying to provide clear message (in an uncertain environment) about the future direction of the organisation of probation services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation of Sweep 2 Findings to Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team formally passed over a 42-page interim report form the second sweep of research activity on the project. The presentation was delivered to CRC Board members in the first instance and then circulated amongst the host organisation staff group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation of Sweep 3 and 4 Findings to Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team formally passed over a 40-page interim report form the third and fourth sweeps of research activity on the project. The presentation was delivered to CRC Board members in the first instance and then circulated amongst the host organisation staff group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation to European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions and Measures (Sheffield, June 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the research team presenting findings from our on-going examination of staff experiences of the implementation of the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda in one case study area. It was the first time findings from the research had been presented and it generated much interest and discussion amongst an audience from across Europe who have a keen interest in the delivery and operation of offender management services.

Delegates asked for copies of the full paper the presentation themes were drawn from.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://communitysanctionsblog.wordpress.com/conferences/
 
Description Project themed Panel Session at the American Soceity of Criminology Conference, New Orleans, November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The research team each presented papers in a project themed panel session looking explicitly at the experience of implementing the Transforming Rehabilitation Reform agenda. The dedicated session allowed the team to explore in-depth different aspects of the project. Audience members were drawn from a variety of international backgrounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk delivered to joint Liverpool John Moores University and NAPO (formerly the National Association of Probation Officers) Regional Practitioner Forum (Liverpool, February 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lol Burke (project team member) has worked with colleagues from the Merseyside branch of NAPO (formerly the National Association of Probation Officers) to run a number of themed Probation Practitioner Forums. These bring together members of NAPO, postgraduate students from the University, and interested members of the research community to discuss and debate current issues in the delivery of offender management services. At this Forum, the second in the series, Gwen Robinson drew upon the project to inform a presentation around the institutionalisation of risk within the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda. The discussion that followed, stimulated by the presentation of research data, allowed for practitioners to collectively work through and consider the implications of the challenges to their professional practice that the shift in policy is leading to. The event raised the profile of the research project, helped identify ways attendees could read the open access outputs and gave attendees the opportunity to think critically about changes taking place within their sector in a safe and intellectually stimulating environment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Transforming Rehabilitation 2 Years On 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The event 'Transforming Rehabilitation: 2 years on' brought together a series of high profile figures within probation to reflect on the impact and progress of the Transforming Rehabilitation Reform agenda. Representatives included the Chief Executive of Interserve Justice, the General Secretary of NAPO, a Regional National Probation Service Manager and leading academics to debate and discuss the impacts of the reform programme on the sector. At the event we launched and profiled a publication raising the profile of the research to academic and practice audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016