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The Community Dimension of Community Penalties



Abstract: The recent history of probation supervision in England and Wales has seen a significant reduction in its links to residential communities; but, by contrast, visible ‘Community Payback’ is now a key feature of unpaid work penalties. This article considers why these contrasting developments are occurring simultaneously. It argues that the dominant reason for the evolution of the ‘Community Payback’ scheme is governmental preference for aspects of the ideology of the ‘new market state’ (Bobbitt 2002). However, it is contended that a more appropriate policy framework, capable of application to both unpaid work and probation supervision, would be a dual emphasis, in a community context, on: (i) civil renewal and community engagement; and (ii) offender rehabilitation.

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