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Prevention in Probation

The UK’s criminal justice system continues to see stubbornly high reoffending rates and, in recent years, has experienced a worrying increase in the number of non-natural deaths of offenders in the care of the probation service. This has a high impact on work to reduce re-offending and limits the impact that probation offices can have, enabling offenders to turn their lives around and protect our communities from the after effects of crime.

Thanks to the Hallam Fund, social justice researchers at Sheffield Hallam will be taking forward the UK’s first review of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP). They will work with senior probation officers, in-the-field experts and policy makers to understand the challenges and influence reform to deliver a positive probation experience which will lead to lower reoffending rates.

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest providers of training for probation officers in the North of England, supporting the training framework for the Ministry of Justice. Our teaching and research contributes to the outstanding work of the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice. The project will be by Dr Jake Phillips, Lecturer in Criminology, who is nationally renowned as a scholar engaged in research which has influenced both Government approaches to reoffending and practical applications to the delivery of successful probation outcomes.

Dr Phillips said that “This research will bring together practitioners and experts to develop recommendations that will help make communities safer, support probation users and their families, particularly those bereaved families and those suffering from the stigma of having a relative who is in prison or on probation. My vision is that this ambitious report should lead to the development of further research programmes to support the probation sector in the future.”

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