Community Justice, Time and the New National Probation Service

28 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2002

See all articles by Mike Nellis

Mike Nellis

University of Birmingham - Department of Social Policy and Social Work

Abstract

Amongst the staff in the highly managerialised agencies of contemporary criminal justice, there is a clear and often painful awareness of ever-tighter deadlines and increasing time scarcity. Nonetheless it has been correctly observed that 'academic investigation of such issues has been hampered by the limited conceptions of time involved' (Whipp 1994, p. 100). This is particularly true in criminology. The sociological understanding of time has grown apace in recent years (Adam 1990, 1995; Hassard 1990) but tends to have remained a specialist preserve which has impacted little on reflection about criminal justice processes, Pratt (1990) and Matthews (1999) excepted. As a result 'our maps of time within [criminal justice] organisations of the late twentieth century are still woefully inadequate' (Whipp 1994, p. 112, my addition). This article is an implicit commendation of the 'sociology of time' to criminologists, and an explicit application of some of its concepts and insights to the emerging National Probation Service in England and Wales, as projected in its recent mission statement, A New Choreography. The targets and deadlines set for the new Service are premised upon a commonplace but problematic notion of 'managerial time', which in a variety of ways is at odds with the feasible pace of change in the many local communities with which the Service will be working.

Suggested Citation

Nellis, Mike, Community Justice, Time and the New National Probation Service. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=309011

Mike Nellis (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Department of Social Policy and Social Work ( email )

Criminal Justice Studies
Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom
0121 414 6609 (Phone)

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