Application of National Standards

This Essay will discourse my apprehension and application of National Standards paying specific attending to the conformity and enforcement procedure within said Standards. I will discourse the context of the policy and its impact on the wrongdoer. I will besides analyze how the Probation Service works in this country and how this might hold changed over clip.

To contextualise enforcement policy ; National Standards was developed in 1992 in order to supply minimal demands, that the wrongdoer had to stay by, whilst functioning their Order in the community. The National Probation Service felt that they needed ‘ … consistence, so that the character and frequence of traffics with the service no longer depended on the opinion ( and possibly foibles ) of the oversing officer.’ ( Canton et al 2007 ) . This suggests that prior to 1992 ; the frequence of wrongdoer conformity fell to the oversing officer. Besides, the Probation Service’s accent seemed to switch to the attack that ‘offender management’ should offer more construction, presenting ; ‘ … duty and answerability for the direction of each offender.’ ( NOMS 2007 ) . The Probation Service moved towards taking a corporate duty for its clients to apparently cut down the single duty the oversing officer had prior to the alterations that were made. National Standards have apparently been developed in order to guarantee a minimal criterion of pattern is uniformly exercised and is to a mensurable and acceptable ‘standard’ .

National Standards is a topic that is instantly broached at any initial supervising interview. The wrongdoer needs a clear apprehension of the demands of their Order and of the enforcement procedure if they of all time failed to run into any demands. Trotter ( 1999 ) explains that when re-enforcing pro-social behaviors such as conformity and disputing anti-social behaviors within a professionally negotiated relationship, where outlooks are explicitly stated and agreed, provides a professional principle that is considered curative and portion of a consistent civilization that the wrongdoer will react positively to. In my experience it has been the instance, on juncture, where wrongdoers have responded to enforcement and have fed back a positive response to that consequence. Concentrating more on the enforcement procedure was something that I modelled my direction of wrongdoers on thereafter and this externally went some manner to bettering future conformity for most, but non all. It seems that if I had suitably addressed enforcement with wrongdoers at earlier phases of my development, they could hold felt more sceptered and the portion of power would hold been more balanced.

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The Probation Service has a bringing mark of accomplishing ‘ … at least 70 % of instances to make the six month phase without necessitating Breach action.’ ( WYPA 2007 ) . This seems to propose that there is an accent on loosen uping the application of the steadfast construction of National Standards and concentrating on wrongdoers finishing their Orders with every bit small break as is practicably possible. This mark obviously contradicts the statement that Loumans et Al ( 2008 ) makes about a nexus between effectual enforcement and a decrease in reconviction rates. Besides, the Probation Service seems to belie itself by saying ; ‘All absences should be regarded as unacceptable unless proved otherwise.’ ( Probation Circular 2004 ) .

The mark of avoiding Breach within six months, in my experience would be a really hard one to accomplish if it was non for the opinion of the oversing officer and their reading of National Standards. Using a specific wrongdoer illustration, there could be a illustration where a sensitive household committedness had to be attended to over a National Standards assignment. No physical cogent evidence could be provided but Icouldsee his cogent evidence to be acceptable, utilizing my professional opinion and being mindful of the motivation factors that could impact any future battle and conformity. It would be hard for me to warrant implementing an Order due to a ‘un-provable’ absence as I would look to hold failed to understand any single fortunes. ‘Offenders are non a homogenous group, each is an single with alone needs.’ ( Chapman et al. 1998 ) .

Although National Standards is stiff by design, its application by the Probation Service, in some instances, can change. In footings of the Probation Service position ; ‘ … has sensible history of them been taken in doing any determinations? ’ ( WYPB 2006 ) . This suggests that criterions can be interpreted in order to suit single demand. Others have a different position as they argue that I pattern a stiff model that restricts my professional opinion in pattern. Maguire ( 2002 ) surmises that National Standards ‘…fence-in the liberty of justness professionals by agencies of National Standards and objectives.’ ( Maguire et al. 2002 ) . In utilizing my professional opinion, I could warrant accepting any absence, with continued conformity being the motivation factor. However, enforcement could accomplish the same consequence but through the fright of farther penalty instead than working on constructing a relationship of trust between us both.

Wrongdoers are made cognizant of describing instructions in their initial initiation interview. Prior to the national Standards policy changing, assignments were of a fixed criterion of hebdomadal, biweekly, and monthly. This was valuable to be aftering and mark scene. Planning is a really of import portion of my work as a practician and it could be said to be a critical undertaking to set about in order for me to undergo the most appropriate work with the wrongdoer. Millar and Crute ( 1992 ) talk about the importance of planning and by be aftering, I can avoid possible interview mistakes and subjective prejudices and biass, later cut downing them. The ability to program is apparently made easier within the old National Standards model in head. However the flexibleness of the newer Standards seems to see the potency for offender’s single fortunes to alter and later offering the ability to guarantee greater conformity via the opinion of the oversing officer.

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The discretion of the oversing officer should be used in order to understand that persons have differing fortunes and demands. The National Probation Service stated in 2007 that ; ‘Judgements as to reasonableness take history of the nature of the failure.’ There is a job with a discretional attack as it could take to offender’s being below the belt treated with regard to their coverage committednesss and enforcement on their Order. In some offender’s instances, there are occasions within their clip on their Orders where they gain employment. Due to my attack, I may handle a peculiar absence really otherwise than I would hold done if they were non in employment. If he was absent and was non employed, there is a high likeliness that I would hold requested cogent evidence with more energy. I besides treated his absence otherwise to the wrongdoers I was instance pull offing at the clip who didn’t have employment. My discretion was arguably prejudiced to wrongdoers who were non employed as I seemed to use that an employed wrongdoer had a far more sensible alibi when neglecting to go to.

I besides have to be cognizant that Breach action could do break to an otherwise compliant wrongdoer and impact any future battle and conformity ; ‘Premature curtailment of a potentially effectual intercession – for whatever ground, including Breach proceedings – can forestall effectual treatment.’ ( Canton 2007 ) . If Breach action was later non taken against the wrongdoer, the determination is likely based on their current state of affairs, past conformity and any prospective hereafter conformity. In order for me to avoid Breach action, I may hold to partially ignore National Standards and look to another way given by the Probation Service whereby ; ‘Staff will take into history issues of diverseness in the appraisal and direction of wrongdoers… ’ . ( WYPB, 2006 ) .

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It does look that the direction of wrongdoers takes into history the stiff construction of National Standards and the flexible nature of professional discretion and seems to get married the two, ensuing in the most effectual consequence for the wrongdoer. If I were to entirely use National Standards in my enforcement procedure, I would be neglecting to understand the person and it seems that some enforcement actions would be deemed as inappropriate, non merely for the wrongdoer, but besides in a professional context. If I disregard National Standards and the policies that the Probation Service have set out, so there would be no order and construction to an Order served in the community. The duty of enforcement and pattern would fall entirely to the oversing officer and their positions as an single with respect to professional opinion, cognition and accomplishment. However, the policy driven construction National Standards provides, apparently makes the oversing officer’s determination doing process simpler. It besides offers a footing of regulations that can be applied to all of the wrongdoers in the Probation Service’s attention in order to advance a uniformed and governable service. There is besides range for policies and criterions to be continuously evaluated and reviewed which is vitally of import, being able to accommodate a model which in bend considers and attentions for the individual’s demands and values.

Word Count – 1887

Bibliography –

Canton, R & A ; Eadie, T, ( 2007 ) , ‘National Standards’ in The Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management. Canton, R and Hancock, D, Willan.

Chapman, T. & A ; Hough, M. ( 1998 ) . HM Inspectorate of Probation: A Guide to Effective Practice. London. Home Office.

Maguire, M, Morgan, R & A ; Reiner, R. ( 2002 ) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Third Edition. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Millar, R. Crute, V & A ; Hargie, O. ( 1992 ) . Professional Interviewing. London. Routledge.

NOMS ( 2007 ) . Standards and Implementation Guidance. London. Home Office.

Trotter, C. ( 1999 ) .Working with Involuntary Clients: A Guide to Practice.London. Sage.

WYPB ( 2006 ) . West Yorkshire Probation Board Compliance and Enforcement Policy. Wakefield. West Yorkshire Probation Board.

WYPA ( 2007/08 ) , West Yorkshire Probation Area Business Plan. Wakefield. West Yorkshire Probation Board.

In subjecting this work, I acknowledge that this assignment is the merchandise of my ain work and that I am cognizant of, and agree to stay by, Sheffield Hallam University’s ordinances refering plagiarism.