STREAM: Workstream 4 - Offender Supervision in Europe

Strategic Targeting of Recidivism
through Evaluation And
Monitoring (STREAM)
Rob Canton
STREAM: Four Workstreams
1. Evaluation
2. Introducing and Evaluating Skills
for Effective Engagement and
Development (SEED)
3. Literature Review of 1:1
4. Impact of European Probation
1: Evaluation
(Jean Hine, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)
• Follows STARR – some impressive probation
work I many countries, but rarely rigorously
• Evaluation can show that projects and agencies
are achieving their aims and highlight how they
may be able to improve their practice
• Examples of experience and good practice will
be gathered and compiled as a web-based
‘tool kit’ of evaluation methods which could be
used to develop policy and practice across
• Not just reconviction studies
(Joanna Shapland, University of Sheffield, UK and
Sue Rex, NOMS)
• Skills for Effective Engagement and
Development (SEED)
• To enhance practitioners’ skills in
engaging with offenders (based on UK
Offender Engagement Model)
• How can the model be adapted for use
in Romania and can the approach
developed by Sheffield University to
evaluate the model be applied in
another country?
3: Literature Review 1:1
(Ioan Durnescu, University of Bucharest)
• 1:1 work remains the most common
form of supervision
• But much research has looked at group
programmes (e.g. STARR)
• Review is looking also at probation
more generally
• Recognises that probation systems may
(probably do) have several objectives
which do not always fit easily together
• Ioan is keen to hear about literature!
4: Impact of European Probation Rules
(Rob Canton, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)
• To ascertain if EPR have influenced
policy and practice in member states
• To discover how EPR have been used
• To identify any difficulties that have
hindered implementation
• To determine the strengths and the
shortcomings of EPR in light of
experiences of implementation
European Probation Rules
• Part I: Scope, application, definitions and basic
• Part II: Organisation and staff
• Part III: Accountability and relations with other
• Parts IV - VI: Probation work (tasks and
responsibilities), the processes of supervision,
work with victims of crime
• Part VII: Complaint procedures, inspection and
• Part VIII: Research, evaluation, work with the
media and the public
• Glossary
• Memorandum / Commentary
What impact might the European
Probation Rules have?
• A resource to countries developing
new probation agencies
• A benchmark against which agencies
can assess their own policies and
• A basis for legal challenge by clients
New agencies
• Inspiration
• Detailed guidance
• Literature and ‘transfer’ often
attends to ‘what works’, but context
is everything
• An agency may find that it conforms
with EPR in most or all respects – or
even go beyond these standards
• An agency may find that some of its
practices do not conform and decide
to change them in line with EPR
• An agency may find that some of its
practices do not conform and decide
that EPR should change
“It is possible to assume too readily that a set of
moral principles simply needs to be ‘applied’. The
result can be the mechanical application of some
form of utilitarianism, or list of precepts about
justice, autonomy, benevolence and so on. When
this happens, the direction of thought is all one
way. The principles are taken for granted, or
"derived" in a perfunctory way, and practical
conclusions are deduced from them. What is
missing is the sense of two-way interaction. The
principles themselves may need modifying if their
practical conclusions are too Procrustean, if they
require us to ignore or deny things we find we care
about when faced with the practical dilemmas.”
Basis for legal challenge
• Community sanctions involve
requirements and restrictions
• May impinge on family rights, privacy,
liberty (threats of ‘preventive justice’)
• When the European Court is asked to
rule it can draw on the
Recommendations of the Council
• Not legally binding, but authoritative
(‘soft law’)
• The Prison Rules have been used in this
Workstream 4: Process
Skype not questionnaire
Workstream 1 and 4 together
Using known contacts
Identifying ‘door openers’, then …
(Skype) Interviews with:
 Policy makers (e.g. Ministry of Justice)
 Probation agency staff (managers?
 Academics
• Researcher for each country (Workstreams 1 and 4)
• Language
• Question schedule
• Questions like:
 ‘Have the EPR influenced practice in
your country?)’ and / or
 (e.g.) ‘Is consent required for
community penalties?’, ‘Is there a
complaints procedure?’
• Rules-in-general or specific rules?
Impact or compliance –
A Council of Europe View
“I think that both the impact of the Rules is
important to measure as well as the
compliance with these. The impact is
important as it allows us to know whether
legislative or structural changes have been
initiated after their adoption … and in line with
their standards and whether they have been
included in the training of staff. Compliance is
important as it shows whether practices and
mentalities change over time because of
being influenced by the Rules or because
society or legislation change.”
High prison population
Fairly new probation service
Probation tradition not yet well established
Keen to be European and to welcome
policy guidance from Brussels and
• Used rules to develop organisation, policy
and practice
• Well-established probation system
• Not necessarily very “European”
• Not much interested in Council of Europe
Recommendations in this area
• But in fact quite a high level of compliance
“Why do the UK and Denmark complain
most about the imposition of EU law but
then turn out to be the countries which
have the best records of obedience?
Conversely, why does Italy, whose public
opinion is most in favour of Europe,
have such a high rate of non compliance?”
(David Nelken)
Where next?
• To use the findings of the research to
improve implementation and effective
organisational practice
• To provide recommendations to assist
European-wide Probation agencies to
further develop their organisations and
services as the basis for working more
effectively with offenders
• To scope the possibility of developing a
'centre of excellence' for European

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