Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management

Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management

Article excerpt

DICTIONARY OF PROBATION AND OFFENDER MANAGEMENT Canton, R. and Hancock, D. (eds), Cullompton: Willan (2007) pp. 397; £22.99, pbk. ISBN I843922-89-4

The Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management is, to say the least, a well-compiled information pack. Whereas the term 'dictionary' is often used to refer to documents that provide basic definitions of terms, the Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management provides a lot more. The main strength of the book lies not only in the provision of detailed and, in some parts, critical and analytical definitions of and information about important and relevant terms, but also in the selection of the contributors. The entries in the Dictionary of Probation and Offender Management are written by renowned experts in the fields of probation and offender management in the UK and abroad. Another strength is the fact that the contributors are not exclusively academics but include practitioners of immense experience in the probation service and NOMS. Although the bulk of the entries concern the UK, there are entries on the probation services of different parts of the world, including the probation service in Africa, USA and Canada. Whilst the non-UK entries are brief, it is important to note the fact that there are no entries on the prison systems of these countries. The effort to include entries from other countries is commendable, more so now that comparative study is becoming a popular area in criminology and criminal justice studies.

This book comprises three parts. The first part is a detailed Introduction and Overview of the probation service in England and Wales with a special emphasis on the history of the service. Other areas of NOMS are not discussed in this part of the book. However, the editors emphasise their preference for probation as the focus of the collection, with NOMS being given a secondary coverage. The probation service is not only the key service in NOMS but also one that is the most rapidly expanding and developing part of NOMS. In this sense, the decision to focus on probation is justified. In addition, this part examines some issues of current probation police and practice in England and Wales, which should be of interest also to students of NOMS. …

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