Dr Martina Feilzer chairs major Probation symposium

Dr Martina Feilzer, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, recently chaired and co-organised a symposium on ‘Probation and Offender Management: the prospects and pitfalls of marketisation’.

Held in Cardiff, the symposium, organised as part of the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice’s Criminal Justice and Penal Practice network, was well-attended by practitioners, policy-makers and academics. Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe of Cambridge University – also President of the British Society of Criminology and member of the Independent Probation Alliance – delivered the keynote speech, while other speakers included representatives from the Wales Probation Trust, the National Association of Probation Officers, CLINKS and G4S. The aim of the event was to foster a lively discussion on the Government’s plans to open offender management fully to competition, with the exception of risk assessment of offenders, advice to courts and supervision of ‘high risk of harm’ offenders.

Commenting on the topicality of the event, Dr Feilzer said: “This subject is under extensive media coverage at the moment, as the Government’s controversial plans to open probation services to the private sector are currently under way, with probation officers waiting anxiously to find out whether they will be transferred to the new Community Rehabilitation Companies”.

Publication date: 26 February 2014