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Ep32: Does probation push people back into prison?

Alexandra Kimmons
05 Apr 2024

There are now more than 200,000 people on probation across England and Wales. The original duties of a probation officer were clear-cut: ‘advise, assist, and befriend.’

But with staff shortages and unmanageable caseloads leading to limited contact time, and power imbalance built into each interaction, are probation officers able to develop meaningful relationships and help people to turn their lives around? Or is the system actually pushing people back into prison?

Joining hosts Rob and Penelope to discuss the ins and outs of probation are writer and speaker David Shipley who spent more than two years on probation, and community justice lecturer and former probation officer Julie Eden-Barnard.

David Shipley @ShipleyWrites

Read David’s blog on probation here:

And find out more about his work on his website:

Julie Eden-Barnard @Julie_Eden

See Julie’s academic work here:

Further Resources

Read our report on the localisation of justice services here: