From Providing ‘Alternative Punishment’ to Offering ‘Punishment in the Community’: The History and Development of Community Penalties in Britain
The idea of dealing with offenders in the community rather than sending them to prison has a long history. We have moved far away from the pre-eighteenth century era where punishment meant punishing the body to the eighteenth and nineteenth century where offenders were segregated from their communities often putting them into prisons, which is still one of the dominant forms of punishment in the present days. From late nineteenth century until now, we can observe a move towards punishing and controlling offenders in the community. Basically, the community penalties started its journey as providing ‘alternative to custody’ measures aimed at the welfare and therapy of offenders outside the prison walls. This rationale provided base for the sentencing practices for quite a long time. However, during 1970s, this rational came under attack from some research evidences suggesting that rehabilitation programmes are ineffective in reducing offending. This paper highlights a brief history of the main community penalties in Britain. It specifically focuses on the reason for a change in approaches of community penalties from providing ‘alternative to punishment’ to offering ‘punishment in the community’.
Bochel, D. (1976).Probation and After Care: Its Development in England and Wales. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.
Bottomley, A.K. and Pease, K. (1986).Crime and Punishment: Interpreting the Data, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Bottoms, A., Gelsthrope, L. and Rex, S. (eds.) (2001).Community Penalties: Change and Challenges, Cullompton: Willan.
Bottoms, A.E. (1987).“Limiting Prison Use: Experience in England and Wales”,The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 26:3, pp. 177-202.
Brake, M. and Hale, C. (1992).Public Order and Private Lives: The Politics of Law and Order, London: Routledge.
Brownlee, I. (1998).Community Punishment: A Critical Introduction, London: Longman.
Cohen, S. (1985).Visions of Social Control: Crime, Punishment and Classification, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Davies, M. Croall H. and Tyrer J. (2005).Criminal Justice: An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales. (3rd ed.). Harlow: Longman.
Hall Williams, J.E. (1970).The English Penal System in Transition, London: Butterworths.
Home Office (1978).The Sentence of the Court: A Handbook for Courts on the Treatment of Offenders (3rd edition), London: HMSO.
Home Office (1995).Strengthening Punishment in the Community, London: HMSO.
Home Office (1996).Annual Report for the Home Office and the Charity Commissioners, Cm 3208, London: HMSO.
Home Office (1996).Probation Statistics for England and Wales 1994, London: HMSO.
Home Office, Department of Health and Welsh Office (1992).National Standards for the Supervision of Offenders in the Community, London: Home Office Probation Service Division.
Home Office, Department of Health and Welsh Office (1995).National Standards for the Supervision of Offenders in the Community, London: Home Office Probation Service Division.
King, J.F.S (1964).The Probation Service, (2nded.) London: Butterworth.
Mair, G. (1997).“Community Penalties and Probation”, In M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (2nd edition), Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 123-45.
Nellis, M. (2001) “Community Penalties in Historical Perspective”, In A. Bottoms, L. Gelsthrope and S. Rex (eds.) Community Penalties: Change and Challenges, Cullompton: Willan, pp. 16-40.
Pease, K., Billingham, S. and Earnshaw, I. (1977) Community Service Assessed in 1976, Home Office Research Study No. 39, London: HMSO.
Raynor, P. (1996) “Evaluating Probation: The Rehabilitation of Effectiveness”, In T. May and A. Vass (eds.) Working with Offenders: Issues, Contexts and Outcomes, London: Sage, pp. 242-58.
Rodger, J.J. (1988) “Social Work as Social Control Re-examined: Beyond the Dispersal of Discipline Thesis”, Sociology, 22, pp. 563-81.
Sanders, A. and Senior, P. (eds.) (1994) Jarvis’ Probation Service Manual (5th edition), Sheffield, PAVIC Publications.
Vass, A. (1990) Alternatives to Prison: Punishment, Custody and the Community, London: Sage.
Vass, A. (1996) “Community Penalties: The Politics of Punishment”, In T. May and A. Vass (eds.) Working with Offenders: Issues, Contexts and Outcomes, London: Sage, pp. 157-184.
Wasik, M. and Taylor, R. (1995) Guide to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, London: Blackstone Press.
Willis, A. (1986) “Alternative to Imprisonment: An Elusive Paradise?”, In J. Pointing (ed.) Alternatives to Custody, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 18-38.
Worrall, A. (1997) Punishment in the Community: the Future of Criminal Justice, London: Longman.
Young, W. (1979) Community Service Orders: The Development and Use of A New Penal Measure, London: Heinemann.
Copyright (c) 2012 Basharat Hussain, Waheed Chaudhry, Ali Askar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.