Penal Evolution and Probation

A few months ago (perhaps as far back as last October), I posted the short version of a paper presented at the European Society of Criminology Annual Conference on ‘Probation and social solidarity’. The final version of the paper (co-authored with my colleague Matt Dawson) has just been published online in the British Journal of Criminology, under the revised title ‘Social Solidarity, Penal Evolution and Probation’. You can access the article free online at this link: Social Solidarity, Penal Evolution and Probation

If you can’t access the final published version of the article via that link, you can download the final draft here: McNeill and Dawson sub (2014)

The abstract is as follows:

Compared to the sociology of the prison, the sociology of probation has been much neglected. In Europe and the United States, that neglect is beginning to be addressed by a number of scholars, both empirically and conceptually. Where these scholars have looked to the founding figures in the sociology of punishment, they have tended to examine probation through a Foucauldian or Marxist lens. This paper takes a different direction, re-examining Durkheim’s ideas about social solidarity and penal evolution to try to offer some analytical resources for making sense of probation’s historical development and contemporary struggles. In so doing, we hope to illustrate both the continuing value of Durkheimian analyses of penality and the need to extend such analyses beyond the prison. More broadly, we aim to briefly illustrate and to stimulate new cultural analyses of probation’s historical emergence and contemporary adaptations.

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