This chapter focuses on the historical development of the Probation Service tracing the links with social work through shared training and professional qualifications. The formal split between the training routes for probation officers and social workers in the mid-1990s is then reviewed and investigated from a gendered perspective. A theoretically distinctive approach is applied that draws on the literature of gender and organisations. This points to the need for a gendered analysis to be applied in order to reach an understanding of the extent and full implications of recent changes. Challenges and concerns that are facing the Probation Service and probation officers, particularly in respect of the professional value base and practice interventions with offenders are highlighted. The development of a ‘smart macho’ organizational culture in the 1990s depends on competitiveness in reaching targets. The individual responses of maingrade probation officers to these changes are discussed in this chapter.
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