The place of probation practice in the social work arena has been a contested one. In Britain, probation began as an activity with an interest in helping offenders change their behaviour — a matter definitively within the social work domain. It has now become an occupation concerned primarily with controlling and containing offenders in the community (Sone, 1995). Current attempts to locate it within the ‘corrections’ industry are not coincidental. Neither is the removal of probation training from the Diploma in Social Work (DipSW) and the university setting in parts of the United Kingdom. These events have been timed to signal a shift of emphasis in probation practice: providing community containment facilities (Home Office, 1998).
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