IASR-luento: Policing the Private: Probation in Britain, 1900-1950

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PinniB 1096, Kanslerinrinne 1


Tampereen yliopiston tutkijakollegium IASR

Tutkijatohtori Louise Settle (IASR) luennoi.

Luento on kaikille avoin ja maksuton. Tervetuloa!


Today probation is primarily understood as a method for saving public money by punishing offenders in the community rather than sending them to expensive prisons. However, this lecture explores probation’s earlier history as a method for reforming offenders on the basis of the motto ‘advise, assist, befriend’.

Whereas now the rehabilitation of offenders back into society tends to assume a secondary role, the probation service once aimed to reform offenders through providing both practical material help and spiritual and/or psychological guidance or ‘treatment’. This lecture explores the ways in which probation’s complex history, one influenced by Cristian philanthropy, social work and psychology, affected probation workers’ methods and the experiences of probationers.

In particular, the lecture focuses on the use of probation in cases of domestic abuse to explore the ways in which the probation service justified its intrusion into the private sphere in the name of promoting the emotional well-being of families and ensuring the healthy development of children as good future citizens.

Building on the theory of ‘penal-welfarism’, the lecture therefore examines the extent to which probation was used to care for or to control the private lives of British citizens during the first half of the twentieth century.


Tutkimussihteeri Marjukka Virkajärvi
050 318 6697