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Social Organization of a Home Office Initiative

NCJ Number
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: (1994) Pages: 141-167
P Rock
Date Published
27 pages
This article describes the changing organization, functions, and institutional attitudes of the British Home Office.
For a long time, the Home Office could quite reasonably be portrayed as a cautious institution that sat at the center of the British criminal justice system, preferring to manage rather than innovate, responding to problems and crises as they arose. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Canadian and American methods were imported into a Home Office that was moving towards a greater engagement with innovation in the wake of a growing disillusionment with the conventional armaments of the criminal justice system. The Programme Development Unit was established, and its activist, statutory and voluntary groups were free-standing and separate from policy divisions. In its first year it encouraged applications from outside the Home Office for projects to reduce or prevent criminality and domestic violence. Further out, in the community itself, ideas about innovation revolved around empowerment as the answer to the problems of the powerless, alienated, and troubled. The ideas that actually returned to the Home Office, partially refracted by official discourse, talked about supporting, counseling and educating target populations of victims or of people at risk of victimizing others. Footnotes


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