Corcoran, MS, Williams, K, Prince, K and Maguire, M (2018) The penal voluntary sector in England & Wales: adaptation to unsettlement and austerity. Political Quarterly, 89 (2). pp. 187-196. ISSN 0032-3179

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This article draws on some findings from research which investigated penal voluntary sector adaptation to the mixed market in criminal justice services. The article firstly reprises the main trends for aligning state relationships with the voluntary sector from the 1980s to the present. We then outline some findings about adaptive experiences, situations and practices of the voluntary sector in criminal justice resettlement in the light of considerable upheaval. The research found that service providing voluntary sector organisations (VSOs) either outwardly comply with, or, in a minority of cases, actively embrace, competitive marketised models of service delivery. Secondly, the sector has normalised commercial approaches to organisational efficiency as well as aligned with bureaucratic practices common to the statutory sector. Despite charges that they are effectively co‐opted by both state and market interests, many have reported conflicts between prioritising long‐term financial viability with their founding ‘ethos and values’. We conclude that while many VSOs have successfully adjusted to market and bureaucratic norms, aspects of that repositioning have been at a cost to their traditions of relative autonomy, localism and distinctiveness, to the possible detriment of a vigorous civil society.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via Wiley at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: voluntary sector, criminal justice, marketisation, co‐optation, resistance, punishment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1 Criminology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV40 Social service. Social work. Charity organization and practice
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV7231 Criminal justice administration
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 12:38
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 10:34

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