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Innovation and the Evidence Base

Fox, Chris and Albertson, Kevin (2020) Innovation and the Evidence Base. Project Report. HM Inspectorate of Probation.

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Abstract

Innovation has been a persistent theme in probation reform and probation practice over recent years. At a system level, when the Coalition government’s ‘rehabilitation revolution’ was first articulated, it encompassed innovation by frontline staff, by organisations working within a mixed economy and even social entrepreneurs. Under Transforming Rehabilitation, innovation remained a stated aim of probation reform, although the scope of innovation envisaged appeared to have narrowed. Innovation is also integral to ideas of evidence-based and evidence-led practice and there are numerous examples of innovative practice developing within probation and the wider criminal justice system. Applying the ‘innovation lens’ to evidence-based practice also raises interesting questions for the future development of such practice.

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