This chapter will examine two probation interventions to improve the basic skills and employment potential of adult offenders through two separate pathfinder projects – the Basic Skills Pathfinder and the Employment Pathfinder – launched by the former Home Office Probation Unit, now the National Probation Directorate, and funded as part of the Crime Reduction Programme. While the first author was an evaluator of the Employment Pathfinder and the second author was an evaluator of the Basic Skills Pathfinder, both projects are discussed in tandem within this chapter for the following reasons. First, the large sample of offenders from the evaluation of the Basic Skills Pathfinder provides an opportunity to examine: the basic skills and employment needs of offenders in a probation context; the extent of the overlap between the two needs; and the associations of these needs with other offender characteristics. Second, the different approaches adopted in the implementation of the two pathfinders will be compared and contrasted in order to draw out some of the reasons why they were implemented with limited success, which may also have some implications for the future. We hope that this juxtaposition of the findings from each project will help to inform the future development of such initiatives so that they are better tailored to the needs of offenders.
|Title of host publication
|What Works in Probation and Youth Justice
|Subtitle of host publication
|Developing Evidence-Based Practice
|Ros Burnett, Colin Roberts
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jun 2004