Editorial 2.2

EuroVista-2.2-cover-180[1]It is with pleasure that we present EuroVista 2.2. As our readers will remember, the previous issue was a special one dedicated to the Offender Engagement Programme in England and Wales. This one has a less specific focus but it is – as the basic idea is – more broadly oriented towards Europe. We have two articles from Ireland, two from Norway, one from Scotland and one from England and Wales. Still quite a large influence from the UK, you might say, but the topics have a much wider scope and relevance. There does not necessarily have to be a red line running through the articles in every issue of EuroVista, but if there is one here, it is about examples of best practice.

Stephen Hanvey and Mechtild Höing contribute with an article on the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA)-approach to sex-offenders, which is taken in use in an increasing number of European countries. This method makes use of volunteers in the community and involves them in an interesting way in what some still might view as supervision, while others will describe it as a desistance-based relational approach. The rather spectacular results in reducing re-offending make this method highly relevant, and the question may be asked whether CoSA should be expanded not only to more countries, but also possibly to other areas of offending.

Then there are the two Irish contributions. Vivian Geiran writes about how the Irish Probation Service changes under the circumstances of a financial crisis, and how this change can be managed for the better. An inspiringly written article that many other services in Europe suffering from similar conditions can have great advantage of. In their contribution, Gerry McNally and Ita Burke describe the background of the EU Framework Decision on the transfer of Probation Measures between State sand the implementation process as it was prepared and carried out in the Republic of Ireland.

The Norwegian articles are focused on core aspects of modern probation work. One of them, written by Hilde Hestad Iversen, Ida Stendahl, Kristin Hellesø Knutsen and Janne Helgesen deals with a matter that we do not often see publicised: the safety aspects of the daily activities of the probation worker. They report on a project that was carried out in Norway some time ago, specifically aimed at identifying and managing safety risks while working in an unprotected environment with sometimes high-risk offenders. The results indicate that the programme might be well worth looking at for other jurisdictions as well.

The second article from Norway, by Marianne Kylstad Øster, is descriptive in character and deals with the way the correctional services there have implemented Electronic Monitoring. The approach is in a number of ways different from where other European countries place the emphasis in this form of supervision. Opinions may differ and the forum webpages of the CEP will happily accommodate anyone who wants to make a comment or start a discussion on the subject. Or any other, for that matter.

Finally there is an article by Fergus McNeill and Beth Weaver. Their focus is on the development of case- management from a relational and desistance-oriented viewpoint and presents a characteristic mixture of theory and everyday practice. Those who are particularly interested in case-management in European probation can visit the website of the recently completed DOMICE-project. It is easiest to access by going to the CEP-homepage www.cep-probation.org and search for “DOMICE”.

Our regular columns are of course also in place. Especially the review section, coordinated by John Deering, is a blossoming part of our journal. In addition, CEP’s Daria Janssen provides us with a selection of news items relevant for probation from far and near, and I cannot pass on the opportunity to remind our readers of the availability of the CEP-newsletters that appear practically every month through the website and through a mailing list. Anyone interested in EuroVista will find something of interest in the Newsletters. And vice versa of course.

So much for the contents. There are also two news items I want to share, and both of them have a very happy aspect and a slightly sad one. Firstly, in our latest meeting of the Editorial Executive Board on the 6th of March, we have said goodbye to Leo Tigges, who was a member in his role as Secretary General of the CEP. He has – for some reason – accepted a post as Liaison Officer Safety and Justice in the Caribbean Netherlands on the island of Bonaire. Like we did in the meeting, I will also seize the opportunity here to once more thank him for what he has done for CEP and for EuroVista with his tireless energy and his razor-sharp and analytical mind. Good luck to him, and we hope to stay in touch and maybe hear from him when he has something to contribute from his exotic new abode.

The other news concerns EuroVista itself. In the same Board Meeting, a proposal was discussed and then accepted to stop publishing the journal in paper ‘hard copy’. After the publication of EuroVista 2.3, hopefully in October of this year, we will go fully and exclusively online. Access to the journal will be free of charge and for anyone who wishes to read or check out the contents. There have been several reasons for this, and of various nature, but the main reason is to make the journal as widely available as possible. Free online publication is as such a current trend in the world of professional journals and we consider our transfer to this form as timely. We expect a substantial increase in our readership across Europe and – who knows – an even wider area, which in turn may trigger more authors to contribute. Naturally, this means that subscriptions will no longer be needed. CEP will continue to sponsor EuroVista as a journal focused on probation practice so that its existence is secured, and we will continue to consider requests for advertisements.

This is a big step for our journal. The Board has been very aware that this may be a somewhat painful development for those who feel the paper publications have a sense of history and maybe remind them of what started out as Vista, but it concluded that the advantages that may be expected from this decision outweigh these misgivings. We think that on this new basis the journal can thrive and develop.

All in all, EuroVista is alive and healthy, we already have a certain buffer of articles and some very interesting ideas for upcoming issues. But for now, also on behalf of Rob, enjoy the present issue before you!

Gerhard Ploeg