Established in 1929, Probation Journal is a leading, peer reviewed journal that provides a national and international forum for sharing good practice, disseminating high quality criminal justice research and developing debate about the theory and practice of work with offenders. The Journal is read in 25 countries, and has gained a reputation for publishing material which is both of a high quality and accessible to a wide readership.
Probation Journal is published in association with Napo, the trade union and professional association for family court and probation staff and represents commitment to high standards of professionalism within the National Probation Service and wider Community and Criminal Justice Sector. However, editorial decisions are completely independent and the Journal's contents do not necessarily represent Napo policy.
View the 2016 Subscription Package which includes Probation Journal and European Journal of Probation.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
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PROBATION JOURNAL BEST ARTICLE PRIZE
Probation Journal and SAGE award a prize to the best article published each year in the Probation Journal, with specific emphasis on informing policy and practice. The winning article is selected by the board in the year following publication.
Previous winners include:
Victim Awareness: Re-examining a probation fundamental
Jacky Burrows (60/4, 2013)
Counterfeit DVD street sellers: Serious career criminals or individuals in a cyle of exploitation? by Shelly-Ann McDermott (59/3, 2012)
Re-education or recovery? Re-thinking some aspects of domestic violence perpetrator programmes by David Morran (58/1, 2011)
Who’s protecting who? by David M. Scott (57/3, 2010)
Evidencing sexual assault: Women in the witness box by Michele Burman (56/4, 2009)
Using attachment theory with offenders by Maria Ansbro (55/3, 2008)
‘Prove me the bam!’: Victimization and agency in the lives of young women who commit violent offences by Susan Batchelor (52/4, 2005)
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"During the recent decades in the complex and at times turbulent history of the Probation Service the Probation Journal has been a beacon of sound professional sense. Its commitment to the values of what 'probation' stands for, and its continuing dissemination of ideas and good practice from practitioners, academics and policy makers, has made it a source of sound advice and inspiration - in equal measure." Cedric Fullwood, Youth Justice Board
"I first read Probation Journal thirty years ago when I joined the Probation Service and I have seen it develop from little more than an in-house newsletter to a well-respected practitioner journal, keeping readers informed about key developments and debates affecting the Probation Service. It is entirely fitting that it should now join the ranks of mature professional journals and be more accessible to wider academic and criminal justice readerships, both nationally and internationally." Professor Anne Worrall, Reader in Criminology, Keele University
"I find each issue of the Probation Journal to be a valuable collection of information, research and description of current ideas and programs in working with offenders. Importantly, most of the articles are grounded in the practice of every day work with offenders. It is therefore very helpful both in my teaching of students who wish to go into the field of corrections, but also for me in my research." Denis C. Bracken, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba
"The Probation Journal remains the most accessible and timely source of information and debate about policy, practice and research in probation in the UK" Professor Gill McIvor, Stirling
"As a practitioner, the Probation Journal is an invaluable resource for keeping up to date on issues and debates within Probation and the wider Criminal Justice System." Nicola Carr, Probation Officer
"I have pleasure in stating that my involvement with the Journal over the years, as reader, occasional assessor, contributor, has convinced me of its usefulness, not only to the immediate probation service readership, but to a wider readership of those involved in the criminal justice and penal systems." Professor Herschel Prins, University of Loughborough
All issues of Probation Journal are available to browse online.
Probation Journal was established in 1929 and now provides a national and international forum for sharing good practice, disseminating criminal justice research and developing debate about the theory and practice of work with offenders. The Journal is read in 25 countries, and has gained a reputation for publishing material which is both of a high quality and accessible to a wide readership.
Probation Journal is not limited to probation issues and welcomes submissions from those interested in the wider community justice arena (e.g. Youth Justice, Community Safety Projects, Prisons, Police, Victim Support, Voluntary Organisations). Articles which inform the realities of practice, evaluate effectiveness and genuinely enhance understanding of difference and anti-oppressive values are particularly welcome.
Probation Journal is a peer-reviewed publication. Contributions are welcomed from practitioners, academics, managers, policy-makers and others with an interest in community and criminal justice issues. Each article is anonymised before being assessed by a standing editorial board consisting of practitioners, criminal justice academics, senior and chief officers with varying areas of special interest and experience. The board is assisted by internationally renowned academic and professional assessors from across the community justice spectrum.
Probation Journal is owned by Napo, the trade union and professional association for family court and probation staff and represents commitment to high standards of professionalism within the National Probation Service and wider Community and Criminal Justice Sector. However, editorial decisions are completely independent and the Journal's contents do not necessarily represent Napo policy.
|University of Nottingham, UK
|Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
|LJMU, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester (Honorary Fellow), UK
|University of Cambridge, UK
|National Probation Service (South West South Central)
|National Probation Service (North West), UK
|Independent (Probation) London, UK
|University of Glasgow and Strathclyde, UK
|Sheffield Hallam University, UK
|London CRC, UK
|Probation Officer – Greater Manchester Programmes Team
|Senior Probation Officer – North West National Probation Service
|University of Sheffield, UK
|National Probation Service (North East), UK
|London CRC, UK
|Denis C. Bracken
|University of Manitoba, Canada
|Psychological Approaches, UK
|Department of Corrections, New Zealand
|University of Stirling, UK
|University of Bucharest, Romania
|De Montfort University, UK
|Queens University Belfast, UK
|Reuben Jonathan Miller
|University of Michigan, USA
|University of Minnesota, USA
|Open University, UK
|Norwegian Correctional Services, Norway
|University of East Anglia, UK
|Faye S. Taxman
|George Mason University, USA
|University of Hertfordshire, UK
|Monash University Criminal Justice Research Consortium, USA
|Swansea University, UK
|Keele University, UK
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/probation-journal to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Probation Journal will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research Data
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.1 Submission checklist
5.3 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Letting you know our decision
6.2 Sage Production
6.3 Online First publication
6.4 Access to your published article
6.5 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Probation Journal, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
The Journal is published quarterly, in March, June, September and December, by Sage Ltd. We welcome contributions on a wide range of subjects and encourage contributions from practitioners, and those with substantial practice experience, which inform and illuminate the realities of work with offenders and promote good practice. Probation Journal is not limited to probation issues and welcomes submissions from those interested in the wider community justice arena (e.g. Youth Justice, Community Safety Projects, Prisons, Police, Victim Support, Voluntary Organisations). Articles which inform the realities of practice, evaluate effectiveness and genuinely enhance understanding of difference and anti-oppressive values are particularly welcome.
Types of Submission
Full Length Articles: Word limit 6,000-8,000 words including references. Apart from full-length articles, shorter Comment articles and Practice Notes are very welcome.
Comment: The opportunity to write more informally and express opinions on any topic appropriate for Probation Journal. Word limit 2,000-3,000 words including references.
Practice Note: The opportunity to describe a recent piece of practice, practice related issues or recent practice developments in brief. Word limit 2,000-3,000 including references.
Practitioner Response: The opportunity for those directly linked to service delivery to respond to an article in the Probation Journal and comment on the practice related issues or implications for practice. Word limit 2,000-3,000 words including references.
Reviews: Though reviews are usually commissioned, we welcome unsolicited reviews of 300-600 words of recent relevant books, videos or films. If you feel that a book, etc. deserves review, please contact the book reviews editor (whose address is on the inside cover of the Journal) who will advise if one has already been requested or would otherwise be welcome. Please send reviews to the Journal email (address below). We seek to publish four reviews in each edition.
In Court: If you feel that a decision or legal development in your local court would be worth national coverage, please send details to the editor.
Deadline Dates: Submissions should normally be received by the 15th March/June/September/December. However, these dates can vary so please contact Peter Traynor, Managing Editor to confirm the submission deadlines.
Originality/Suitability: Submissions will be considered on the understanding that they are original papers that have not been published or accepted for publication elsewhere. This does not exclude submissions which have had prior limited or private circulation, for example in the writer's local area. However, your submission should be prepared specifically for publication in Probation Journal and not in the same form as a document written earlier for a different purpose or local audience. Please ensure that you take account of articles on similar themes which have been published previously in the Journal.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:
• The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors
• The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper
• The author has recommended the reviewer
• The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
- Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
- Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
- Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
Probation Journal requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Probation Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Probation Journal and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.
Probation Journal offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
Quotations: Quotations of about 20 words or more should be placed on a new line and indented. Place all quotations within single quotation marks. Only quotes within quotes should appear in double quotation marks.
Abbreviations: The names of organisations, etc. should be mentioned in full on the first occasion with the abbreviated version in brackets, and thereafter in the abbreviated version. For example, ‘...women remanded for pre-sentence reports (PSRs)...’. If, say, NPS or NOMS are referred to, full stops (as in N.P.S.) are not necessary.
Capitals: ‘Emphasis capitals’ should be avoided. Do not capitalise ‘police officer’, ‘probation service’, criminal justice system, etc.
Diagrams And Tables: These should be used sparingly. Their location in the text should be indicated clearly in the typescript.
Please prepare your submission in two separate files:
• Complete manuscript (including title, an abstract of 50-100 words, 5-10 keywords, a final word count, as well as the author's full name, affiliation, institutional and email address, telephone and fax numbers, and a short biography for each author of 25-50 words).
• Anonymized manuscript (title, the main body of text, footnotes, tables, and figures). This document must be anonymized and suitable for viewing by reviewers. Manuscripts that include direct references to the author (including references to publications) will be returned.
4.1.1 Your Title, Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
Titles And Sub-Headings: The suggested title should appear on the first page of the manuscript. Sub-headings are encouraged to create a more readable, accessible and logically developed paper. Please use normal sentence case type.
Abstract: The submission should be preceded by an abstract of 50-100 words indicating the scope and intention of the piece. This helps the assessors and will be used to prepare an introductory ‘trailer’ to published articles.
Keywords: 5-10 keywords should be supplied with each article.
The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting Sage’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.
Probation Journal adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
References: References should be presented in the Sage Harvard system, as below:
Books Smith, J.S. (2014) Probation. London: Routledge.
Chapters Smith, J.S. (2014) ‘Preventing Reoffending’, in D. Brown, Probation. London: Routledge.
Articles Smith, J.S. (2014) ‘Protecting the Public’, in Probation Journal 99 (3), pp.123-132.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Probation Journal is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/probation-journal to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
- Articles must be preceded by a 50-100 word abstract and 5-10 keywords
- Check references for accuracy and make sure they are in the Harvard style;
- Do not submit an article already published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
- All submissions should be sent in via the online submission website: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/probation-journal
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.
The editor or a member of the editorial board will be in touch with you within two-three weeks of the quarterly selection and planning meeting. The decision may be:
- To accept the submission as it stands or with editorial changes;
- To accept pending minor changes;
- To accept pending more substantial revisions;
- To suggest that you re-work and re-submit;
- To suggest that the submission could be used within another section of the Journal;
- To decline publication.
Submissions are accepted subject to space and final editorial decision when page proofs are prepared. All accepted submissions will be editorially reviewed and contributors must be prepared for material to be edited. The date of publication cannot be guaranteed; the average waiting time for accepted articles is currently 12 months.
Preliminary Consultation: If you are considering a possible submission or are considering basing an article on an existing report, dissertation, etc. please feel free to get in touch with the editor or any member of the editorial board. We will be pleased to read the original and give an opinion prior to the full assessment process.
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Probation Journal editorial office as follows: