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Values in criminology and community justice$
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Malcolm Cowburn, Marian Duggan, Anne Robinson, and Paul Senior

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300359

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

The Emperor’s new clothes: can Big Society deliver criminal justice?

The Emperor’s new clothes: can Big Society deliver criminal justice?

Chapter:
(p.277) Sixteen The Emperor’s new clothes: can Big Society deliver criminal justice?
Source:
Values in criminology and community justice
Author(s):

Kevin Wong

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.003.0016

The UK’s Coalition government places ‘Big Society’ firmly at the heart of public service delivery with Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) agencies playing critical roles in this. The narrative of Big Society harks back to a perceived (and lost) golden age when individuals put themselves forward and took responsibility for their communities. Evoking the spirit of Lord Kitchener the UK Prime Minister in 2010 placed ‘a call to alms’ (rather than ‘arms’) on the citizens of the UK to replace Big Government with Big Society. The narrative that has been consistently advanced by the VCS over the past few decades is that: they provide innovative, tailored and responsive services; they are closer to ordinary communities and people in need. This chapter examines the reality behind these narratives and identify old and new challenges that lie ahead for the VCS in delivering criminal justice services in an age of austerity.

Keywords:   Voluntary and Community Sector, Big Society, Values, Coalition government, Austerity, Public services

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