Management ideologies in the Probation Service 1

Now another draft paper from earlier in my management career.

What is truth?” said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness and count it bondage to fix a belief, affecting free will in thinking as well as in acting.”

Bacon is unjust to Pilate. There is no indication that he was jesting. Rather he was afraid. He found no fault in Jesus and yet he had the crowd baying at his door. The insecurity of his position was immediate and practical, but his question to Jesus he dared not take seriously. To imagine an answer threatened him with deeper chaos in his soul, against which he had to protect himself. He did not delight in the giddiness of the crowd but he knew it was safer to be identified with it than with the disturbing truths which brought a terrible responsibility for his own actions, and which brought Jesus to solitary destruction.

Every probation officer knows clients who deal with their internal chaos in a similar manner. The adolescent who ‘acts out’ his internal conflicts, or the drinker who fills his emptiness with the giddiness of alcohol, are to be found on any caseload. Most probation officers can all too readily identify with Pilate, lurching into impulsive activity to meet a clamorous demand, rather than confronting the painful question that lies in wait in the client’s eyes. How often is it easier to be ‘out and doing’ rather than facing all that can emerge when reflecting on the work or reviewing its direction.



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