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Public Enemies

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Terrific tv drama shown on BBC Jan. 4th-6th 2012, starring Anna Friel and Daniel Mays. Daniel Mays is compelling as a murderer released on life licence after serving 10 years who is tightly regulated, monitored and harassed even by his probation officer, a young woman, played by Anna Friel, who is still shocked at the reaction to her last client killing on licence. Harry Fletcher, Asst. Gen. Sec. of NAPO was consulted on the script so it probably sums up the tensions between public protection and rehabilitation, in a context of ever-growing paperwork, which make today's probation work so much less rewarding no doubt than its previous incarnations. As in academia, the point of the exercise is being lost in a sea of public accountability, anally retentive paperwork and the conversion of the service into a punishment or form of regulation. See our Press Cutting on the realism of the script and the tweets, here and elsewhere, aound that time.

See also this comment on the programme by Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.

Feb 3rd: I should add that this was written before the dreadful turn in the narrative in the third and final part, following which I asked my old friend Mike Nellis, who has written some major stuff on probation, what he thought. See his review in this section.

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