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NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1993) Pages: 187-202
C Jones
Date Published
16 pages
Social auditing of criminal justice agencies in Great Britain demands economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.
This type of auditing arose out of a movement to reduce the role of the State in the provision of public services and to increase the power of "consumer control" over the service providers. This article examines the impact of auditing upon the police, the forensic science service, the probation service, and the prison service. The author concludes that, despite the rhetoric of community participation and consumer responsiveness, the old hierarchy continues to operate within the same power structure. Central government has devolved some powers in order to maintain its dominance. Auditing allows the political elite to incorporate potential challengers into the system by elevating the principles of auditing over those of criminal justice; substituting localized discretionary powers for central structures of accountability; stressing consumer satisfaction as a goal of criminal justice; and breaking down the formal constitutional boundaries between the agencies of social control. 45 references