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25th Annual Bill McWilliams Lecture with Professor Lol Burke

Rehabilitating Probation Project team member Professor Lol Burke shared his insights into probation and rehabilitation at the prestigious Bill McWilliams Memorial Lecture at the University of Cambridge.

The McWilliams Memorial Lecture honours the contribution of probation practitioner, researcher and writer Bill McWilliams to the service over 30 years. Lol’s presentation – tilted ‘Probation unification: Stories, symbols and belonging’ – saw him draw on his rich experiences as a probation practitioner and an internationally-recognised scholar of probation and rehabilitation studies.

He critically explored the challenges and opportunities for probation services that are emerging following a unique process of renationalisation and reunification in June 2021. Within the presentation Lol was able to draw on emerging findings from the project as we critically examining the rebuilding of culture, identity, and legitimacy in the reformed probation service of England and Wales.

Principal Investigator for the project, Matthew Millings (Reader in Criminal Justice), who attended the event, said: “The McWilliams Memorial Lecture represented a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions to knowledge and advancing fairness and justice in the delivery of rehabilitation Lol has made over the past two decades and to listen to his insightful views on what the future may hold for the probation service.

“This is a platform that has featured some of the most prominent thinkers in the probation studies field and Lol’s knowledge, humility and kindness mean that audiences at the event and watching online listened with interest to his views and that practitioner and academic communities alike took much from the stimulating reflections that he offered.

“Lol’s work and support for colleagues has done so much to raise the profile of the School of Justice Studies and in a talk that did him, his family, and his career proud it was great to see his voice being celebrated in this way.” 

A recording of the lecture can be accessed here.