Letter: David Faulkner obituary

Civil servant whose defining achievement was to enhance the role of probation in sentencing

During his distinguished career in the Home Office, David Faulkner developed a close affinity with the probation service. He saw the use of probation as a means of reducing the growing prison population.

He used the Home Office research unit to gather data and foster research, and promoted conferences to develop criminal justice policy. A conference in 1989 at the Institute of Criminology helped pave the way for the 1991 Criminal Justice Act. This was his bill, deftly fashioned within the dynamics of the Thatcher government. It enhanced the role of probation in sentencing, reflecting his aspirations for social justice and fairness.

During the politically turbulent years of the 1980s this was a shift in policy that was his defining achievement. David was close to probation, and was respected by chief officers, of which I became one, for Teesside. He joined ARCOIP, the association of retired chief officers and inspectors, and continued his perceptive writing.

Roger Statham

The GuardianTramp

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