Book review: Probation: Butter Side Up

AuthorMike Guilfoyle
Published date01 June 2022
Date01 June 2022
Subject MatterBook reviews
Book reviews
Probation: Butter Side Up
Wally Morgan
Independently published 2021, pp. 335, pbk, £15.00, ISBN-13: 979-
Reviewed by: Mike Guilfoyle, Retired Member of Napo and
One of the rarer pleasures of reviewing books for the Probation Journal is the discov-
ery of literary gems that not only enliven the reader but evoke a powerful visceral
connection to former probation practice. One reference in Wally Morgans book
is to the author attending a clients funeral at an East London crematorium, which
brought to mind a sudden frisson of recognition arising from a clients drug
related death and funeral from my own probation ofcer days held at the same
venue! The book, based as it is on blisteringly candid casework experiences and
client based encounters, (all client names are anonymised) is drawn from contempor-
ary accounts contained in diary informed notebooks garnered over the rst two
years of Wally Morgans time as a newly qualied front line Probation Ofcer,
working (he is known as Wally Henry in the book or by the teasing eponym as
Mr Wallyby his clients) initially with a protected caseloadfor the former Inner
London Probation Service (ILPS) in a eld ofce in Hackney.
Wally Morgan completed his Home Ofce sponsored probation qualication in
1990, having previously worked in business, but had gained considerable pre-
qualication experience as a volunteer working with those under probation supervi-
sion. There are some telling professional insights in the easy-to-follow text, on how ill
-equipped he sometimes feels in his newfound role, in trying to address some of the
deep seated structural and personal obstacles to desistance from offending in the
lived experiences of those on his caseload. Particularly so when he nds the incre-
mental work-based pressures becoming more onerous but his sharply observed
reexive awareness of how he might better engage with his clients is shaped by a
Book reviews The Journal of Communit
and Criminal Justice
Probation Journal
2022, Vol. 69(2) 250254
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/02645505221095123

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