It was very sad to hear that Paul Senior has, after his long battle with serious illness, passed away on 22nd June 2019. It is particularly sad to lose such a redoubtable hero, friend and true champion for probation and community measures.
Paul Senior became a probation officer in Doncaster in England in the 1970s and then worked as Training Officer in South Yorkshire Probation. After a period in 1980s as Chair of NAPO’s Professional Practice Committee and following many publications, he joining Sheffield Hallam University part-time and was appointed as their first Professor of Probation Studies in 1996. Paul Senior trained many probation officers in England and Wales and made a significant contribution to training and academia in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and elsewhere. He has written many probation-related papers and led important projects. Paul Senior was Director of Sheffield Hallam Centre for Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University and Editor of their Community Justice Portal. Paul was until last year, the Chair of the Probation Institute.
Nothing epitomises the passion and commitment of Paul Senior to the probation ideal more than his passionate but measured 2013 Bill McWilliams lecture, Privatising Probation: The Death Knell of a Much-Cherished Public Service? His influence and importance in probation thinking with his questioning and skilled interrogation of thorny issues become legendary. Throughout the many would be ‘reforms’ and particularly, the TR episode, Paul stood, as a challenging, articulate and critical voice, testing and questioning the rationale and results of the constant dismantling and restructuring of probation in England and Wales.
Paul Senior died peacefully, with his family at his side, after a courageous six-year battle with cancer. He will be much missed and long remembered in the probation family worldwide. May he Rest in Peace.