Howard Jones was an academic and Head of the Department of Social Administration and School of Social Work at the University of Cardiff. He began his career in residential childcare before moving into academia where he develop an interest in therapeutic approaches to addiction.
Jones was involved with the YMCA movement in the 1930s, first as the manager of a youth group in Birmingham and later as a Deputy Warden for a hostel for boys in the YMCA's 'British Boys for British Farms' scheme. This post saw Jones tour local farms reviewing the working conditions of the boys, guarding against exploitation.
The social disruption of the Second World War led to Jones first becoming aware of, and interested in, 'maladjusted' children. In 1941 he briefly worked at the Wallingford Farm Training Colony, Oxfordshire, an early rehabilitation centre for young boys designed along traditional reform models.
It was around this time that Jones became inspired by the work of David Wills, the driving force behind the pioneering Barns School and Hostel in Peebels, Scotland. In 1945 Jones applied for a teaching post at Barns School which had relocated to Templehall House in Berwickshire under the management of Ben Stoddard. Jones taught at the School for two years, remaining to see a second relocation to Ancrum House near Jedburgh.
After the end of the Second World War, Jones moved from Scotland to London to train as a psychiatric social worker. He became involved with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and formed professional friendships with Harold Bridger and Eric Trist. He later worked with both men to establish the Leicester Group Work Conferences at the University of Leicester.
After receiving a qualification in psychiatric social work, Jones found employment at the Philanthropic Society School an approved school. From there he moved to Redhill School in Surrey, and later Monyhull School in Birmingham where he worked with 'subnormal' children. Following these appointments, Jones worked for a time at Chaigeley School before moving again to work under David Wills at Bodenham Manor. Jones was first employed as a psychiatric social worker and later as a teacher.
By the 1960's Jones decided to leave residential childcare to embark on an academic career at the University of Cardiff. His work at the University was influential in developing an evidence based approach to social work and criminology which didn't sideline the difficult to measure emotional interactions and outcomes seen by practitioners in the field.
Jones published 'Reluctant Rebels' in 1960, a review of twentieth century therapeutic childcare which focused on his experiences at Chaigeley School. In 1962 he wrote the first British text book on criminology, 'Crime and the Penal System'. He published further books and papers frequently throughout his academic career.
Jones retired from his post at Cardiff University in 1984.