Research note: Developing ethnographic research on probation

Journal article


Teague, Michael 2007. Research note: Developing ethnographic research on probation. British Journal of Community Justice.
AuthorsTeague, Michael
Abstract

Huge cultural changes are underway in probation. At the heart of those changes lie the frontline practitioners who have the daily task of working with offenders. Yet, amidst the plethora of research on probation practice, much of it officially sponsored, the life experiences and motivations of practitioners seem on occasion to be virtually invisible. Some research has been carried out on practitioners’ experience of specific areas (for example, OASys), but very little broad ethnographic research has been undertaken on UK probation practitioners. While much of our academic and criminological knowledge about probation is filtered through officially funded research on particular types of intervention, little is known of probation’s occupational culture. It is argued that ethnographic research with practitioners would substantially enhance our understanding of that occupational culture and help develop our understanding of probation.

Huge cultural changes are underway in probation. At the heart of those changes lie the
frontline practitioners who have the daily task of working with offenders. Yet, amidst the
plethora of research on probation practice, much of it officially sponsored, the life
experiences and motivations of practitioners seem on occasion to be virtually invisible.
Some research has been carried out on practitioners’ experience of specific areas (for
example, OASys), but very little broad ethnographic research has been undertaken on UK probation practitioners. While much of our academic and criminological knowledge about
probation is filtered through officially funded research on particular types of intervention,
little is known of probation’s occupational culture. It is argued that ethnographic research
with practitioners would substantially enhance our understanding of that occupational
culture and help develop our understanding of probation.

Keywordsprobation; occupational cultures; ethnography
Year2007
JournalBritish Journal of Community Justice
PublisherDe Montfort University and Sheffield Hallam University
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/608621
hdl:10545/608621
Publication dates2007
Publication process dates
Deposited08 May 2016, 16:06
ContributorsTeesside University
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