Dr Jo Bailey-Noblett

University of Strathclyde


Jo was awarded her Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde, HaSS Faculty, School of Social Work and Social Policy. The aim of her research was to constructively examine, from prison officers’ perspectives, their  role in supporting prisoners to rehabilitate and desist from criminal behaviour, particularly on the residential wings.

Prison officers have a pivotal  role in the lives of prisoners and understanding their views on  rehabilitation and desistance support and what is possible in  combination with their primary role of security and care can inform prison officer training, regime design  and risk management.

Jo’s professional background was within the Career Guidance field and in this role she worked with the Scottish Government (SG) and Scottish Prison Service (SPS) in a number of capacities. With the Scottish Government she took part in a number of consultative committees around ‘employability’ for those furthest from the labour market which culminated in managing the ‘In Custody’ part of a report on ‘Learning, Skills and Employability’ (LSE) which, when published, was titled ‘Offender Learning: Options for Improvement.  Throughout her time working with the SG and SPS she always considered that prison officers were an untapped resource which, with the right skills, training and experience, could be influential in supporting prisoners to desist from their offending behaviour.  This was re-enforced when she undertook the research for the LSE report in 2008/9.  She also believes career guidance is another untapped resource and could be an important feature of ‘desistance’ research in the future. 


‘Residential Wings Regime: An Impediment to Rehabilitation of Prisoners?’

The article reviews the regimes on residential wings and what prison officers consider they can feasibly undertake on their shift to support prisoners to attend purposeful activities,  maintain contacts in their community and prepare for release and employment. https://howardleague.org/research/early-career-academics-network/ecan-bulletin-archive/

Research Keywords: prison officers’ role in desistance, appreciative inquiry, career guidance and offenders




University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building
141 St James Road


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