Jo Bailey-Noblett

PhD student

University of Strathclyde


At present Jo is a PhD researcher in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde. The aim of her research is to constructively examine, from prison officers’ perspectives, the role of prison personnel in supporting prisoners to desist from criminal behaviour by discovering:

  • How prison officers perceive their role in supporting prisoners to desist from criminal behaviour and motivating them to take up options such as work, education and vocational training
  • How organisational factors (operational activities etc) affect the work of prison officers around desistance support
  • How the organisation supports prison officers to carry out their work on rehabilitation and desistance (this would include training that is formal or informal, internally or externally facilitated by contractors or consultants, or any other support that the organisation offers prison officers to undertake this particular aspect of their job).

Jo’s professional background is within the Career Guidance field and throughout her career she has 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.

With SPS she was also part of a number of consultative committees focusing on LSE and supported various projects and activities within Blair House, HMYOI Polmont, HMPs Cornton Vale, Friarton and Barlinnie.  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. 

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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