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Working title of PhD: The impact of a human rights-based approach to community supervision in Scottish criminal justice
Full Time/2023
Funding Source: Pending
Supervisors: Dr Hannah Graham and Dr Paul Rigby

Human rights principles – both in terms of the legal framework in which practice takes place and the goals of intervention – have informed practice across a range of public services in the United Kingdom. However, within the field of community supervision in criminal justice there has been limited focus on human rights based practice.

My proposal seeks to address this gap in the context of the Scottish justice system. I will critically research the literature in relation to a broad understanding of human rights, developing a framework in which to understand how a human rights based approach to practice in supervising people in the community can be identified and developed.

The research will examine the extent to which human rights principles underpin the practice of justice social workers and other key players in the supervision of people in the community – for example in the assessment and management of risk and in the development of structured interventions – and how this practice is experienced by the people who are subject to supervision.

The findings of this research will inform the development of a model of a human rights-based approach to supervision in the community that is value based, effective and based on robust legal principles and can be applied in a practice-based context within Scotland and beyond to improve the quality of supervision in order to support people to overcome disadvantage and to contribute safer communities.

Keywords: Justice social work; human rights; community supervision



University of Stirling

Research Themes

Punishment, Citizenship and Communities

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