New research on probation and justice social work supervision in five nations

Professor Nicola Carr (University of Nottingham) and colleagues, Professor Beth Weaver (SCCJR, University of Strathclyde), Dr Hannah Graham (SCCJR, University of Stirling), Dr Jake Phillips (Sheffield Hallam University), and Professor Fergus McNeill (SCCJR, University of Glasgow), have successfully been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant of £421,954 for research on: Penal Supervision in Comparative Context.

The scale, diversity and intensity of penal supervision (people subject to community sanctions and measures such as probation) has greatly increased in recent years, leading to suggestions that we have entered an era of ‘mass supervision’. Three times as many people are supervised in the community as are imprisoned, yet there have been few in-depth attempts to understand the nature of supervision and its growth. This comparative research will explore supervision in situ across five nations (England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). Using innovative methods, the study will generate crucial knowledge about how supervision is experienced, practiced and governed, and the socio-political conditions that influence its forms and its development.

The research will involve a large number of interviews, experiential insights from digital ethnography and mobile diaries, policy analysis, and analysis of probation, justice social work and community justice statistics.

Two post-doctoral research assistants (based in the University of Nottingham and the University of Strathclyde) will be employed to work on the three-year project which begins in August 2023.

Associated People

Prof Beth Weaver

University of Strathclyde

Prof Fergus McNeill

University of Glasgow

Dr Hannah Graham

University of Stirling