Probation Officers: The Next Generation

Prof Doc Thesis

Forbes, David Louis 2011. Probation Officers: The Next Generation. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Cass School of Education and Communities
AuthorsForbes, David Louis
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study is an investigation into the new world of probation. For the past two
decades the Probation Service has struggled to survive in a highly ambivalent
social and political climate. During this period, the training of probation officers
has separated from social work training and the service has adopted a more
punishment-focused, coercive and managerialist stance in its work with
Using a mixed methods approach that includes semi-structured interviews and
case discussions, my research focuses on a sample of recently qualified
probation officers with a view to exploring their experiences and perceptions of
their working lives, and to construct a picture of the occupation from a
newcomer perspective. In particular, given the shift in the ideological
framework of the service, I wished to learn about the professional identity of the
generation of probation officers who are now entering the service through an
examination of their motivation and practices.
Despite pressure to eradicate the welfare-oriented ethos of the service, a
significant and unexpected discovery arising from my research has been the
resilience of traditional values that are brought to the service in the aspirations
and habitus of newcomers. My findings are contextualised in relation to the
criminal justice system, the historical development of the probation service, the
status of probation as a profession and my own 'insider' experience. In
addition, the study is underpinned by a theoretical perspective that draws on the
work of the French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu.

Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

Publisher's version
File Access Level
Registered users only
Permalink -

  • 106
    total views
  • 4
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as