Penal Supervision in Comparative Context

Funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

Collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University, University of Nottingham and University of Strathclyde.

This three-year comparative research project examines probation and justice social work supervision in five nations.

Professor Nicola Carr (University of Nottingham) and colleagues, Professor Beth Weaver (University of Strathclyde), Dr Hannah Graham (University of Stirling), Dr Jake Phillips (Sheffield Hallam University), and Professor Fergus McNeill (University of Glasgow), have 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 explores 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 involves 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. It spans a few social science disciplines, including criminology and penology, social work, sociology, and public policy. This three-year research project starts in August 2023.

Total award value £15,064.00

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Dr Hannah Graham

Dr Hannah Graham

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology