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PhD Students

Current PhD candidates supervised by staff in the division include:

Susie Atherton|
Communities, justice and cohesion: An examination of the impact of community justice initiatives in Middlesbrough.

The main aim of this research is to examine the use and impact of community justice initiatives from the perspective of criminal justice and other agency professionals as this relates to social capital theory (as identified by Durkheim, 1964, Bourdieu, 1986, Putnam, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Faulkner, 2003 and others) and social cohesion (e.g. Mead, 1918, White, 2003, Sampson et al., 1997).

This research aims to assess policy developed within the framework of social capital to specifically address crime and justice issues which are addressed at a local level, and to contribute to understanding of the terms ‘community’ and ‘justice’ to assess their role in social cohesion.

Annette Crisp|
An examination of the management of complex systems in policing

Reports of the negative impact of certain police decisions and subsequent actions have been the subject of much media activity and public apprehension for some time. The government response to the consequences of poor decisions has been to endeavour to control behaviours of police officers/staff by the introduction of National Occupational Standards, training in decision-making and policies which have resulted in the gradual reduction in discretion over time.

An understanding of the processes involved in such complex decisions is an area which is essential to the future management of officers who work in increasingly complex environments. By using the management of Police Community Support Officers as an indicator of effect, this research reviews the influence of complex systems on the decisions and behaviours of frontline police staff/officers and compares this to the perceptions of senior officers/managers and the expectations of the public.

In order to understand more about the processes involved in complex decisions in practice, the research has focused on the response to a number of practice-based scenarios which might be directly associated with National Occupational Standard 2C1.

The result of this research will inform and educate managers and their officers about the potential impact of complex decisions on the community and society they serve. It will provide an understanding of the attractors and bifurcations of complex systems which may result in errors or missed opportunity. It will provide officers witl an understanding of the misalignment of expectations to practice.

An example of the methodology (mapping process) is to be found on: www.creativeresearchmethods.wordpress.com|

Chris Alcott|

What influences the relationship between policy and practice within the police service? How is policy interpreted, adapted and operationalised by practitioners when delivering service?

The Police Service is charged with looking to reduce resources across the Service, including, and possibly especially those resources involved in community engagement in its widest sense. This will involve some level of required change process, an enterprise which the police service has reportedly demonstrates little aptitude and ability for. My research focuses on the influences which impact on the relationship between policy and practice within the police service and how policy is interpreted, adapted and operationalised by practitioners when delivering service.

Specifically my research looks to explore the issues which affect the application of policy, procedure and practice set by the police organisation`s executive when used by practioners in the delivery of community problem solving. I intend to collect data on the motivations, constructions and experiences of policing practitioners at the service delivery end of the police organisation involved in this area of work. Specifically of interest is an understanding of the agency and structure dynamic at work between the policy setting level of the organisation and practitioners, along with an understanding of the influences at work in translating and operationalising the policy in producing actual behaviour demonstrated by these practitioners. calcott@dmu.ac.uk|

Rose Parkes|
The Use of Yoga in Prison

Kim Sadique|
The Effect of Religiosity on Crime & Deviancy: Hellfire in the 21st Century.

This research hypothesises that individuals who have a ‘central’ religious/spiritual construct system are less likely to commit criminal and/or deviant acts, in comparison to those for whom religiosity/spirituality is less central.

The research explores differences in levels of religiosity/spirituality and whether this has a preventative effect on individual level crime/deviancy. It also looks at the relationship between morality and religiosity/spirituality and the role of ‘community’ in preventing individual level crime/deviancy. It addresses a key problem with previous research in that it does not use ‘Religion’ to mean ‘Christianity’ and adopts a multi-faith focus.


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