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NCJ Number: 50782 Find in a Library
Title: QUESTIONABLE RELEVANCE OF RESEARCH INTO SOCIAL ENQUIRY REPORTS
Journal: HOWARD JOURNAL OF PENOLOGY AND CRIME PREVENTION  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(1977)  Pages:97-108
Author(s): I PEARCE; A WAREHAM
Corporate Author: Barry Rose Publishers
United Kingdom

Howard League for Penal Reform
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Barry Rose Publishers
Chichester, Sussex, England
Howard League for Penal Reform
London, N19 3NL, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY PROBATION OFFICERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM WHEN PREPARING SOCIAL INQUIRY REPORTS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: A SOCIAL INQUIRY IS DEFINED AS A COMPREHENSIVE AND OBJECTIVE DOCUMENT PREPARED BY PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED WORKERS TO ASSIST THE COURT IN MORE EFFECTIVE SENTENCING PRACTICES. RESEARCHERS ASSESS SOCIAL INQUIRY REPORTS IN TERMS OF THEIR OBJECTIVES. THE REPORTS SHOULD CONTAIN COMPREHENSIVE AND RELIABLE INFORMATION THAT WILL ENABLE COURTS TO SELECT THE MOST APPROPRIATE FORM OF TREATMENT FOR OFFENDERS. THERE IS LITTLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE ASSUMPTION THAT PROBATION OFFICERS HAVE THE ABILITY TO PREDICT OUTCOMES AND INDICATE THE MOST APPROPRIATE FORM OF TREATMENT. RESEARCHERS HAVE FAILED TO INVESTIGATE WHAT SOCIAL INQUIRY REPORTS MEAN TO PROBATION OFFICERS AND WHAT THE TERMS QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS MEAN TO THEM. SOCIAL INQUIRY REPORTS ARE CRITICIZED IN RELATION TO MODELS OF THE SENTENCING DECISIONMAKING PROCESS, COMPREHENSIVENESS AND RELEVANCE CONCEPTS, PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED BY RESEARCHERS WORKING WITH PROBATION OFFICER ACCOUNTS, PURPOSES AND USES OF SOCIAL INQUIRY RESEARCH, AND PROBATION OFFICERS AS RESEARCHERS. RESEARCH AND COMMENTARY THAT FOCUS ON THE RELIABILITY OF SOCIAL INQUIRY REPORTS AND THEIR OBJECTIVITY AND COMPLETENESS AND ON THE CONFIDENCE OF THE DECISIONMAKING CAPABILITY OF PROBATION OFFICERS ABOUT THEIR CASES ARE PRESENTED. SUGGESTIONS ON HOW PROBATION OFFICERS THEMSELVES MIGHT CONDUCT RESEARCH ARE OFFERED. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Probation; Probation or parole officers; Research; Research methods; United Kingdom (UK)
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