Probation practice with personality disordered offenders: The importance of avoiding errors of logic
This article aims to articulate how criminal justice staff may inadvertently make errors of logic when working with offenders with personality disorder. The aim of this article is also to consider ways of working that might help criminal justice staff to meaningfully engage and motivate clients with personality disorder, properly identify strengths and avoid making these fundamental errors of logic. A way of working is, therefore, outlined which attempts to facilitate consideration of the offender’s inner world, their logic and their experience. As such, this article promotes a psychologically informed approach to criminal justice practice.
Emotional literacy as a skill in probation practice requires an ability to understand and regulate one’s own emotions, in order to be responsive to the emotions of others. The concepts and methods used in this article arise from research by Charlotte Knight for a PhD on emotional literacy in work with high-risk offenders and the practice of Panna Modi, who works as a probation officer in a sex offender treatment unit with low, medium and high risk offenders. Reference is made to the case studies of two men who were participants in a Community Sex Offender Groupwork Programme (C-SOGP) and examines some of the emotional processes and skills involved in work with them.
This article illustrates how the physicality of a probation office can be considered to reflect several important changes in the probation service’s recent history through analysis of research conducted in a probation office. Moreover, I argue that the design of probation offices has an important impact on practice. I suggest that the relationship between the ‘protected’ zone of the office and the ‘unprotected’ zone of the waiting area and interview rooms is similar to Goffman’s ‘front stage’ and ‘back stage’ (introduced in his book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life) and expand on his theory of social action by describing how the architecture of probation represents and potentially perpetuates the creation of an 'us and them' attitude in probation. The article then moves onto the exterior and location of the office to look at how these represent probation’s move away from the communities it serves. This has significant consequences if the policy of probation moves towards modes of practice which no longer prioritize standardization and punishment over professional judgment and the importance of the offender–officer relationship. The article concludes by looking at some examples of more inclusive forms of office design and architecture.