International research prize for Swansea criminologist

A criminology professor from Swansea University’s College of Law and Criminology has won a prestigious award for his research into the supervision of offenders to improve rehabilitation.

Professor Peter Raynor was presented with the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) first Research Award at the CEP’s General Assembly in Bucharest this October. The CEP is the representative organisation for all agencies in Europe which supervise offenders in the community, and its Research Award has been set up to recognise ‘research which has had a major impact on probation practice’.

Professor Peter Raynor The Jersey Supervision Skills Study was based on detailed analysis of 95 videotaped interviews between probation staff and people they were supervising, with a particular focus on the professional skills used by staff. A checklist of relevant skills was developed, and subsequent follow-up showed that people supervised by staff who used a wider range of skills were significantly less likely to be reconvicted. Detailed findings can be read in ‘The impact of skills in probation work: a reconviction study’ by Peter Raynor, Pamela Ugwudike and Maurice Vanstone (2014) Criminology and Criminal Justice 14 (2) 235-249.

Since the completion of the study, the checklist and the manual produced to assist in its use are now being used by probation practitioners themselves in staff development and have been supplied on request to 30 organisations around the world. Most recently they have been translated into French for distribution to probation staff in France.

At the presentation ceremony in the Intercontinental Hotel in Bucharest Professor Raynor said: “I am particularly honoured to receive an award which is about research which is actually useful to practitioners and can help to make services more effective.”