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Probation during lockdown in France and Scotland

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Wednesday 9th November 2022 / Online event
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
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Professor Martine Herzog-Evans: University of Reims-Champagne Ardennes

In March 2020 in response to the global pandemic, countries across Europe ordered businesses and public services, including probation, to close and their citizens to stay at home. At the beginning of April 2020, the researcher decided to conduct qualitative interviews with French probation officers, their middle managers and service managers. She used a grid which explored issues of loss, hope, fear and resilience. She also explored what remote probation looked like and felt for probation officers. Not in the grid, but emerging from these French interviews was the issue of good/bad management. Two months later, whilst Scotland was still on lockdown, John Sturgeon suggested that together they both replicate the same study, this time with Scottish criminal justice social workers and their management.

This comparative study led to three papers, published in 2022*.

This talk will focus on the three dimensions explored in this collaborative study:

- What constitutes the heart and soul of probation in a time of global catastrophe such as the Covid19 pandemic and the lockdown?

- What does remote probation look like and what issues does it raise?

- What kind of management do frontline practitioners need in a time of considerable uncertainty?


Herzog-Evans, M., & Sturgeon, J. (2022). French and Scottish probation during the first lockdown. In search of the heart and soul of probation. Probation Journal, 69(2), 197–215.

Herzog-Evans, M., & Sturgeon, J. (2022). Remote probation by phone in France and Scotland during the 2020 lockdown. European Journal of Probation, 14(1), 60–78

Herzog-Evans, M., & Sturgeon, J. (2022). ‘Lockdown probation leaders’ and Fundamental Human Needs. European Journal of Probation, 14(2), 148–168.