Reporting to the court
Pavlovic, Anita (1994) Reporting to the court. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Pavlovic_1994.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1403777~S15
This thesis is concerned with social inquiry and/or pre-sentence reports in criminal cases.
These reports are compiled by probation officers, at the request of the court, to assist the
court in reaching an appropriate sentencing decision in some criminal cases. This study takes
place against and draws upon a wealth of material that has contributed to what is now a
considerable body of knowledge but which has also left gaps in our understanding of the
ways in which probation reports are constituted and constructed and the implications of this
to the wider administration of justice.
Empirical accounts of probation reports have largely consisted of documentary analyses or
quantitative data. The inherent partiality of these approaches has meant that reports have
been artifically decontextualised from their operational moorings.
Probation practice has been theoretically located along a care-control continuum that has
reflected the historical evolution of sentencing strategies and state intervention into welfare
The aim of this thesis is to present a contextualised account of probation reports. In order to
unravel and reveal the processes, philosophies and strategies related to report writing and to
address the impact of these in the judicial arena, the study was conducted from a grounded
observational perspective that acknowledges the complexities of report compilation at the
interactive, organisational and systems levels.
In adopting this approach it is clear that the care-control model that has been applied to other
areas of probation practice is not necessarily conducive to the practice of report compilation
because whilst it applies to the role of the probation officer in relation to supervising
offenders, it is not readily transferable to the relationship that exists between report writers
and sentencers. This relationship is extremely important to both the impact and the content
of reports, to the extent that the offender becomes incidental. as opposed to central, to the
final document if not to the process. I suggest therefore that, whilst different areas of probation practice are not mutually exclusive, probation reports might be understood in terms
of a role-function model.
The role of the report writer and the function of the report emanate from an historical context
that continues to have an impact on contemporary probation practice but which has rarely
been the object of study at an operational level. This thesis attempts to redress the theoretical
and empirical balance by adopting a qualitative approach that incorporates an historical
perspective into the analysis.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||K Law > KD England and Wales|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Pre-sentence investigation reports -- Great Britain|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Law|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||iii, 300 leaves|
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