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An empirical approach to reflexive practice in Criminal Justice Social Work

Dr Steve Kirkwood conducted a study that involved the application of discourse analysis and conversation analysis to the study of video recordings of criminal justice social work groupwork sessions with people on community sentences. This was a qualitative study that analysed unfolding interactions to explore how practitioners demonstrate key practice skills, such as creating a therapeutic alliance, role-modelling and demonstrating appropriate empathy. The research was supported by a Knowledge Exchange grant from the University of Edinburgh and was intended to help support effective practice in criminal justice social work. It included a Knowledge Exchange seminar that brought together criminal justice social workers and academic to explore the dynamics of groupwork and the relationships with change processes.

You can read a blog post about the Knowledge Exchange event here.

Relevant publications

Kirkwood, S., Jennings, B., Laurier, E., Cree, V. E. & Whyte, B. (2017). Towards an interactional approach to reflective practice in social work. In W. Lorenz & I. Shaw (eds.), Private Troubles or Public Issues? Challenges for Social Work Research. Routledge.

Kirkwood, S., Jennings, B., Laurier, E., Cree, V. E. & Whyte, B. (2016). Towards an interactional approach to reflective practice in social work. European Journal of Social Work, 19, 484-499.

Kirkwood, S. (2016). Desistance in action: An interactional approach to criminal justice practice and desistance from offending. Theoretical Criminology20, 220-237. 

Kirkwood, S. & Laurier, E. (2014). Research briefing: Criminal justice social work practice and the study of interaction. Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh.

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