Based on the results of a multi-method research (survey research, semi - structured interviews and focus groups), this paper focuses on the use and evaluation of social enquiry reports (SERs) by penal judges. In Belgium, penal judges can ask for a SER assessing the opportunity and feasibility of community-based sanctions, such as probation or community service. These SERs are written by 'justice assistants' (probation officers) examining the feasibility of a non-custodial sanction and informing sentencers about the psychological and social background of the offender. This paper focuses on the use and evaluation of SERs by penal judges. When and why do judges demand for a SER? Which information do they think is relevant and how do they evaluate the information provided by the justice assistants? On the other hand we will emphasize briefly on the intentions of the report writers. What did they intended to convey? Through the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods we achieved a better understanding of the conditions in which SERs are demanded (or not demanded) and of the way judges interpret and evaluate the information provided in these reports.
|Title of host publication||European Society of Criminology conference 2008, 'Criminology in the public sphere'|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Sep 2008|
|Event||Finds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden|
Duration: 21 Sep 2009 → 25 Sep 2009
|Conference||Finds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet|
|Period||21/09/09 → 25/09/09|
- Social inquery