The thesis describes a qualitative study of the Duke of Edinburgh‟s Award (DofE) and young offenders in the secure estate. The overall aim of the thesis is to examine young offenders‟ engagement with the DofE, and implications for their experiences while in the secure estate, and subsequently following their release into the community. The research draws on focus groups with young people in young offenders institutions, secure training centres and secure children‟s homes in England and Wales (pre and post implementation of the DoE programme), and interviews with secure estate staff delivering the programme. Interviews were also carried out with DofE management and a sample of Youth Offending Team (YOT) staff. In addition, an online questionnaire was distributed to all YOT managers across England and Wales. The findings of the study indicate that the DofE was popular with participants (both young people and staff) for several reasons. These included the opportunity for young people to engage in activities which were new to them, the hands –on approach to programme delivery, the transference of a range of both technical and more „indeterminate‟ social/individual skills, the perceived status of the qualification, and, related to this, perceived potential to facilitate access to more opportunities for young people, post release. Barriers to implementation were mainly a function of institutional constraints, particularly in relation to risk. Moreover, constraints on the programme delivery, posed by the secure estate, appeared to challenge the Award‟s claim to inclusiveness (that its accessibility to all). A particular challenge for the DofE was maintaining the reputation of the Award (associated with the positive attributes it is claimed to confer upon recipients) while widening access by implementation to young offenders in the secure estate.
Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Work
Dubberley, S. (2010), Young Offenders, Imprisonment and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Wales
Digital Commons Citation
Dubberley, Sarah, "A Qualitative Study of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Young Offenders in the Secure Estate" (2010). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 16.