The paper is based on findings from a qualitative study of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in the secure estate, drawing on focus groups with young people in young offenders institutions in England and Wales (pre and post implementation of the DoE programme) and qualitative interviews with staff delivering the Award within the establishments. In exploring participant perceptions of the DofE, the paper focuses on the way in which programme participation provided young people with new experiences, arguing that it offers them some insight into alternative ways of existence, other than crime. At the same time the programme was perceived by young people as instrumental to accessing this ‘existence’ and hence a possible route to realise their ambitions. Young people were acutely aware of having discredited identities as a function of their offending and the Award, by dint of attributes it was perceived to confer upon recipients, was understood as a way of repairing this damage and easing entry into, and acceptance by, mainstream society. Moreover, the skills and experiences imparted by the DofE were perceived as appropriate and useful for acquisition of social skills necessary to make this transition. The authors conclude that DoE programme may usefully form part of a broader offending prevention programme because, based on the findings of this study of young people in custody, it may appeal to young disadvantaged young people, disillusioned by main stream education and who may be on the cusp of offending.
Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Work
Dubberley, S., & Parry, O. (2010) “Something We Don’t Normally Do”: A Qualitative Study of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the Secure Estate’. Research, Policy and Planning: The Journal of the Social Service Research Group, 27(3), 151-162
Digital Commons Citation
Dubberley, Sarah and Parry, Odette, "“Something We Don’t Normally Do”: A Qualitative Study of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the Secure Estate" (2010). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 19.