As practitioners’ we are routinely writing reports and assessments for different audiences, whether it’s a Court or parole report, a report for an initial Child Protection meeting, or possibly a post-programme report. These reports can often be two or three thousand words. Perhaps you have just finished a dissertation for a Masters qualification or are completing essays as part of your Probation Qualification (PQuip). Either way, as practitioners we can write!
Writing for publication is an opportunity to reflect on our work and contribute to research and evidence debates by providing a practitioner perspective. The practitioner perspective can add to the development of what we know, what is effective and areas for development and improvement.
The Probation Journal Editorial Board members include a mix of practitioners and academics and we are interested to hear from practitioners who are undertaking research in the field of probation or who are just interested in writing about their experiences of working in the field of probation and community and criminal justice. Writing for publication requires a different approach to writing for professional circles and can feel a bit daunting. There are different ways you can approach it.
Practitioner response pieces
These are short reflective pieces and are an opportunity for those directly linked with service delivery to respond to any article in the Probation Journal and comment on any practice related issues or implications for practice that the article raises for you. These pieces tend to be about 1000-1500 words. The March 2017 edition of the Probation Journal includes an article entitled ‘Suicide and supervision: Issues for practice’ by Jo Borrill; and June 2017 edition includes an article by Will Hughes ‘Lessons from the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme, for the implementation of Building Better Relationships’. These are two potential papers that we would welcome practitioner responses. The March 2017 edition also includes two practitioner responses pieces that are reflecting on their practice experience linked with articles that were published in our Special Edition on Children and Familes in September 2017. Perhaps take a look at these to get a flavour of what a practice response piece might look like.
Adapting dissertations or assignments for publication
Writing a dissertation or an essay can be a challenge. Having laboured over analysing research results or burnt the mid-night oil to meet that essay deadline can be exhausting. So then, revisiting it and adapting the work for publication can be the last thing you feel like doing. However, research that incorporates practice experience and knowledge is important. Adapting course work for publication enables your work to reach a wider audience and can broaden yours skills and it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience!
All submission are double blinded peer reviewed by the Editorial Board (the reviewer will not know the assessor and the author will not know the reviewers). The Editorial Board are keen for practitioners to contribute to the Journal. We are very happy to provide help and guidance and can take a look at outlines or plans prior to submission.
If you see an article that is of interest and you would be interested in doing a practitioner response or you are have completed a Masters dissertation or other research and would like to explore how it could be developed this work for publication then please get in touch via the Probation Journal email firstname.lastname@example.org