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Prison governance: an exploration of the changing role and duties of the prison governor in HM Prison Service.

Bryans, Shane Clive (2005) Prison governance: an exploration of the changing role and duties of the prison governor in HM Prison Service. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Interviews with 42 Prison Governors, an analysis of job descriptions from 98 Governors, and original material reveal that their role and duties have changed in recent years. The introduction of New Public Management (NPM) into the Prison Service has made Governors far more accountable for the operation of their prisons. They are now expected to achieve performance targets, deliver efficiency savings, and to compete with other prisons. Line management of Governors has become robust. More is now delegated to Governors, but at the same time scope for local discretion has diminished. The administrative burden on Governors has increased significantly. Changes in the environment in which Governors operate have also had an impact on their work. In particular, recent years have seen a more punitive approach by the media, politicians, public and judiciary, and an increase in the ability and willingness of prisoners (and pressure groups) to challenge a Governor's decision. Governors today are at the same time: general managers (managing budgets and people, undertaking strategic planning, auditing and monitoring); leaders (acting as a figurehead, representing their establishment, providing vision and direction); operational commanders (dealing with incidents); and prison specialists (maintaining security, achieving order through effective control, and providing positive regimes). A key aspect of Governors' work has however remained unchanged over the years. This sui generis element involves balancing and regulating their prisons by exercising power, authority, influence and discretion in a way that protects individuals and mitigates the negative aspects of a closed institution. Governors must craft prison culture, blend the various approaches to maintaining order, and demonstrate clear moral and ethical standards. Governors still require 'grounded professionalism'. They manage their institutions based on their accumulated knowledge, practical experience and personal judgment. In doing so, they seek to ensure that prisoners are treated in a decent and humane way, their institutions are safe and clean, and opportunities exist for rehabilitation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2418

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