Bethan Morgan

Thesis title: Examining the Use and Impact of Progress Reviews which Operate Externally to Specific Problem-Solving Courts in Scotland


I am a second year PhD Student examining the use and impact of progress reviews for those on Community Payback Orders. I began my PhD in September 2020, having just completed my MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Edinburgh.



BSc Sociology and Criminology (First Class Honours)

MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice (Distinction)

Research summary

My PhD focuses on problem-solving community justice initiatives.

The Criminal Justice and Licensing Act (Scotland) 2010 enabled judges to periodically conduct progress reviews for those partaking in a community-based sentences. The reviews enable judges to examine individual’s compliance with the restrictions and requirements placed upon them by the initial order whilst also offering an opportunity to review and address issues of circumstance which have, or may, lead to non-compliance. Addressing such issues may lead to the varying, revoking or discharging of the initial community order.

Consequently, progress reviews are a potentially important and underexplored area of criminal justice policy which may prove detrimental in relation to both widespread and individual successes of community-based sentences. Furthermore, their use and impact may influence sentencing decisions and practice, including opportunities to prevent individuals from being sentenced to prison. Research may also provide understandings of how individuals experience community-based sentences and the various factors which influence their success, or which contribute to non-compliance. It is important that the use and impact of progress reviews is examined so that both practitioners and policy makers can ensure that they are an effective measure, are worthwhile and are being used appropriately.

Subsequently, the following research questions have so far been identified as potential avenues of exploration: – What impact do progress reviews have on community-based sentences in Scotland? – What impact do progress reviews have on desistence on Scotland? – Are progress reviews an effective criminal justice practice?

This PhD seeks to apply qualitative methodology including interviews and observation.

Current research interests

Sentencing Community Justice Problem Solving Justice Desistence

Current project grants

University of Edinburgh & University of Glasgow Jointly Funded PhD Studentship