Today I went into work early and continued to mark my student essays online. I also prepared for next week’s class and then went to teach this week’s session with the students. The focus for today was to look at the CIRV initiative in Glasgow and how it was inspired by earlier work in Cincinnati, drawing on my 2013 book ‘Policing Youth Violence – Transatlantic Connections’. I talked to the students about the way in which the initiative had been implemented around the use of ‘call-in’ sessions and I played several clips of DVD from the sessions which I had earlier reenacted in UWS in Scotland. The students discussed the comparative impact of inputs from the police, reformed offenders, surgeons and mothers of victims. I then shared some case studies with them from my research that illustrated the part that CIRV had played i enabling some of the young people to move towards criminal desistance, before then exploring the remaining challenges in terms of police culture, particularly in Cincinnati, and likening this to some of the drama within the TV programme ‘The Wire’. The students had a final seminar discussion where they considered one case study from my book and how the approaches of the police officer needed to change to enable more positive relationships to emerge within some of the communities. They drew upon Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘field’ and ‘habits’ to help theorise some of the remaining challenges within American police culture. As always it was a good session. The students have grown in confidence hugely during the time I have been teaching them, and are now asking some really great questions. Today they asked a few questions that I really had to think about and this is a great sign!
In the afternoon I had a visit from Lenny, who is one of our graduate students who was a Federal Special Agent in the Drugs Enforcement Agency in West Palm Beach. I interviewed Lenny for my research project and he very kindly brought me a police coin with a replica Drug Enforcement Agency badge on it to give to Alan. I said to him jokingly, ‘for Alan – not his dad!’ and I think he is now going to get me one too! He already has given me a Federal agency DEA sweat top which hands pride of place in my office – how cool!
I finished work at 5 and went back to the villa and relaxed with a gin and tonic. Karen and Alan had been out at the shops, went to get a takeaway from Wendy’s for Alan and then spent the rest of the day in the villa.
I have now managed to create an independent study week for my students on 5th April which means I will be able to take some holidays from 30th March to 11th April while the family are here. I do feel i need it – it’s been full-on here since the beginning of January!