In the professional field in which the Working with Mandated Clients research group works, there is a strong demand for well-trained and educated professionals. Professionals who will finish their education with a realistic picture of the sector. Therefore, the research group attaches great importance to improving education in this field and focuses a great deal of attention on this. Our contribution to education takes the following forms:

Involvement of students and lecturers in the research group

The Working with Mandated Clients research group attaches great importance to the interchange between teaching and research. This is why we work so closely with students and lecturers.

Student participation in research
This academic year around thirty students are involved in research projects in our group. They will graduate with research work done by the group and / or support researchers with the collection of data. For example, they carry out literature research, prepare interviews and then carry out these interviews.

When it comes to graduation projects, we work systematically with students who have followed the minor in 'Working in the penal system' as well as with part-time students who have experience of working in the sector. A student assistant also works with the research group: Joram Hoogink.

Student participation in teaching
This academic year, a total of 90 students are participating in the specific courses for ‘Working in the penal system’, such as the minor in Working in the penal system and the work-study route for secure youth care. The research group has been and continues to be closely involved in the initiation, development and implementation of these courses.

Participation of lecturers in the Knowledge Network
Nine lecturers from HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht are affiliated with the knowledge network of the research group. These lecturers are from the following programmes:

  • Social Work Preliminary Year
  • Social Work and Services
  • Social Pedagogical Assistance
  • Team Contract Activities Social Work
  • Integrated Security Science
  • Social Legal Services
  • Educational Theory

Together these lecturers form a project group that is responsible for the proper transfer from knowledge development to educational development.

Deployment of lecturers on projects
In addition to these permanent members, there are nine other lecturers from HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht who are involved in the research group as project members. They work for a limited period of time on a specific project and/or as supporting lecturers in the minor 'Working in the penal system’ or the work-study route for secure youth care. By participating in the knowledge network, the expertise of these lecturers in the field of 'Working in the penal system’ is increasing rapidly. This is greatly needed because the number of units relating to this theme in the Bachelor's programmes has grown rapidly over the last two years.

Lecturers from other educational institutions
As well as lecturers from HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, researchers are also involved in the research group from:

Minor 'Working in the penal system'

In 2007, four universities of applied sciences, including HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, started work on the development of a minor 'Working in the penal system’. A minor is a coherent optional component in the final phase of an HBO Bachelor’s programme. This minor can now be taken at eight universities of applied sciences.

The minor 'Working in the penal system’ focuses on working methodically with adults and adolescents in the penal system. It addresses both criminal law and civil law contexts. The teaching units of the minor relate to the following themes (among others):

  • methodology for adults and juveniles
  • criminal and civil law
  • investigating and reporting
  • aggression and de-escalation
  • psychopathology in relation to criminal behaviour.

The minor is worth 30 credits (EC), which is the equivalent of six months of full-time study.

Cooperation with the professional field
The minor 'Working in the penal system' has been developed in close cooperation with the professional field. The partnership with the professional field also occurs through the national ‘Working in the penal system’ platform. The professional field has been represented on this platform ever since it was initiated. The eight universities of applied sciences also take part in the platform. The platform meets twice a year. Once a year, national representatives from the professional field are also present.

The 'Working in the penal system’ platform acts as a client for the research group, which develops the actual educational content. Each participating university of applied sciences is represented by the line manager responsible. The platform has initiated cooperation in the form of a national covenant.

Contributions to regular Bachelor’s education

The Working with Mandated Clients research group is involved in a number of specific educational pathways, such as the minor 'Working in the penal system’ and the work-study route for the secure youth. In addition, professors and members of the research group also contribute to regular education. For example, they give lectures on request and help to reflect on teaching units.

An example of this is the partnership with the programme in Social Work and Services. This programme developed the teaching unit ‘Working in the penal system’ for the second year of its regular Bachelor’s programme. The research group was a sparring partner during its development. Anneke Menger also provides a number of lectures for this teaching unit, along with some representatives from the professional field via the Knowledge Network. Additionally, she provides training for lecturers from Social Work and Services who work on this unit, together with members of the Knowledge Network.