REMAND IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AS A FOCUS OF PUBLIC CONCERN
2. COMMENTS ON SUBMITTED WORK:
This resubmitted work has addressed many of the issues identified as needing attention in the original submission, regarding the literature review, theoretical framework, methodology methods and sample.There is also the addition of further data and data analysis that suggests that this research has the potential to contribute new knowledge to the field, concerning the ‘lived experience’ of remand in Trinidad and Tobago
There is now enough evidence in the IE report to demonstrate that the candidate has acquired an understanding of a substantial body of knowledge, both in terms of the literature and the methodological approach, to indicate that the candidate can proceed and continue their PhD.
There are some areas where improvements could be made.
The discussion of literature and policy which informed the research aim and questions has now improved, but still requires a stronger articulation of what the gap is that has been identified and which needs addressing by this research.
The research aims, questions and objectives need to clearly reflect what has and is now being undertaken in terms of data collection etc.
A clearer explanation of the role of policy in the research, and whether it is a source of primary data, or whether it is now to be included just for context and background.
There is more background information on the Trinidad and Tobago Prison system in the report this time, but this could be developed more, especially as the research is about prisoner’s/prison officer’s ‘lived experiences’ of remand in this system/setting.
The literature review does now include more discussion of the literature on prisoner and prison officer’s experiences of remand.However, this area still needs further development, and more engagement with and analysis of this wider relevant literature is required.
The methodology chapter now contains most of the required content, but occasionally is a little over general. It needs to apply and use the academic literature much more specifically to support and provide a rationale for the research undertaken. It would also benefit from a clearer more logical structure, that takes the reader step by step through the research design and process. The addition of a paragraph at the beginning which clearly and succinctly sets out how and whatthe candidate did in terms of data collection, would be helpful.
In the examination we discussed the number of participants to be included in the research, and whether the 28already interviewed was enough. The key issue here, to be discussed with their supervisors,is whether the candidate thinks that there is enough data here to answer the research questions, and provide a rich, in-depth account of the field. If this is the case, then a clear rationale needs to be provided for the sample/number of participants included. For example, this could be done in terms of data or theoretical saturation.
The methodology does now include a discussion of the ‘positionality’ of the candidate and there is some commentary on how this has informedor influenced the research, however this is an area that still needs some refinement. For example,how/whether the candidate’s role as a policy analyst may or may not have affected the interaction in the interviews with the participants, such as the lawyers, policy officials, magistrates etc.
The candidate is in the early stages of coding the data and descriptive analysis, but it is evident that there are some interesting and potentially important findings emerging. Going forward it would enhance the analysis and understanding of the findings, if the candidate provided more background or demographic information on the participants. For example, regarding the prisoners, more clarity over their state as remand prisoners, the length they have been in prison, whether they have been in just one prison/wing within a prison. With reference to the prison officers, clarity over whether they work just with remand prisoners, or in remand wings.
In the report there is the claim that framework and thematic analysis of the data will be undertaken, in discussion the candidate was less clear as to whether that was the plan. Theimportant thing whichever approach is chosen, thematic/framework or both is that the candidate provides a clear rationale for the approach selected.
Going forward, the candidate will need to give thought to and discuss with their supervisors the best structure for the overall thesis, the structure within the chapters, especially the findings chapters, and the presentation of data within them. The aim is to avoid repetition and develop a clear narrative and line of argumentation for the reader to follow.
3. COMMENTS ON ORAL PERFORMANCE:
Kalifa was confident in the oral examination and was mostly able to talk about her research in a well-informed way. By doing this Kalifa was able to demonstrate her knowledge and understanding of the topic, research methods and the data collected so far.
4. ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS
‘Good’ candidate to proceed to next stage of work, in the sections above give feedback that could help to improve the candidate’s work.
‘Borderline’ candidate can proceed, but in the sections above give details of issues the candidate must address in the next stage of work.
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