Jo Parsons

Ph.D Student


The subject of Jo’s thesis is ‘Managerial Influences on Police Decision-making’. This study incorporates field research into the introduction of Community Resolution by Sussex Police in 2011 and has been funded under the auspices of the Wakefield Scholarship. In view of the dramatic changes experienced by UK policing in the past decade, the research is particularly focused on the police officer’s use of operational discretion in times of increasing public and political accountability.

With her first degree in law from Adelaide University, Jo was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the South Australia Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia in 1981. Jo’s professional career has covered a broad range of roles in a variety of private, public and not-for- profit/voluntary organisations and in 2002 Jo was appointed Executive Solicitor to the South Australia Police. This role involved providing legal and policy advice to the Commissioner and senior officers of South Australia Police on a diverse range of operational and administrative policing issues.

Jo’s interest in what influences the use of police discretion, stems from having to deal with the consequences of ‘erroneous’ officer decision-making. It is hoped the current research will go some way in assisting police organisations to foster the development of a more professional approach to the exercise of officer discretion.


  • Parsons, A.R., Kautt, P. and Coupe, T. (2011) “Effective Policing: Management Influence and the Commitment of Senior Police Personnel” Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, 21(1), 1-26).
  • Parsons, A.R. (Jo) (2011) (Book review): “Policing and Criminal Justice” by Blake, C., Sheldon, B. and Williams, P. (2010). British Journal of Community Justice, 8(3), 109-110.