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Supporting justice-involved people with extreme complex needs in the Australian community: a third sector practice perspective

Natalia Hanley (Natalia Hanley and Helen Simpson are both based at the School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Helen Simpson (Natalia Hanley and Helen Simpson are both based at the School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Juan M. Tauri (Juan M. Tauri is based at the School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 3 December 2021

Issue publication date: 20 January 2022

36

Abstract

Purpose

This qualitative research aims to explore staff perspectives on working effectively with people with intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking a case study approach, staff working for a third sector community organisation were interviewed about the components of effective work with their customers. The staff supported people engaged in the Community Justice Program.

Findings

Staff consistently described relationship building as the most important part of their work. There were three components to relationship building: the process of relationship building, the elements of a high-quality staff–customer relationship and the staff skills needed to develop a good relationship.

Originality/value

This paper makes two contributions to the literature. First, it focuses our attention on a third sector organisation supporting people in contact with the justice system as opposed to a formal criminal justice agency. Second, the paper seeks to understand the processes and skills staff deploy to build a high-quality relationship with criminal justice-involved people with intellectual disability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the organisation and staff who gave up their time to tell us about their work. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of two undergraduate students with the preparation of research instruments, communication materials and participating in meetings.

This project was supported by a small grant from the Faculty of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Wollongong.

Funding: This project was supported by a small grant from the Faculty of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Wollongong.

Citation

Hanley, N., Simpson, H. and Tauri, J.M. (2022), "Supporting justice-involved people with extreme complex needs in the Australian community: a third sector practice perspective", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 45-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-09-2021-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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