The purpose of this paper is to suggest HMP Grendon therapeutic community (TC) reduces recidivism and increases positive emotional and social well-being. Less is known about the factors that influence these positive impacts from the prisoner’s perspective. This paper discusses the factors perceived as most effective in changing behaviour, from the residents of HMP Grendon.
A questionnaire based on different aspects of the programme measured perceived importance of different aspects. Semi-structured interviews explored these issues in greater depth and detail and the framework approach was utilised to analyse the data.
Questionnaire data suggested small group therapy, discussing offence impact, resolving problems with others, feeling responsible for self and actions, and open communication were perceived as the most important factors in terms of “what works”. Qualitative interviews supported these findings, and feeling safe, as well as trusting and supportive relationships with other residents and staff were seen as an integral part of the process of change. The analysis also identified some areas for improvement.
This paper offers insights into the process of change for residents, how the components of the TC experience are valued and their perceived impact, offering an updated understanding from the residents’ perspective, and also identifies areas for improvement. This is valuable for current and future TCs for planning and development. It is limited by the cross-sectional nature and relatively small number of factors considered.
This paper offers unique insights into why and how Grendon TC works from the residents’ perspective, using a large sample and appropriate qualitative methodology.
The author is very grateful to all the residents at HMP Grendon who participated in this research, gave their time and shared their experiences. Many thanks to Richard Shuker and Dani Moorman and all staff at HMP Grendon for supporting and facilitating this research and to Mary Dolan and Rowan Jasper. Many thanks to the University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education Group for supporting and funding this project.
Dolan, R. (2017), "HMP Grendon therapeutic community: the residents’ perspective of the process of change", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 23-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-08-2016-0015Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited