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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2019

Chloe McKenzie and Emma Tarpey

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the experiences of individuals with a criminal history of participating in a community life skills and work-readiness…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the experiences of individuals with a criminal history of participating in a community life skills and work-readiness programme.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven individuals that have a criminal history who were participating, or had previously participated, in a community life skills and work-readiness programme. This data was analysed by interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Findings

Four superordinate themes emerged, these were: “need to change”, “changing identity”, “giving back to the community” and “a sense of belonging”. These themes are discussed in relation to desistance literature and the Good Lives Model.

Practical implications

This research identifies through the participants’ narratives that engaging with the programme appeared to facilitate the desistance process. The importance of community programmes that provide participants skills and social integration must be acknowledged.

Originality/value

There is limited research on the experiences of forensic services users’ experiences of community programmes, especially those that are not aimed specifically at ex-offenders. The results of this research can be used to enhance services and identify further research areas.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Rebecca Hargate, Sharon Howden, Emma Tarpey and Tammi Walker

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of both staff and patients in a medium-secure mental health unit of the self-harm and/or suicidal behaviour of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of both staff and patients in a medium-secure mental health unit of the self-harm and/or suicidal behaviour of others. Suicide and self-harm is highly prevalent in forensic settings and evidence suggests that experiencing other people’s self-harm and suicidal behaviour can lead to negative outcomes, both for staff and patients. This is particularly important in hospitals where patients are highly dependent on staff for support.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five staff members and six patients in a medium-secure male mental health unit in the North of England. Data were analysed following interpretative phenomenological analysis guidelines.

Findings

Three dominant themes were identified during analysis: the impact of suicide and self-harm; the role of others; and the importance of understanding and experience. Various impacts were discussed including desensitization, negative emotions and the desire to help. Other people played an important role in protecting against negative impacts, with shared experiences and peer support reported as the biggest benefits. Experiences of self-harm and suicide were found to increase understanding resulting in more positive attitudes. Additionally, the importance of training and education was highlighted.

Originality/value

This paper provides an insight into the experiences of staff and patients in medium-secure male mental health unit, which has benefits to practitioners when considering support mechanisms.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2017

Jenna Walker, Jo Ashby, Neil Gredecki and Emma Tarpey

The purpose of this paper is to understand the constructions of female-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) among postgraduate (PG) students studying and preparing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the constructions of female-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) among postgraduate (PG) students studying and preparing for a career in forensic psychology. A social constructionist methodological framework was adopted in order to explore students’ dominant discourses surrounding gender and IPV. Of particular interest was how female perpetrators of IPV within heterosexual relationships were constructed and subsequently positioned by students in terms of social and gender identity. Implications regarding future practice for graduates in relation to risk assessment and treatment interventions are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Six female PG forensic students took part in a qualitative focus group and discussed their understanding of IPV and views regarding perpetration. Focus group members were also asked to discuss details of a vignette depicting a violent relationship where gender identity was purposefully removed. The focus group interview data were analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis.

Findings

The students constructed IPV as a behaviour that was predominantly perpetrated by men towards women. Students acknowledged that female-perpetrated IPV occurred; however, such behaviour was constructed as non-threatening, and subsequently, less serious than male-perpetrated IPV. Moreover, the analysis revealed that the overall discourses drawn on by the students projected a feminine representation of female IPV that positioned women as emotionally unstable, vulnerable and acting in self-defence.

Research limitations/implications

Students’ constructions of female-perpetrated IPV appeared to minimise aggression. It is argued that the positioning of women in terms of vulnerability serves to undermine any responsibility for perpetrating violence among this group of students. In terms of implications for practice, oversimplified assumptions in relation to gendered constructions have the potential to inhibit female IPV from being recognised as a serious form of aggression, and it is argued that this could potentially bias assessments of risk leading to an under-estimation of threat. Female perpetrators of IPV may subsequently receive inadequate supervision and intervention and inadequate levels of victim safety planning may occur. These gendered constructions may also inhibit male victims from seeking help and help being offered.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of understanding constructions of IPV among students who are preparing for careers as a forensic psychology practitioner. Female IPV is clearly challenging. With respect to the social construction of IPV, the students in this study made many assumptions about female identity by linking this to feminine and essentialist ideas that constrain women as emotionally and biologically vulnerable. Such findings raise questions about whether future training and study programmes are equipped to critically challenge the dominant discourses and subsequent constructions of gender and IPV. Thus, this study has highlighted the need for further research around constructions of IPV in this field of work in order to fully examine potential knowledge gaps in training and teaching of future forensic practitioners.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Emma Tarpey and Hannah Friend

The purpose of this paper is to explore offenders’ experiences of community reintegration facilitated by a supported housing scheme.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore offenders’ experiences of community reintegration facilitated by a supported housing scheme.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were derived from five semi-structured interviews with prolific offenders who were participating in a UK “north west housing association” scheme; a community reintegration programme for offenders released from prison.

Findings

Thematic analysis demonstrated four predominant themes, these were: “the decision to change”, “self-fulfilment”, “a place to call home” and “a suitable support system”. The themes are discussed in relation to the Good Lives Model.

Practical implications

Participation in the housing scheme was a key component of the reintegration process, which positively facilitated lifestyle change.

Originality/value

This research considers the often “unheard” perspectives of prolific offenders and highlights the significant role of community housing schemes in supporting successful community reintegration.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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