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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Jamie Bennett and Richard Shuker

There has been growing attention given to the concept of social climate as an element of prison practice. Research has indicated that more positive social climates can…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been growing attention given to the concept of social climate as an element of prison practice. Research has indicated that more positive social climates can improve safety, psychological well-being, quality of life and contribute towards reduced reoffending. The purpose of this paper is to consider how the more positive social climates found in democratic therapeutic communities are constructed and how these practices can be replicated in other settings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a reflective practice approach. The intention is to look back at the concept of social climate in prisons and in particular within a prison-based democratic therapeutic community (DTC); draw upon research and theory in order to critically evaluate the nature and effectiveness of that social climate, and; draw wider lessons about the nurturing and maintenance of social climates that may have broader relevance in prisons.

Findings

It is concluded that understanding and managing social climate is an essential aspect of improving the safety and effectiveness of prisons. Developing practices that enhance social climate requires looking beyond mainstream prison practices, towards niches such as specialist units and prisons, including DTCs and other therapeutic communities, and psychologically informed environments, as well as looking at practices in other settings including forensic mental health. Taking this wider perspective can be source of ideas and practice that could inform a profound culture change.

Originality/value

The paper offers an attempt to understand the distinct practices that create a more positive social climate in DTCs and consider how elements of this could be exported to other prisons. This has implications for both penal theory and practice.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2014

Tina Maschi, Deborah Viola, Mary T. Harrison, William Harrison, Lindsay Koskinen and Stephanie Bellusa

Older adults in prison present a significant health and human rights challenge for the criminal justice system. To date, there is no known study that provides a…

Abstract

Purpose

Older adults in prison present a significant health and human rights challenge for the criminal justice system. To date, there is no known study that provides a comprehensive examination or portrait of older persons in prison. The purpose of this paper is to understand individual, family, system, and community vulnerabilities that can complicate successful community reintegration for these individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

This study provides a cross-sectional, descriptive analysis of biopsychosocial, spiritual, and prison use characteristics associated with a sample of 677 older prisoners, aged 50+, in a state-wide prison system.

Findings

Results indicate the extent of diversity within this population based on demographic, clinical, social, legal profiles, prison service use patterns, and professional and personal contacts.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the diversity within this population, an interdisciplinary approach is needed to address the complex social and health care needs of an aging prison population and to plan for their reentry.

Practical implications

These findings suggest the need for holistic prevention, assessment, and interventions to interrupt the social-structural disparities that foster and support pathways to incarceration and recidivism.

Originality/value

The human rights implications for the current treatment of older adults in prison include providing in-prison treatment that promotes safety, well-being, reconciliation, and seamless bridges between prison and community for older adults and their families. The True Grit Program is presented as an example of a humanistic and holistic approach of such an approach.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2013

Jean‐Pierre Rieder, Alejandra Casillas, Gérard Mary, Anne‐Dominique Secretan, Jean‐Michel Gaspoz and Hans Wolff

In the past, health management in Geneva's six post‐trial prisons had been variable and inconsistent. In 2008, the unit of penitentiary medicine of the Geneva University…

Abstract

Purpose

In the past, health management in Geneva's six post‐trial prisons had been variable and inconsistent. In 2008, the unit of penitentiary medicine of the Geneva University Hospitals was mandated to re‐organize and provide health care at all six prison facilities. The specific aim of this paper is to outline the example as a practical solution to some of the common challenges in unifying the structure and process of health services across multiple small facilities, while meeting European prison health and local quality standards.

Design/methodology/approach

Geneva's post‐trial prisons are small and close to one another in geographical proximity – ideal conditions for the construction of a health mobile team (HMT). This multidisciplinary mobile team operated like a community ambulatory care model; it was progressively launched in all prison facilities in Geneva. The authors incorporated an implementation strategy where health providers partnered with prison and community stakeholders in the health delivery model's development and adaption process.

Findings

The model's strategic initiatives are described along the following areas, in light of other international prison health activity and prior care models: access to a health care professional, equivalence of care, patient consent, confidentiality, humanitarian interventions, and professional competence and independence.

Originality/value

From the perspective of the HMT members, the authors provide the “lessons learned” through this experience, especially to providers who are working on prison health services reform and coordination improvement. The paper particularly stresses the importance of partnering with community health stakeholders and prison staff, a key component to the approach.

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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Rod Mullen, Naya Arbiter, Claudia Rosenthal Plepler and Douglas James Bond

Over nearly six decades in prison, therapeutic communities (TCs) have waxed and waned in California. While there have been dramatic and demonstrable sucess with some of…

Abstract

Purpose

Over nearly six decades in prison, therapeutic communities (TCs) have waxed and waned in California. While there have been dramatic and demonstrable sucess with some of the most intractable populations in California prisons, the TC model has met substantial challenges, both bureaucratic and political. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a six-decade review of in-prison TCs in California based both on the research literature and from personal experience over 30 years providing both in-prison and community based TCs in California.

Findings

Despite well-documented success reducing the recidivism of violent offenders in California prisons (which is now the bulk of the population), the government has ignored the success of well implemented in-prison TCs, and has implemented a CBT model which has recently been documented to have been ineffective in reducing recidivism. The State is now at a crossroads.

Research limitations/implications

Documented research findings of success do not necessarily result in the implementation of the model.

Practical implications

There is evidence that violent felons are amenable to treatment.

Social implications

Public concern over the return of violent felons from prison can be ameliorated by the evidence of the effectiveness of TC treatment in prison.

Originality/value

There is no other publication which captures the narrative of the TC in California prisons over six decades.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Morag MacDonald, James Williams and David Kane

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent of throughcare provision for prisoners with problematic drug use. Effective throughcare services have been recognised as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent of throughcare provision for prisoners with problematic drug use. Effective throughcare services have been recognised as important because they help to ensure that any progress in treatment made in prison is continued on release. Previous research demonstrates that examples of good practice in throughcare provision for prisoners with problematic drug use exist in many parts of the world. However, evidence from recent work carried out in Europe indicates that the implementation of throughcare services for this group of prisoners is limited and ineffective in some EU member states. This paper aims to explore the reasons for such failure and to identify the barriers to implementing effective throughcare for this particular group of prisoners.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is drawn from research carried out as part of a European project funded by the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission. The project involved six partners from a range of different member states. The research involved a literature review, followed by in‐depth interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders. Each partner carried out the qualitative research within their own country, in order to enable the team to capture local nuances.

Findings

The findings indicate that key barriers to implementation of effective throughcare are resources which impacts on the availability of support services, attitudes and training of staff and ultimately the continuity of care.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the body of knowledge regarding the provision of effective throughcare to those with problematic drug use.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Kathryn M. Nowotny

This review integrates and builds linkages among existing theoretical and empirical literature from across disciplines to further broaden our understanding of the…

Abstract

This review integrates and builds linkages among existing theoretical and empirical literature from across disciplines to further broaden our understanding of the relationship between inequality, imprisonment, and health for black men. The review examines the health impact of prisons through an ecological theoretical perspective to understand how factors at multiple levels of the social ecology interact with prisons to potentially contribute to deleterious health effects and the exacerbation of race/ethnic health disparities.

This review finds that there are documented health disparities between inmates and non-inmates, but the casual mechanisms explaining this relationship are not well-understood. Prisons may interact with other societal systems – such as the family (microsystem), education, and healthcare systems (meso/exosystems), and systems of racial oppression (macrosystem) – to influence individual and population health.

The review also finds that research needs to move the discussion of the race effects in health and crime/justice disparities beyond the mere documentation of such differences toward a better understanding of their causes and effects at the level of individuals, communities, and other social ecologies.

Details

Inequality, Crime, and Health Among African American Males
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-051-0

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2010

Jackie Lowthian

The prison population in England and Wales has risen dramatically in recent years and rates of reoffending following release are, at best, disappointing. This article…

Abstract

The prison population in England and Wales has risen dramatically in recent years and rates of reoffending following release are, at best, disappointing. This article considers some of the evidence in relation to what is going wrong and how resettlement for prisoners might be made more effective. Ultimately, however, the expansion in the custodial population mitigates the potential to reduce recidivism. An argument is made for a justice reinvestment approach similar to that advocated by the House of Commons Justice Committee.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Jamie Bennett and Richard Shuker

The purpose of this paper is to describe the work of HMP Grendon, the only prison in the UK to operate entirely as a series of democratic therapeutic communities and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the work of HMP Grendon, the only prison in the UK to operate entirely as a series of democratic therapeutic communities and to summarise the research of its effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is both descriptive, providing an overview of the work of a prison-based therapeutic community, and offers a literature review regarding evidence of effectiveness.

Findings

The work of HMP Grendon has a wide range of positive benefits including reduced levels of disruption in prison, reduced self-harm, improved well-being, an environment that is experienced as more humane and reduced levels of reoffending.

Originality/value

The work of HMP Grendon offers a well established and evidenced approach to managing men who have committed serious violent and sexually violent offences. It also promotes and embodies a progressive approach to managing prisons rooted in the welfare tradition.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2008

Alastair Roy, Jane Fountain and Sundari Anitha

This paper examines the social and institutional context of barriers to drug service throughcare and aftercare for prisoners in England and Wales, including those that…

Abstract

This paper examines the social and institutional context of barriers to drug service throughcare and aftercare for prisoners in England and Wales, including those that specifically affect Black and minority ethnic prisoners. A research project in 2004 reviewed relevant literature and statistical data, mapped prison drug services, and sought the perspectives of relevant stakeholders: in total, 334 individuals were recruited to the study. The methodology facilitates analysis of the structure of services and the agency prisoner in accessing them. Recommendations are made for changes to the structure and delivery of prison drug services.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Jade Richardson and Valentina Zini

The purpose of this paper is to detail the impact and efficacy of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service ((HMPPS) Therapeutic Communities (TCs) (both democratic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detail the impact and efficacy of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service ((HMPPS) Therapeutic Communities (TCs) (both democratic and hierarchical). This paper outlines recent developments in the TC literature, to provide readers with an up-to-date overview of the outcomes of prison-based TC treatment, while highlighting the strengths and challenges of this treatment approach. Trends within the research are discussed, and the authors draw attention to any gaps in the current knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a narrative literature review approach to review the most current literature around the effectiveness of prison-based TCs in HMPPS. Academic literature published predominantly from 2010 onwards is discussed because of limited literature review publications on this topic post-2010. To obtain literature, searches of relevant databases were conducted, and/or clinical leads at prison sites were contacted for relevant publications.

Findings

There is a body of research which demonstrates that TCs are an effective form of treatment for people with an offending history and personality difficulties. Evidence indicates that Democratic TC treatment plays a part in reducing reoffending rates, as well as improving psychological features. Further research is needed in a number of areas, specifically with female offenders and individuals who undertake treatment in hierarchical TCs in the UK. It is also suggested that TC treatment aftercare may help to further the positive outcomes identified.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no up-to-date review of the impact and efficacy of HMPPS TC treatment. This paper reflects on available research within the current context of TC treatment and provides an original overview of the current UK TC practice. It has value in recommending areas for further research and consideration.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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