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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Mark Ellison, Chris Fox, Adrian Gains and Gary Pollock

Established in 2007, Vision Housing is a small London‐based specialist housing provider working primarily with ex‐offenders. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

Established in 2007, Vision Housing is a small London‐based specialist housing provider working primarily with ex‐offenders. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of Vision Housing's provision of housing and support on re‐offending rates.

Design/methodology/approach

The evaluation design compared expected re‐offending rates after one year calculated using offender group reconviction scale (OGRS3) with actual reoffending rates after one year based on data from the police national computer (PNC). “Re‐offending” was defined in line with the current Ministry of Justice definition based on “proven re‐offending”.

Findings

The predicted rate of proven re‐offending for 400 clients referred to Vision over 12 months was 40.7 per cent. Their actual proven re‐offending rate over 12 months was 37.0 per cent. This is 3.7 percentage points less than the predicted proven re‐offending rate, equivalent to a 9.1 per cent reduction in proven re‐offending. This result was statistically significant. Analysis also suggested that Vision Housing is more successful with women; offenders under the age of 35; offenders referred by the Prison and Probation Service; offenders with a higher predicted risk of proven re‐offending; and offenders who had committed more serious offences.

Research limitations/implications

The evaluation conducted to date does not include a comparison group and therefore has relatively low levels of internal validity.

Practical implications

The authors are not aware of any UK studies of the impact of housing on re‐offending that have successfully used a more methodologically robust evaluation design. Until such studies are carried out, the results of the current study should be of great interest to policy‐makers and those delivering rehabilitative services to ex‐offenders in partnership with third sector organisations.

Originality/value

This study has produced evidence of the impact of housing on recidivism and quantified that impact.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Book part
Publication date: 21 May 2012

Barry Kushner and Saville Kushner

This chapter looks at the role qualitative evaluation can play in the external review of the Probation Service, the development of an evaluation framework for ongoing…

Abstract

This chapter looks at the role qualitative evaluation can play in the external review of the Probation Service, the development of an evaluation framework for ongoing assessment and how it can be used to develop new elements of the service. How is this different from the use of existing data by the service?

This takes us to the kind of information that is used by the probation service, to make judgements about the effectiveness of its programmes and the impact on offenders. The main contention is that this is in the main quantitative data, and reports on levels of re-offending. The data is standardised so that it can be used to make comparisons between different types of sentence and criminal justice intervention.

Our contention is that this information is limited in what it says for two main reasons. Firstly, quantitative data tends to report on impact, that is whether an offender has committed another crime after engagement with the probation service, or whether there are patterns of behaviour between offences, individual circumstances and the likelihood or re-offending. In short, the data is a snapshot of whether an offender has changed his or her behaviour or not. However, this chapter will illustrate how quantitative data misses an understanding of how behaviour changes and why behaviour does not change. As a result, this leaves the service with a limited understanding of how it is working.

Secondly, the chapter will argue that the existing probation framework itself creates quite specific definitions of which data is relevant and which data is not relevant. We will give examples of narratives that offenders offer in group sessions that provide rich material about their lives, pressures and offence. But evidence suggests that this information is not used to inform programmes, re-assess and review an offender's own progression towards re-offending or a life without crime.

Details

Perspectives on Evaluating Criminal Justice and Corrections
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-645-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2007

Emma Varley

Abstract

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2014

Sarah Soppitt and Adele Irving

The purpose of this paper is to present a discussion of the value of early diversion schemes, underpinned by the principles of restorative justice (RJ), for First Time…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a discussion of the value of early diversion schemes, underpinned by the principles of restorative justice (RJ), for First Time Entrants (FTEs) into the criminal justice system (CJS).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses specifically on the findings of a 12-month study into the introduction of “Triage” by one Youth Offending Team (YOT) in the northeast of England.

Findings

Re-offending data suggested that Triage is more effective in reducing re-offending than conventional justice practices, due to the restorative nature of the scheme. However, the qualitative data raised a number of issues, particularly relating to problems of “net-widening” and the impact of recording processes on young people's desistance, as well as the role of victim engagement in the process. These issues could undermine the long-term effectiveness of Triage and its successful application within other youth justice contexts.

Originality/value

The paper aims to contribute further understanding regarding the impacts of RJ practices on reducing re-offending compared to traditional processes, and in particular, consider the role of implementation issues in the production of outcomes and impacts.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Chris Fox, Kevin Albertson, Karen Williams and Mark Ellison

This paper seeks to report on a project to estimate the costs and benefits of implementing an Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) in Stockport. The work is designed to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to report on a project to estimate the costs and benefits of implementing an Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) in Stockport. The work is designed to support the development of a Payment by Results (PbR) approach to funding.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarises existing literature on the potential impacts associated with ATRs, broader alcohol treatment, relevant offender interventions and calculates the costs associated with negative outcomes.

Findings

A model of the potential cost savings to the Criminal Justice System and the National Health Service is set out which suggests that an ATR would need to achieve a 12 per cent reduction in re‐offending to break even.

Originality/value

The methodology and findings will be of interest to drug and alcohol service providers and commissioners who are considering PbR

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Alice Mills, Dina Gojkovic, Rosie Meek and David Mullins

The aim of the paper is to examine the contribution made by housing‐related third sector organisations (TSOs) in assisting ex‐prisoners to find housing, and the barriers…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to examine the contribution made by housing‐related third sector organisations (TSOs) in assisting ex‐prisoners to find housing, and the barriers they face in doing so.

Design/methodology/approach

An offender survey was used to measure awareness of and engagement with TSOs in eight prisons, alongside qualitative interviews with prisoners, criminal justice staff and TSO representatives.

Findings

Despite the involvement of TSOs, securing accommodation for ex‐prisoners remains complex and difficult, largely due to high service demand, housing shortages, budget cuts, and needs assessment and allocations systems which reduce the responsiveness of housing providers to the reducing re‐offending agenda.

Research limitations/implications

The research benefited from a mixed‐method approach which captured the perceptions of service users and professionals. The response rate for the offender survey was low (12 per cent), and the survey findings should be treated with caution.

Practical implications

Local authorities and other housing providers need to be more willing to accept ex‐prisoners as potential service users, and better links need to be made between local homelessness strategies, choice based lettings systems and prisoner resettlement programmes. Providing support services to ex‐offenders may encourage such acceptance and help to maintain the motivation to desist from crime.

Originality/value

Previous research has paid little specific attention to the role of TSOs in (ex)offender housing. This paper addresses this omission by drawing on original empirical research to examine the value of their work in securing accommodation for ex‐prisoners and helping to reduce re‐offending.

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Stephane M. Shepherd and Susanne Strand

The psychopathy checklist: youth version (PCL: YV) checklist is an assessment of youth psychopathic traits and is regularly validated by way of its associations with…

Abstract

Purpose

The psychopathy checklist: youth version (PCL: YV) checklist is an assessment of youth psychopathic traits and is regularly validated by way of its associations with re-offending and violence. Yet existing research has been conducted with predominantly white Caucasian cohorts and extant evidence suggests that associations with recidivism are stronger in samples with greater proportions of white offenders. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study investigated the cross-cultural validity of the PCL: YV for an ethnically diverse Australian sample of 175 young male offenders in custody. Participants were assessed in custody with the PCL: YV and offending data were collected post-release for up to 18 months.

Findings

PCL: YV total and domain scores were comparable across ethnicity; however the instrument demonstrated stronger relationships with recidivism for Australian participants with an English speaking background compared to Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse participants.

Practical implications

The authors advocate the cautionary employment of the PCL: YV as a violence risk prediction instrument with minority young offenders regionally, pending further evidence.

Originality/value

This study addresses the capacity of the PCL: YV to predict violence across different ethnic groups. Cross-cultural youth psychopathy research is currently inadequate and existing studies suggest that the PCL: YV is a weaker predictor of violence in culturally diverse samples. This investigation provides much needed information on the capacity of the PCL: YV to extend to different ethnic groups who are represented Australia’s youth prison population. This is the first study of its kind regionally, and more importantly is the first PCL: YV study with an Indigenous Australian comparison group. This is particularly important given that Indigenous Australians are heavily overrepresented in Australia’s criminal justice system and require appropriate risk assessment measures to ensure they are not misclassified. Research such as this is now of particular interest given the recent judicial decision made in Ewert vs Canada.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Chris O'Leary

This paper aims to review the available evidence on the role of stable accommodation in reducing the risk of recidivism. It seeks to answer questions about the nature and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the available evidence on the role of stable accommodation in reducing the risk of recidivism. It seeks to answer questions about the nature and extent of such a role, whether stable accommodation on its own plays a role or as part of an overall programme, and what the implications arising from the current evidence are for policy makers and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The research strategy consisted of a number of steps. First, existing systematic reviews in the field were reviewed to identity relevant evidence. Following this, a standard search of the literature was undertaken to identity potential research for further consideration. Articles and books identified were subject to a three part test to determine relevance and robustness of method.

Findings

The paper suggests that the evidence base is less than clear about the role of stable accommodation in reducing risk of recidivism. The extant literature can be classified as two types; the first utilises robust methods but fails to single out accommodation as a single intervention. The second often focuses on stable accommodation but fails to use Randomised Controlled Trial or quasi‐experimental methods.

Research limitations/implications

Taken as a whole, it is clear that stable accommodation has a potential role in programmes aimed at reducing recidivism. The nature of that role, the causal mechanisms underlying that role and the methods used to increase stability of accommodation are not clear from the literature.

Originality/value

The paper provides a means of classifying the extant literature and assesses this literature in terms of its methodological robustness.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2005

Martin Lee and Simon George

The paper covers:• nature of the drug problem ‐ drug dependence, prevalence of misuse, distribution of problematic drug‐users (PDUs) across NOMS and how drug‐related…

Abstract

The paper covers:• nature of the drug problem ‐ drug dependence, prevalence of misuse, distribution of problematic drug‐users (PDUs) across NOMS and how drug‐related offending manifests itself• drug strategy in prisons ‐ demand reduction, supply reduction and establishing through‐care linkages, clinical services, counselling, assessment, referral, advice and through‐care services (CARATs), drug rehabilitation programmes, drug testing programmes, supply reduction initiatives, DIP linkages and wider resettlement agenda• assessing need and planning for the future ‐ needs analysis, development of the collaborative drug treatment vision, initiatives planned or under way to improve quality and amount of treatment available, and mainstreaming/integration of services to reduce re‐offending and make public environment safer.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Kevin O’Sullivan, Chana Levin, David Bright and Richard Kemp

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between the belief in redeemability – Version 2 (BIR-2) Scale and desistance from crime. It also seeks to explore how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between the belief in redeemability – Version 2 (BIR-2) Scale and desistance from crime. It also seeks to explore how patterns of responding on the BIR-2 with offenders compare to previous patterns of responding in the general public.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors report the results of a study of offenders using the belief in redeemability – Version 2 (BiR-2) scale. In total, 180 offenders under the supervision of the Community Corrections Service (formerly the Probation and Parole Service) of New South Wales completed the ten-item questionnaire and when these data were combined with demographic and reoffending data collected by Corrective Services New South Wales, 168 sets of useable data were collected. Scores on the BIR-2 scale were compared to Level of Service Inventory – Revised (LSI-R) score, Most Serious Offence category, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, number of custodial sentences in previous five years, age, gender and reoffending.

Findings

Results showed that the sample overall was closely representative of the caseload from which the study sample was drawn (a metropolitan community corrections office) and that BIR-2 scores showed a small, significant, negative correlation with LSI-R scores. Analysis of re-offending data indicated a small, positive, but non-significant correlation with BIR-2. Implications of this are discussed and future research outlined.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that it is worth attempting to measure belief in redeemability in the broader context of a narrative approach to desistance.

Originality/value

This is the first time that a scale has been used to test the importance of a belief in redeemability quantitatively and to permit the use of multivariate analysis.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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