An exploration into what works in effectively engaging young adult offenders in probation supervision: practitioners and probationers perspectives

Beckford, Eric (2021) An exploration into what works in effectively engaging young adult offenders in probation supervision: practitioners and probationers perspectives. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This research explores how probation practitioners might better engage young adult offenders in order to help prevent them from re-offending. While male adults between 18 and 25 comprise around 10% of the population in England and Wales, they account for up to 40% of UK crime (House of Common Justice Committee, 2018). Evidence shows that rehabilitative interventions, rather than punishment, are generally more effective in helping offenders (including young offenders) desist from crime (Chan, 1995; Jones, & Weatherburn, 2011; MacKenzie, 2002; Monarski, 1987; Productivity Commission, 2011; Nagin et al. 2009; Weston, 2016; Nagin, D.S., Piquero, Scott, & Steinberg, 2006). Young offenders who are meaningfully engaged by probation practitioners, and who actively participate in appropriate behaviour-modification interventions, are more likely to achieve long-term positive change (Henry, Henaghan, Sanders, & Munford,2015; MOJ, 2019b: Prior, & Mason, 2010). As a significant proportion of young adult male offenders are subject to probation supervision, it would help if more positive forms of intervention for probation officers were developed.

This research comprised two qualitative studies involving 15 male offenders and 15 probation officers, focusing on participants’ experiences and their perspectives on what constitutes effective engagement between young adult offenders and probation practitioners. Interviews were semi-structured and were carried out both individually and face to face. Data was transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006, 2013). Main themes included the importance of probation officers having in-depth knowledge about offenders as individuals, being able to communicate with them, being effective motivators, and being trustworthy. Probation officers emphasised the importance of collaboratively engaging with young offenders’ families and situations, and both groups highlighted officers’ personal characteristics. Trauma was a significant issue for both groups, with officers noting the lack of information and training in this area. Practice implications and proposals are discussed, and recommendations for further research in this area of work are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
Item ID: 36556
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2022 09:48
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:59

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