Horizontal and vertical responsibilisation in the resettlement field

Cracknell, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9909-1173 (2023) Horizontal and vertical responsibilisation in the resettlement field. Safer Communities, 22 (1) . pp. 28-41. ISSN 1757-8043 [Article] (doi:10.1108/SC-09-2022-0037)

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The Offender Rehabilitation Act (ORA) 2014, extended post-release supervision to individuals serving short prison sentences while introducing an extended array of actors into the resettlement field. This article explores the barriers that prison practitioners and community probation workers faced in their attempts to provide resettlement support, and how in response to these barriers, these practitioners enacted particular responsibilisation strategies.
This empirical research features the perspectives of 19 prison, probation and third-sector actors within a case-study area in England. Qualitative interviews were carried out, alongside observations and field notes of daily practice.
Findings indicate that despite the promise of additional support, practitioners face significant barriers inhibiting their ability to provide effective resettlement assistance. The three specific barriers identified are; institutional, temporal, and political-economic. In response, practitioners enacted particular responsibilisation strategies, shifting blame vertically down to service users, and horizontally towards the other actors involved in managing these individuals.
These findings help to expand our understanding of the responsibilisation literature, particularly how responsibilisation operates at a practitioner level, and how barriers become refracted and reframed into responsibilisation strategies. This article also draws on the ‘mass supervision’ literature to demonstrate how the introduction of multiple agencies obfuscates individual responsibility for resettlement and large caseloads erode supervisory practice.
Practical implications:
This article concludes with a brief overview of the latest iteration of resettlement practice, before exploring how a desistance-focused approach by practitioners may improve resettlement outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 36876
Notes on copyright: Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Matt Cracknell
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 10:58
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:26
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/36876

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