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Professor Paul Senior Director, Hallam Centre for Community Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Paul Senior Director, Hallam Centre for Community Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Paul Senior Director, Hallam Centre for Community Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

2  Consider the question ‘what is criminology’?  The relationship between research, policy and practice  Understanding the ‘crowded’ arena of policy making  Explore the case example of ‘reducing re- offending’ as a core goal of modern crime policy  Lessons for policy and practice - policy-based evidence or evidence-based policy?

3  What is criminology?  ‘criminology seeks to generalise on the basis of evidence. It is therefore neither purely deductive nor purely descriptive; theorisation needs both to guide the collection of data and to be grounded in evidence. Similarly, interpretation of data has to be guided by theorisation’ Subject benchmark statements Criminology 2007 QAA /07  The vitality of the discipline also requires a continuous interchange between theory and analytic and evaluative research, and attention to increasingly salient ethical debates about crime, security, and human rights at international, national, regional and local levels. (ibid 3.5)  Booming yet divided and fragmented?  Criminology can be seen as a rendezvous discipline, a site at which social scientific disciplines interact. (ibid Appendix C)  Differing types of division  Disciplinary  Theoretical  Methodological  Subject matter

4 biologysociologypenologyvictimologypsychopathology Law/socio-legal studies psychology Geography History Health/forensic Environmental media contested and often contentious discipline which is very likely to reflect current social, political and public disputes (ibid 6.2)

5 Neo-classicalPositivistCriticalDevelopmentalAdministrativeMarxist Control theories Social disorganization Conflict Labelling feminist bodies of evidence are often consistent with alternative interpretations embodied in rival theoretical perspectives. (ibid 6.2)

6 Quantitative Maryland Scale QualitativeMixed methods range of different strategies and methods and use appropriate research tools in relation to criminological problems, including quantitative, qualitative and evaluative techniques (ibid 7.3)

7 Local, national and international contexts the causes and organisation of crime and deviance processes of preventing and managing crime and victimisation the administration of sentences and of alternative responses to offending incl. offender management and offender rehabilitation An understanding of the social and historical development of punishment including courts and hearings for adults and young people different stages and agencies of the criminal justice process official and unofficial responses to crime, deviance and social harm representations of crime, offenders, victims and agents and agencies of control social and historical development of public policing role of non-governmental agencies social divisions and social diversity such as age, gender, social class, race and ethnicity crime, security, and human rights the use of discretion in relation to justice processes understanding of contested values in the constitution and application of criminological knowledge Adapted from Subject benchmarks for Criminology

8 ‘In addition, and increasingly, professional criminologists and graduates are being called upon to advise and inform the work of crime control agencies: from preventing youth offending to advising the prison service about deaths in custody; from the role of the police in community safety teams to the structure and functioning of the people trade; from how to count family violence to how to prevent it; from institutional racism to the management of diversity. Criminology must develop in its own way to meet these challenges of the twenty-first century’ (ibid Appendix C)

9 Key Influences on the Policy Process Research and Theory Penal Lobby Official Advice Public Opinion Ideology and Politics Policy networks

10 Research and Theory

11 Key Influences on the Policy Process Research and Theory Penal Lobby Official Advice Public Opinion Ideology and Politics Policy networks Penal reform groups Unions Professional associations Civil servants Govt research depts. Select Committees European Community Sanctions network Legislative changes Key stakeholder groups ‘Law and order’ ‘tough on crime….’ ‘Big Society’ Media Public enquiries Infamous cases

12 Formulation ImplementationEvaluation Initiation Defining the Problem Finding Alternatives/ Solutions Evaluating Alternatives Selecting from Alternatives Impact of Policy Feedback Problem Issue Trigger Event Placement on Agenda

13  The varied foci, complexity and heterogeneity of criminological research and theory makes simplistic solutions problematic  Research and theory is only one element of the decision making process  In recent periods in neo-liberal societies in particular public opinion, has had a distinct sway  The policy cycle occurs in real time  Each element of the cycle overlaps  The limitations of policy transfer between differing jurisdictions often underplayed  Financial tsunami has begun to dictate policy responses

14  The ‘rational comprehensive’ v ‘bureau-incrementalist’ model  ‘rational decision-making involves the selection of the alternative which will maximise the decision-maker’s values, the selection being made following a comprehensive analysis of alternatives and their consequences’  YET incrementalists argue:  lack of correspondence between what is intended and the actual outcome  Powerful, sometimes unknown, contradictory and conflicting forces intervene  Policy makers inherit a given situation which they change incrementally  Policy process is ‘serial in nature’ - multiple gradual changes  Problem 'shifting’ rather than ‘problem solving’  Small-scale institutional adaptations based on pragmatism, accommodation of interests, money  Essentially conservative and dedicated to maintaining the status quo

15  Implementation of policy may bring change and policy drift – the impact of the ‘street level bureaucrat’ (Lipsky, 1980)  Discretionary relationships between legislation and regulation  Policy can be top-down or bottom-up  E.g. What Works drive in UK  Impact of non-decision making  “power is … exercised when A devotes his energies to creating or reinforcing social and political values and institutional practices that limit the scope of the political process to public consideration of only those issues which are comparatively innocuous” (Bachrach and Baratz, 1963)  Hierarchy of evidence  ‘the privileging of particular bodies of ‘evidence’ and, conversely, the negation of ‘inconvenient evidence’ (Goldson, 2010)

16  Reducing re-offending is a theme of international interest and concern  Big focus in last 20 years on identifying ‘What Works’ - identifying and accrediting CBT programmes and their impact  Context of Public Safety – assessment and management of risk and public protection  Recognition too that there are key dynamic risk factors family, accommodation, education, employment, drug and alcohol counseling, mental health support, debt advice impacting on re-offending (SEU, 2002)  Dominated by psychological and quantitative research analyses  Policy implementation inevitably finds gaps/questions concerning effective offender rehabilitation  Less focus on the way programmes of intervention might fit into an integrated, holistic solution which reintegrates offenders back into society –  Driven more by social policy context and qualitative analysis  The policy context thus is complex…………

17 Offender Desister Interventions Social Context Motivation Organisational Context Relationships and Staff Skills Acknowledge the work of Fergus McNeill

18  3 discernible ‘schools’ or perspectives in the literature:  Those that focus on the significance of aging and/or maturation in desistance (e.g. Gluecks 1940; 1943; 1950; 1968; 1974; Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990: 136)  Those that focus on the significance of social bonds and informal social control (social capital) across the life course in desistance (e.g. Laub, Sampson and Nagin, 1998; Sampson and Laub, 1993)  Those that focus on the significance of subjectivities in desistance including how individuals’ interpret life events and changes in an individual’s narratively constructed self-identity (e.g. Giordano et al.,2002; Liebrich, 1993; Maruna, 2001)  Most scholars now stress the interplay of these three dimensions ; “the ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ aspects of pathways to desistance interact in complex ways” (McNeill and Weaver, 2010: 18)  ‘ desistance resides somewhere in the interfaces between developing personal maturity, changing social bonds associated with certain life transitions, and the individual subjective narrative constructions which offenders build around these key events and changes. It is not just the events and changes that matter; it is what these events and changes mean to the people involved’ 18

19  Complex processes, not events, characterised by ambivalence and vacillation  Involves re-biography, re-storying, telling the story of yourself differently, changing narrative identity so that's more than simply learning new skills.  Prompted by life events, depending on the meaning of those events for the offender; inherently subjective, hence individualised, sensitive to difference/diversity  No homogenous theory of change here, there's no simple answer or recipe for desistance because it's inherently subjective and individual.  The process, the journey can be solicited or sustained by somebody ‘believing in’ the offender or prevented maybe by someone giving up. Adapted from McNeill (2010) 19

20  the discovery of agency is a significant and necessary aspect of the journey  Requires social capital (opportunities) as well as human capital (capacities/skills)  Certified through ‘redemption’ or restoration; finding purpose in generative activities [constructive reparation ] (Maruna, 2011)  Construct a network of reciprocity around the offender  Need to maintain focus and have a clear agenda and a clear plan for the journey  you can desist by default or by accident – stuff just happens and in the course of a life the stuff that happens sets you on a journey which just takes you in a different direction 20 Adapted from McNeill (2010)

21 Motivation (Counsellor) Opportunities (Social Capital) Social Networks and supports Capacities (Human Capital) Interventions 21 Adapted from McNeill (2010)

22 Eight Principles for Supporting Desistance in Criminal Justice (Weaver and McNeill, 2007)  Be realistic  Lapses and relapses will occur  Favour informal approaches  Intervene only when necessary particularly with young people  Use prisons sparingly  Lose social ties and contamination influences  Build positive relationships  Recognize the huge significance of good relational practices  Respect individuality  One-size-fits-all interventions run the risk of fitting no-one  Recognise the significance of social contexts  New attitudes towards offender reintegration  Mind our language  Negative labeling reduces reintegration – practice ‘reintegrative shaming’ (Braithwaite)  Promote ‘redemption’  Signal redemption and reinclusion into wider society

23  Tonry (2003) raises the key challenge for policy makers:  ‘the important question... is whether policy making gives good- faith consideration to the credible systematic evidence that is available, or whether it disregards it entirely for reasons of ideology or political self-interest’.  Goldson (2010) reviewing youth justice policy in UK sees the relationship in this way:  There is now a huge body of evidence concerning reducing re-offending can it avoid the rupture Goldson attests is happening in youth justice………………

24  Criminological insights should help produce a more informed policy agenda  Its own inherent complexity and internal fragmentation by discipline, method, theory and subject matter will produce disputed solutions and directions for change  The policy arena is crowded and contested and other players have as much right to be heard as criminologists  The policy arena is multi-layered – policy drift occurs producing incremental change at different levels/times in the real-life process  Do not be surprised if the outcomes are contradictory and lead to unintended outcomes (maybe good or not so good!)  It is arguable to assume we have policy-based evidence rather than evidence-based policy  But to ignore growing research evidence would be folly you  need to make it work for you  in a world where public expenditure is often threatened and cut and  use evidence where it works in for particular policy situations

25 Bachrach and Baratz (1963) ‘Decisions and Nondecisions: An Analytical Framework’ in The American Political Science Review Vol. 57, No. 3, Sep., Farrall, S. (2002) Rethinking What Works with Offenders. Probation, social context and desistance from crime. Cullompton: Willan. Giordano, P.C., Cernokovich, S.A, Rudolph, J. L (2002) ‘Gender, Crime and Desistance: Toward a Theory of Cognitive Transformation’, American Journal of Sociology, 107: Glueck, S. and Glueck. E. (1940) Juvenile delinquents grow up. New York: Commonwealth Fund. Glueck, S. and Glueck, E. (1943) Criminal Careers in Retrospect. New York: Commonwealth Fund. Glueck, S. and Glueck E. (1950) Unravelling Juvenile Delinquency. New York: Commonwealth Fund. Glueck, S. and Glueck, E. (1968) Delinquents and Nondelinquents in Perspective. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Glueck, S. and Glueck, E. (1974) Of Delinquency and Crime. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas. Gottfredson, M. and Hirschi, T. (1990) A general theory of crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Goldson B (2010) The sleep of (criminological) reason: Knowledge–policy rupture and New Labour’s youth justice legacy in Criminology & Criminal Justice 10(1) 155–178

26 Liebrich, J. (1993) Straight to the Point: Angles On Giving Up Crime. Otago, New Zealand: University of Otago Press. Lipsky, M., (1980) Street-level Bureaucracy; Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services, McNeill, F and Weaver, B. (2010) ‘Changing Lives? Desistance Research and Offender Management’, Report NO. 03/2010, The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Glasgow School of Social Work. Maruna, S. (2001) Making Good. How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Maruna S (2011) ‘Judicial Rehabilitation and the ‘Clean Bill of Health’ in Criminal Justice’ European Journal of Probation, Vol. 3, No.1, 2011, pp 97 – 117 Sampson, R.J. and Laub, J. (1993) Crime in the making: Pathways and turning points through life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing Re-Offending SEU Subject benchmark statements Criminology 2007 QAA /07 Tonry M (2003) ‘Evidence, Elections and Ideology in the Making of Criminal Justice Policy’, in M. Tonry (ed.) Confronting Crime: Crime Control Policy under New Labour. Cullompton: Willan. Ward, T and Maruna, S. (2007) Rehabilitation. London: Routledge. Weaver B and McNeill F (2007) Giving Up Crime: Directions For Policy SCCCJ


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