Presentation on theme: "Offender Health, What Role for the Probation Service? Coral Sirdifield 19 January 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Offender Health, What Role for the Probation Service? Coral Sirdifield 19 January 2011
Background: History of Probation and Policy Context Purposes of sentencing (Davies et al., 2005): –Retribution – punishing blameworthy –Incapacitation – reducing freedom of movement –Restitution – compensating victims –Rehabilitation – reducing re-offending through improving social circumstances –etc
Background Continued Missionaries (rehabilitation, addressing health as an end in itself, moral reform) Scientific-rehabilitative ideal (offender as patient, offending as illness) Introduction of Unpaid Work – combines elements of reparation, punishment and rehabilitation ‘Nothing works’ (rising crime rates, get ‘tough’ on crime) CJA 1991 – ‘just deserts’ (retribution) + tagging and curfews (incapacitation) Contrasted with other policy papers arguing for equal right to care, and citing health as a pathway out of re-offending
Background: Conclusions Overall, policy suggests that probation should focus on offender health, but the reason for this has changed over time: –Moral reform –Treatment of illness –Pathway out of re-offending But to what extent is this the case today?
Three Research Questions Divided the central research question into three elements: –What is the prevalence of mental health problems amongst offenders on probation in Lincolnshire? –To what extent are probation staff recording and addressing offenders’ mental health problems and needs? –How do probation staff and offenders define the role of the probation service in addressing offenders’ mental health needs?
Q1: Prevalence Paucity of existing literature + largely descriptive not research Findings differ due to methodological differences – hard to reach firm conclusions Study design aims to address weaknesses in existing literature
Methods for Q1 Structured random 1 in 7 sample of offenders across the whole service Structured interviews with those providing informed consent –Collecting demographics to allow comparison with wider caseload –Using a standardised assessment tool (PRiSnQuest for likely cases + MINI for diagnosis) Triangulation with later stages of the research
Q2: Recording and Addressing Mental Health Problems Investigates the extent to which mental health problems are recorded in probation files Tells us something about the validity of stage one data and/or focus of probation practice
Methods for Q2 Examination of a purposive sample of probation case files (n=47) for those screening positive for a current mental health disorder Collection of numerical data on recording of health issues Collection of qualitative data for every fifth file (n=9) to add detailed description to the recording of health issues by probation staff Triangulation between Q1 and Q2 data
Q3: Staff and Offender Views on the Role of Probation in Offender Health How do staff define the purpose of probation and to what extent do they feel that they (should) focus on offenders’ health issues? How do offenders define the purpose of probation and to what extent do they feel that probation addresses their health needs?
Methods for Q3 Qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of probation staff (n=11) and offenders (n=9) Development of codes and themes on probation staff and offenders’ views on the role of the probation service in addressing offenders’ mental health needs Triangulation between offender and staff views and with Q2 data
Why Choose a Mixed Methods Approach? Pragmatic approach Quant’ approach to Q1 to produce generalisable results that can be replicated. Suggests the extent to which staff should focus on MH, but not the extent to which they do. Also relies on offender self-report – need more information Examination of the files in Q2 addresses this limitation – looks at the extent to which staff are recording information about MH issues. Triangulation between Q1 and Q2 may result in agreement – increasing validity of findings, or disagreement – uncovering areas for further investigation which would not have been discovered using just one method Potentially differences may reflect the accuracy of offender self- report, or the fullness of probation record-keeping
Why Choose a Mixed Methods Approach Continued Also collecting qual’ data for Q2 allows us to add meaning to the quant’ data – put it in context Q3 data directly addresses the central research question, and may add to understanding of the nature of the Q2 data Triangulating offender and staff views adds further depth and again may add validity/uncover areas for further investigation
Progress to Date 173 interviews conducted (with other team members) for Q1. Data inputted and cleaned. Initial analysis begun 47 casefiles examined for Q2. Data inputted and cleaned 11 staff and 9 offender interviews conducted for stage 3 (with Anne + Service User Reps). Transcribing in progress
Challenges to Date Recruitment into the first stage was difficult – with many of the selected cases being beyond our reach for a variety of reasons Designing the data-collection sheet/method for stage two (need to pilot this to assess suitability, time taken etc + issues with terminology and timeframes) Generating a sample for stage three (transient population)