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Downloaded from What Matters? Thinking

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1 Downloaded from What Matters? Thinking

2 My rehabilitation “This Monday, at 11am, I began my latest attempt at rehabilitation...” How did my worker listen to me? How did we explain or understand my problems? What did she teach me and how? What else will affect my recovery prospects? She was good at her job (quality) but she can’t ‘deliver outcomes’; that also depends on me, on other people and on my circumstances 2

3 3 Rehabilitation: A systems perspective Inputs: Offenders Practitioners (HR) Estate (PR) Resources Systems and Processes: OASys Accredited Programmes NOMM Outcomes: Reduced Reoffending; Delivery of justice; Public confidence? Outputs: Compliance Good order Completion

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5 The person changing The offender Support services The treatment programme The reintegrating community The exclusionary community

6 Practice implications of desistance research? 1.Individualisation 2.Hope and motivation 3.Relationships 4.Strengths 5.Self-determination 6.Social capital 7.Recognition 6

7 Measuring ‘outcomes’ Problems with reconviction –Sellin’s dictum: a woefully inadequate measure of the change we think we are after (desistance) –Who believes these figures mean anything important? –Being condemned to over-promise and under- deliver; a political hostage to fortune –Highly vulnerable to extraneous influences, most of which (currently) militate against the likelihood of success 7

8 More problems Reducing reoffending is neither an outcome that NOMS (or any provider) can properly or practically compel, command or control, nor one that (even when it is delivered) it can claim as its own product –Desistance belongs to desisters; it can’t be ‘delivered’ by anyone else –Integration belongs to communities –[But that still leaves a role open for ‘mediators’, a role which the VCS is well equipped for] Even when RR can be achieved, it is the ‘mere’ absence of something, not a positive agenda for a justice service –RR doesn’t have much emotional/visceral appeal: too technocratic, too offender-centred 8

9 Solutions... suggestions? Promise what you can deliver and deliver what you promise. What might that be? –Constructive reparation within a proportionate sentencing framework (HRs compliant) –Rehabilitative effort recast as positive reparation: ‘One of the best ways of paying back is by turning your life around...’ Sell rehabilitation as a welcome side-effect, not the main product? –Judge criminal sanctions by the quality of justice delivered, and work to support desistance alongside (but don’t promise to ‘deliver’ it). –Measure progress (or distance travelled) towards personal development, conflict resolution, integration, social peace 9

10 10 Supporting ‘Personal Development’ 1 1 Controlling for function, + public/private ownership/management HUMANITY ‘AN ENVIRONMENT CHARACTERISED BY KIND REGARD AND CONCERN FOR THE PERSON’ (3.27) BUREAUCRATIC LEGITIMACY ‘THE TRANSPARENCY AND RESPONSIVITY OF THE PRISON/PRISON SYSTEM AND ITS MORAL RECOGNITION OF THE INDIVIDUAL’ (3.97) STAFF PROFESSIONALISM ‘STAFF CONFIDENCE AND COMPETENCE IN THE USE OF AUTHORITY’ (3.53) HELP AND ASSISTANCE ‘SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PROBLEMS, INCLUDING DRUGS, HEALTHCARE + PROGRESSION’ (3.37) ORGANISATION + CONSISTENCY ‘THE CLARITY, PREDICTABILITY AND RELIABILITY OF THE PRISON’ (3.08) PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (‘HELP WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF POTENTIAL’) (3.28) R 2 = ***.166 ***.145 ***.413 ***.101 *** From: Liebling, A. (2011) Is there a role for prisons in desistance? European Union STARR project, Sofia, Bulgaria

11 What does quality mean in 1-1 supervision? Shapland et al., forthcoming Building genuine relationships Engaging and involving offenders Understanding how desistance might occur Tackling practical obstacles Knowledge of local resources Advocacy 11

12 Linking quality to outcomes? Think less of binary measures and more of progress, of distance travelled –‘Survival analysis’ –Calculable cost savings of accelerated desistance –Frequency, severity and duration –Slowing down a high risk PPO produces more value than stopping a low risk first offender; secondary desistance/substantive compliance may matter more than primary desistance/formal compliance Look to desistance theory: –Maturation, responsibility and agency –Positive social bonds, developing social capital –Shifts in identity; secondary desistance 12

13 Five ideas 1.Don’t over-promise and under-deliver: it undermines the political and moral credibility of services. Seek alliances with those who demand (political) clarity of purposes, linked to clear frameworks for measuring quality and outcomes. 2.Seriously engage users in all aspects of service and practice design, delivery and evaluation. 3.Study and learn from the contingent links between quality, progress and outcomes. 4.Recognise that quality is not just instrumental (utilitarian) – it also engages with questions of principle (deontological) and with the character (virtue) of practice. Promise virtue, hope for rewards. 5.Don’t mistake or over-rate the role of evidence in debates that are fundamentally moral (and emotional; gather moral as well as technical evidence. Engage the gut, heart and the head. 13

14 The Good News? There are not really new ideas for the VCS This is what the VCS (at its best) has always been about. You have as much to contribute to progress on these challenges as anyone else and more than some... 14

15 All devil as I am - a damned wretch, A hardened, stubborn, unrepenting villain, Still my heart melts at human wretchedness; And with sincere but unavailing sighs I view the helpless children of distress: With tears indignant I behold the oppressor Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction, Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime. - Ev'n you, ye hapless crew! I pity you; Ye, whom the seeming good think sin to pity; Ye poor, despised, abandoned vagabonds, Whom Vice, as usual, has turn'd o'er to ruin. Oh! but for friends and interposing Heaven, I had been driven forth like you forlorn, The most detested, worthless wretch among you! O injured God! Thy goodness has endow'd me With talents passing most of my compeers, Which I in just proportion have abused- As far surpassing other common villains As Thou in natural parts has given me more. 15


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