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Advancing Corrections Journal – Edition 4

This 4th Edition of Advancing Corrections continues with our ambition to become the premier international, practitioner-oriented Journal in corrections. Once again, we are pleased to include contributions from around the world – the US, England, Ireland, Singapore, Belgium, Australia, Argentina and Chile.

The theme for this 4th Edition was also particularly ambitious. We welcomed Featured Articles that would highlight “integrated system-level innovation in how rehabilitative services are delivered – either in prison or in the community”. For our Views and Reviews section, we asked for “qualitative studies of how offenders actually experience the services we provide, and the challenges that staff experience in delivering them”. And in our Practice Innovation section we were pleased to receive contributions describing the significant efforts being made to reform corrections in Latin and South America despite, as one of the authors remarked, the precarious conditions in many of those countries.

 

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FEATURED RESEARCH ARTICLES
ARTICLE 1 – “I STAND WITH MAUD”: THE VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA MAUD BOOTH LECTURE

Martin F. Horn

Each year since 1981, Volunteers of America has presented the Maud Booth Correctional Services Award to honor ‘a leader in the correctional field whose work demonstrates compassion and belief in the human potential of offenders and ex-offenders’. The long list of deserving individuals includes corrections professionals who have dedicated themselves to ‘improving public policies, programs, and service delivery in the criminal justice system.’ This year’s award recipient has done this in spades, beginning his distinguished career as a parole officer, moving into management and executive positions in both prisons and community corrections, and finally settling into a career as an educator and scholar. Maud Booth Award winners are required to ‘accept’ their Award with a short speech at a luncheon hosted by Volunteers of America. This year Martin F. Horn delivered a thoughtful and impassioned 10-point plan to ‘make prisons less bad’. Advancing Corrections is honored to publish a transcript of his talk.
ARTICLE 2 – PROCEDURAL JUSTICE: WHY DOES IT MATTER AND HOW CAN WE APPLY ITS PRINCIPLES IN PRISON SETTINGS?

Flora Fitzalan Howard and Helen C. Wakeling

Research shows that enhancing perceptions of procedural justice (PJ) can result in positive outcomes for both prison staff and prisoners, including reductions in custodial misconduct and reoffending, and improved psychological health for prisoners, and greater job satisfaction, less stress and reduced burnout for staff. This paper explores how the principles of PJ can be applied practically in prison settings. We suggest that all interactions and communications, for both staff and prisoners, can incorporate PJ principles in a relatively resource-neutral way. We provide examples of how PJ can be built into policies and written communications, as well as specific discrete procedures and processes through which authority is exercised in prisons.
ARTICLE 3 – INNOVATION IN COMMUNITY REHABILITATION – DESISTANCE THROUGH PERSONALIZATION: EARLY FINDINGS

Chris Fox, Caroline Marsh, and Kim Thornden-Edwards

This article describes the early stages of a socially innovative project to develop and implement a personalized approach to offender rehabilitation in the probation sector in England, drawing on the concept of ‘desistance’. The Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University has been working in collaboration with Interserve Ltd to develop and evaluate a model of personalized offender rehabilitation in 5 of the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) that deliver probation services in England and Wales. We have identified learning from personalization in the UK social care sector and used this to specify a pilot project.

Key words: Desistance, personalization, co-production, rehabilitation, evaluation

ARTICLE 4 – EFFECTIVE PRISON RESETTLEMENT SERVICES: A CO-DESIGN APPROACH TO ACHIEVING BETTER COMMUNITY RE-INTEGRATION

Kevin Lockyer and Ian Mulholland

Better prisoner resettlement depends on effective integration of services pre- and post-release from prison. This paper reports on work led by Interserve PLC in four English prisons to develop a model of effective prisoner resettlement which brings together prison management and the local Community Rehabilitation Companies to develop bespoke resettlement services which provide genuinely “through the gate” support to prisoners. The paper reports on work undertaken in particular at Leeds, Risley, Styal and Winchester prisons. It illustrates how innovative approaches to service design and implementation can be delivered through multi-agency co-design. The paper highlights particular learning in connection with the design of integrated rehabilitation and resettlement pathways, enabling prison and community providers to target interventions and resources where they will make the most difference. The paper also identifies effective governance models to enable custodial and community providers to work effectively locally to meet the requirements of centrally specified services. The paper concludes with lessons for commissioners of prison and community offender services.
ARTICLE 5 – JOINED UP THINKING, INTERAGENCY WORKING AND THREE SCHEMES FOR BETTER OUTCOMES

Jane Mulcahy

This article describes recent efforts to develop a more coherent approach to penal policy and criminal justice responses in Ireland – innovation in terms of an evolving process. It focuses on three initiatives designed to achieve better outcomes: the Community Return Scheme where suitable longer sentence prisoners swap prison time for unpaid Community Service; the Community Support Scheme, an early release program providing post-release support to people serving sentences under 12 months; and the Joint Agency Response to Crime, in which the Criminal Justice Agencies jointly case manage “targets” (the term used by the authorities to refer to prolific offenders selected for participation in the programs) using a carrot and stick approach.
ARTICLE 6 – MAXIMISING OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT TRANSFORMATION (MOST) TRAINING FOR CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS IN SINGAPORE

Wayne Vincent Ferroa, Yan Ling Leow, Khairiyah Binte Kassim, Boon Siang Kwek

Singapore Prison Service (SPS) recognizes that its staff are agents of change and are critical to successful rehabilitation of offenders. The importance of staff’s role is emphasized in a Transformational Environment (TE) where correctional officers are appointed as Personal Supervisors (Casework; PSC) to engage high-risk offenders to increase their motivation to change, reinforce pro-social skills and thinking, and act as role models of pro-social living. The Maximizing Opportunities to Support Transformation (MOST) training was developed by psychologists of SPS to train PSCs to effectively perform their rehabilitative roles. This paper: a) describes the rationale for MOST training, b) highlights its key components, c) explains how it is developed and conducted, and d) briefly illustrates its training effectiveness and outcomes.
ARTICLE 7 – THE EUROPEAN FORINER PROJECT: BUILDING A MODEL TO PROVIDE DISTANCE EDUCATION TO FOREIGN NATIONAL PRISONERS

Dr. Dorien Brosens, Inge Van Acker, Bianca Durkovics, and Liesbeth De Donder

Correctional institutions are facing numerous challenges in providing education to their foreign national prison population. Although foreign national prisoners have the right to education, their educational needs are rarely met due to organisational and structural barriers. The ongoing European FORINER project (2016-2017) has designed and tested different solutions to respond to this problem. 15 pilot projects have been developed and implemented throughout Europe to test how educational courses for foreign national prisoners could be organised. These courses are provided by their home country and received in the country in which they are detained. These innovative educational practices are also scientifically investigated using quantitative and qualitative research methods, and will ultimately lead to the development of an evidence-based FORINER-model. As the scientific investigation is still ongoing, this article provides insight into the literature about the educational opportunities for foreign national prisoners, and the different steps the FORINER consortium has already undertaken in searching for a method/frame to provide this population with an educational offering. An extensive research report will be made available in November 2017.
ARTICLE 8 – THE CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY OF DIGITAL INNOVATION IN PRISONS: TOWARDS SMART PRISONS

Dr. Victoria Knight and Steven Van de Steene

This article explores the process of innovation in the context of prisons and more specifically the use and availability of digital technologies. Digital technologies attract the innovation label meaning they are heralded as a new frontier. This is especially resonant in the landscape of prisons, as traditionally and typically prisons are sites of deprivation, control and surveillance. We reflect on the capacity and capability of prison services to transform these organisations using digital technology. We also question why digital technologies are viewed as innovative given that they are embedded and accepted features of everyday life. Everyday life has moved from being online to onlife (Hildebrant, 2015). Typically, our prisons are not yet digitized spaces especially in stark contrast to the outside community. We reflect on the concept of ‘smart’ technologies and dedicated spac es and networks commonly termed as Smart Cities. We speculate about the value of this phenemona in the context of the prison.

Key words: Digital, innovation, prison, smart cities

VIEWS AND REVIEWS
ARTICLE 9 – COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS OFFICERS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE ROLE OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL STATES IN OFFENDER SUPERVISION

Dr. Yilma Woldgabreal and Dr. Andrew Day

This paper reports the results of a qualitative analysis of Community Corrections Officers (CCOs) conceptualizations of the contribution of positive psychology constructs to offender supervision. The study specifically explored the potential contribution of practices that promote positive psychological states (i.e., psychological flexibility, self-efficacy, optimism, and hope). A grounded theory analysis of interviews with 22 CCOs identified themes that support the utilities of positive psychological states in offender supervision practices. However, from the perspectives of CCOs, helping offenders to mobilize their positive psychological states on its own is not sufficient for improved supervision outcomes, as positive environmental influences were viewed as equally crucial for the effective regulation of offenders’ feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Discussion of these findings and the implications for practice conclude the article.

Key Words: Positive Psychological States; Supervision; Internal Drivers; External Drivers

ARTICLE 10 – AGENCY, SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS, AND DESISTANCE

Carl Z.Y. Yeo, Doris X.Y. Chia, Wen Lin Teh, Zaakira M.S.H, April L.Y. Lin, Dr. Gabriel Ong, Dr. Jasmin Kaur, Dr. Mark W.S. Toh

To understand the mechanism of agency and social relationships on desisters in Singapore, 38 males with an average desistance period of 6.40 years (range 1 to 30 years) were interviewed. Deductive thematic analysis found that agency and social relationships were present in the majority of participants’ desistance journeys. In-depth analysis revealed three aspects of agency: affect, cognition, and behavior. Social relationship had two aspects: triggering change and maintaining change. The findings suggest that treatment programs should include all three aspects of agency and highlights that desistance is a process of repeated events that triggers and maintains change.

Keywords: desistance, agency, social relationships, drug offenders

ARTICLE 11 – THE EXPERIENCES OF YOUNG OFFENDERS (18 – 21) IN AN IRISH PRISON: USING AN INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS (IPA)

Suzanne Hughes, Dr. John Hyland and Dr. Anne O’Rourke

Young offenders are disproportionately represented in Irish prisons, a population with complex needs and highest risk of re-offending. There is limited research regarding young offenders, and none that could be identified on their subjective experiences. Using a qualitative, semi-structured interview design, 12 young offenders in Mountjoy Prison, Ireland participated. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim with potentially identifiable information removed. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was applied to data. Four superordinate themes provided an overview of participants’ experiences: Experience of being in prison, Managing time in prison, Complex relationships, and Looking to the future. The study contributes to existing literature, considers sentence management and clinical implications.
PRACTICE INNOVATION IN CORRECTIONS: LATIN AND SOUTH AMERICA
ARTICLE 12 – REFORMS IN THE ARGENTINE FEDERAL PRISON SERVICE 2014-2016

Emiliano Blanco

The Federal Penitentiary Service of Argentina (SPF in Spanish) has had to face several challenges. To respond to such challenges, the Service implemented different measures as part of a reform process. The reform process was based on the What Works line of thinking; empirical evidence, desistance and applied criminology have also been of paramount im-portance to account for our decisions. The SPF also had to adapt this methodology to the specific cultural and institutional needs of Argentina. The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe the treatment programs and other actions carried out to enhance the prison system, thereby improving the quality of life of staff and prisoners.
ARTICLE 13 – REHABILITATION IN LATIN AMERICA: CAN INNOVATION BE FOSTERED IN PRECARIOUS CONDITIONS?

Lucía Dammert

In Latin America, the prison crisis is evident. In most countries, criminal populations have increased significantly in recent years, mainly due to augmented use of pre-trial detention and tougher punishment for drug related and property crimes. As a consequence, overcrowding, violence, human rights abuses and limited access to health and education services are elements that describe prison systems. Despite these problems, various initiatives have been implemented in search for rehabilitation but lack of adequate infrastructure as well as properly equipped and trained personnel are structural problems that limit positive results. This paper discusses the limitations that Latin American prison system face in order to develop sound rehabilitation programs that could ensure long term financial and political support. It also highlights th e need for evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of most initiatives overcoming the gap of knowledge that nowadays describes the area of rehabilitation in the region.