Getting out and staying out

Results of the prisoner Resettlement Pathfinders

Anna Clancy, Kirsty Hudson, Mike Maguire, Richard Peake, Peter Raynor, Maurice Vanstone, and Jocelyn Kynch

Getting out and staying out

Anna Clancy, Kirsty Hudson, Mike Maguire, Richard Peake, Peter Raynor, Maurice Vanstone, and Jocelyn Kynch

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

Paper $30.95 ISBN: 9781861348173 Published April 2006 For sale in North and South America only
Short-term prisoners have exceptionally high reconviction rates, fuelled by major social problems. Growing recognition of this, and of deficiencies in prison-probation coordination, has accelerated 'resettlement' of ex-prisoners up the penal agenda. The 'Resettlement Pathfinders' tested several new partnership-based approaches. This report evaluates three probation-led projects which combined practical assistance with interventions to improve motivation and capacity to change. Their key feature was the delivery of a cognitive-motivational programme ('FOR - A Change') specially designed for short-termers.The study found this produced significant changes in attitude, as well as greater 'continuity' (voluntary post-release contact between offenders and project staff) than previous approaches. It also found evidence of association between continuity and reduced reconviction. Overall, the findings support resettlement strategies based on fostering and nurturing offenders' motivation to change, facilitating access to services, and 'through the gate' contact with staff or volunteers with whom a relationship has already been built.The research offers findings and insights of practical value to probation and prison officers, as well as staff of other agencies that work with prisoners and ex-prisoners. The report should also be read by penal policy-makers, criminology/criminal justice academics and students, and those engaged in staff training.

Introduction: prisoner resettlement and the Pathfinders

The 'FOR - A Change' programme and its delivery

Pre-release interventions: staff and offender perspectives

Post-release contact and services

Impact and outcome measures

Organisational and implementation issues


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