Incorporating and adapting shared experience of mindfulness into a service for men who have committed serious offences and who have significant personality difficulties
This article describes an ongoing mindfulness group offered as part of an intensive sociotherapeutic programme for men with personality difficulties, all of whom are subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). A mindfulness group was incorporated into the programme following service user feedback and has been creatively adapted to suit this complex client group. Attention is drawn to the flexible and trauma-focused nature of the group which offers tailored opportunities to develop an appreciation of the mind–body connection. Insight obtained through this service innovation is shared to inform future applications of mindfulness approaches to therapeutic intervention and risk management in the community.
Combating misinformation in the ex-felon population: The role probation and parole agencies can play to facilitate civic reintegration in the United States
In-depth interviews conducted with recently released ex-felony offenders and months of participant observation, revealed that felon disenfranchisement laws and other exclusionary practices, cause ex-felons to wrongly believe they are without rights and benefits they retain in most US states, including the right to vote. Ex-felony offenders interviewed unknowingly exaggerated rights restrictions they faced post-conviction and often demonstrated that they were unable to decipher myth from truth, regarding their remaining rights. To mitigate misperceptions held by ex-felons, that alienate them from civil society, probation and parole agencies can facilitate civic reintegration through civic re-education.
Dynamics between denial and moral panic: The identification of convicted sex offenders in the community
In this contribution the authors describe the main findings of a research study conducted in the Netherlands on the return of sex-offenders to the community. The study questioned how crisis situations can develop following the identification of a sex-offender in the community. The study consisted of an analysis of ten cases in which the return of a convicted sex offender to the community or the ‘discovery’ of a sex-offender in the community resulted in community unrest and attracted media attention. Interviews were conducted with professionals involved in supervising those individuals convicted for sexual offences as well as the individuals themselves. Contrary to the situation in both the United States and the United Kingdom, criminal records in the Netherlands – as in most of continental Europe – are predominantly seen as a private matter and are not made public to those outside the criminal justice system. The article also examines the role of the local Mayor who has a central role in managing the local negative reactions to return of those convicted of sexual offences back into the community in the Netherlands. The findings produced from the data are analysed applying a social construction approach that utilizes the concepts of ‘moral panic’ and denial. The authors found that the return of a those convicted of sexual offences can lead to a range of responses varying from anger and panic to secrecy and denial. Ultimately the authors found that greater transparency led to more positive outcomes in these cases.
Identifying personality disturbance in the Lincolnshire Personality Disorder Pathway: How do offenders compare to the London pilot?
The Bradley report published in 2009 highlighted the diverse and complex nature of the offender population and the need for partnership working to ensure early identification of needs and diversion into appropriate treatment. Following the successful pilot of an initiative in London to identify personality disturbance and plan treatment pathways, provisions have been made for implementation at a national level. This paper seeks to draw a comparison between the original sample identified in the London pilot and those identified by the Lincolnshire Personality Disorder Pathway in the context of the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda to consider the importance of local planning.
How working with psychologists has influenced probation practice: Attempting to capture some of the impact and the learning from the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway project
The Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) Pathway initiative has been in operation now for over a year and a number of different projects are working across the country to support its implementation. These projects involve health and probation working in partnership to enhance the case management of offenders who present in a way that is consistent with a personality disorder diagnosis. In other words, agencies are working together as never before to share expertise, to collaborate and co-produce risk assessments and sentence plans and to support offenders more effectively, particularly at times of transition. So what is the impact? This paper uses real life case examples to report some of the innovative practice developments that have come about during the first year of one such project (in Yorkshire/Humberside). It also uses qualitative data from focus groups with offender managers to explore the impact of working differently. The paper will highlight some of the helpful and challenging aspects for offender managers of working in partnership with a different organisation and organisational culture and will look at how the formulation-led, psychologically informed influence from health has affected both their personal and professional life. The paper will go on to discuss what we consider to be some of the challenges for the project in the coming months and years, and how the project intends to adapt to meet them.