A realistic evaluation of integrated offender management in one English county: a partnership for desistance?

Evans, Emily Victoria (2016) A realistic evaluation of integrated offender management in one English county: a partnership for desistance? PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis presents the findings of an in-depth realistic evaluation of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) approach in one English county. IOM is a multi-agency approach, promoted by government, to managing prolific offenders, with the aim of moving them towards desistance from crime.

Drawing on qualitative and quantitative methods the findings demonstrate that IOM can be effective in supporting desistance, and is associated with reductions in the level and severity of reoffending and improvements in the circumstances and risk level of offenders. Using the realistic evaluation approach, three generative mechanisms were identified to explain these findings: the intense and structured approach to supervision; close multi-agency working; and caring and trusting relationships between practitioners and offenders. The findings also underscore the importance of offender readiness for change. This research confirms previous findings regarding the influence of interventions such as IOM on desistance and also identifies ways in which the operation and effect of IOM can be undermined. The confounding issues identified concern both the internal operation of IOM and the ways in which it fits into the wider criminal justice system, both locally and nationally.

This research makes three contributions. Firstly, it adds to the literature and theory of IOM and assisted desistance within a multi-agency setting, through the development of a realist conception of the approach. Secondly it contributes to the literature on the use of realistic evaluation, an approach not employed in previous IOM evaluations. This research develops a method of presenting findings from realistic evaluation which reflect both generative mechanisms and ways they are confounded. Finally, it contributes to the policy and practice of IOM, and similar approaches, by outlining both its possibilities and limitations regarding offender rehabilitation and desistance. These findings are therefore of use to practitioners and policy makers in this constantly evolving field.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Guinery, Jane E.
Cope, Stephen
Keywords: Integrated Offender Management, IOM, Realistic Evaluation, mixed methods, Police, Partnership working, Probation, Transforming rehabilitation
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 33014
Depositing User: Evans, Emily
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2016 17:43
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33014

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