Optimizing reintegration and crime resistance by focusing on recovery: the theory, the practice, and the follow-up

Optimizing reintegration and crime resistance by focusing on recovery: the theory, the practice, and the follow-up

Optimizing reintegration and crime resistance by focusing on recovery: the theory, the practice, and the follow-up

Symposium72David Buitenweg, GGzE Institute for Mental Health Care, The Netherlands; Clare-Ann Fortune, Victoria Universit of Wellington, New Zealand; Colinda Serie, Belgium

Room 1DWed 10:45 - 12:15

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on strength-based recovery for offenders in which individuals’ needs, skills and Quality of Life take a central role. An example of a theoretical reintegration framework is the Good Lives Model (GLM). Although promising in theory, empirical evidence for the GLM and its assumptions is still in its infancy, especially for young offenders. Therefore, the first presentation will provide an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of the GLM and developmental factors to consider when applying it to youth who have offended. The second presentation will examine the two main assumptions of the GLM for (detained) adolescents. The third presentation is on innovative and promising initiatives for persistent offenders to achieve personal recovery, in other words, to achieve a higher level of well-being. Finally, in the fourth talk, the life and Quality of Life after discharge from psychiatric residential care is presented.

Presentation 1: Strength based approaches to rehabilitation: theoretical considerations for applying the Good Lives Model to youth who offend
Strength based approaches to rehabilitation: theoretical considerations for applying the Good Lives Model to youth who offendHistorically, offender rehabilitation has taken a risk reduction focus. There is, however, increasing interest in expanding our understanding of effective strength-based rehabilitation approaches for youth who have offended. The Good Lives Model (GLM) is a strength-based rehabilitation framework which was originally developed for use with adults who had sexually abused children. Since its development there has been increasing interest in applying the GLM to an increasing range of offender populations including youth, females, and other offence types (e.g., general, violent). This presentation will consider the application of the GLM to youth who have offended including the theoretical underpinnings of its application. As the GLM is a rehabilitation framework, the GLMs alignment with risk reduction approaches (i.e. the RNR) will be considered, along with how it fits with existing, evidence based, interventions. A brief overview of the extant literature will also be provided. Issues to consider for those using the GLM with youth will be highlighted, including adapting the language to be developmentally appropriate.

Presentation 2: Primary goods, well-being and offending behaviour in (detained) adolescents: examing the assumptions of the Good Lives Model
Primary goods, well-being and offending behaviour in (detained) adolescents: examing the assumptions of the Good Lives ModelBackground: Current correctional and rehabilitation interventions for adolescent offenders tend to be problem- and risk-focused. Partly as a critique to this risk-focus, ‘the Good Lives Model (GLM)’ was developed. The GLM argues that in order to successfully and sustainably prevent recidivism, interventions should not only aim to reduce, avoid or eliminate offender’s (criminogenic) risks, problems, and deficits, but also focus on their (non-criminogenic) personal human needs, values, strengths, and capabilities to improve their well-being. This idea is based on two main assumptions. The first assumption holds that all human beings strive to obtain a universal set of life goals/human needs in order to achieve well-being, called ‘primary goods’. The second assumption states that a failure in pro-socially obtaining these primary goods (due to personal limitations and/or environmental disadvantages) can result in offending behaviour, as an alternative, anti-social attempt to pursue the valued goods. Although promising in theory, empirical evidence for the GLM and its assumptions is still in its infancy, especially for young offenders.Methods: This study therefore examined the two main GLM assumptions on the relationships between primary goods, well-being and offending behaviour in adolescents, based on self-report data from both a general population sample (from a large-scale school survey in Flanders, Belgium) and a sample of detained adolescents (from juvenile justice institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands).Results and conclusion: The preliminary results show that youngsters who report on having offended in the past year, indeed show a lower level of global well-being. The results will further show if and which primary goods are related to adolescent well-being and offending behaviour.

Presentation 3: Be a barista: Evaluation of innovative reintegration programs with recovery focus for persistent offenders
Be a barista: Evaluation of innovative reintegration programs with recovery focus for persistent offenders Background: Due to the high recidivism rates of persistent offenders, it is clear further developments in service initiatives are needed. Recently, several innovative initiatives came up to better suit the personal needs of persistent offenders to achieve more successful personal recovery and rehabilitation, and thereby reducing their recidivism risks. Previously, we studied nine of such innovative reintegration programs, that proved to be successful in practice, and identified a number of unique ingredients that contributed to the engagement and reintegration of persistent offenders. The aim of this follow-up study was to further build the evidence of these reintegration programs.Methods: A longitudinal, multiple case study design was used. Twenty persistent offenders were followed in the nine reintegration programs to collect data on changes in criminal behavior, personal recovery and rehabilitation at three moments: start, after 3 months, and after 12 months. Quantitative methods were used, including questionnaires and a diary method using the smartphone: experience sampling. Using semi-structured interviews we aimed to capture personal experiences with the program.Results: First, results based on the questionnaires and experience sampling data illustrate that persistent offenders are feeling empowered in the programs as they have gathered confidence in their own future. Second, the semi-structured interviews show that persistent offenders evaluate the reintegration programs as useful in building a bridge between society and their own (working) life.Conclusion: The included reintegration programs are positively evaluated by the persistent offenders as they fit their needs and contribute to their reintegration and rehabilitation.
Co-authors: Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen, Stefaan Pleysier, Diana Roeg, Johan Put

Assessment and treatment of young and/or adolescent offenders
recovery focus, rehabilitation, reintegration, risk-need-responsivity
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