Academic Insights

Academic Insights are aimed at all those interested in research and developments in the evidence base for high-quality probation and youth offending services. We commission leading academics to present their views on specific topics, assisting with informed debate and aiding understanding of what helps and what hinders probation and youth offending services. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the policy position of HM Inspectorate of Probation.

2021

Serious youth violence and its relationship with adverse childhood experiences (PDF, 434 kB)

Dr Paul Gray, Professor Hannah Smithson and Dr Deborah Jump
26 November 2021 | Youth justice

This report focuses on findings from recent research in Manchester which explored adverse childhood experiences, serious youth violence, trauma-informed practice, and youth participation.

Getting out for Good: Preventing Gangs Through Participation (PDF, 1 MB)

Dr Deborah Jump and Dr Rachel Horan | 29 October 2021 | Youth justice

This report summarises the research evidence on girls and gangs, and how this has been utilised to develop the ‘Getting out for Good’ project which combines gender-specific mentoring with sporting and cultural activities.

 

Experiences and pathways of children in care in the youth justice system (PDF, 440 kB)

Dr Anne-Marie Day | 24 September 2021 | Youth justice

This report explores the range of barriers and enablers to supporting children in care, impacting upon their positive development and life chances.

 

Supporting children’s meaningful participation in the youth justice system (PDF, 367 kB)

Professor Hannah Smithson and Dr Paul Gray | 27 August 2021 | Youth justice

This report focuses on children’s participation in decision-making in youth justice systems.

Traumatic Brain Injury (PDF, 451 kB)

Hope Kent and Professor Huw Williams | 13 August 2021 | Probation, Youth justice

This report explores the prevalence of traumatic brain injury in people in the criminal justice system and its link to offending.

Neurodiversity – a whole-child approach for youth justice (PDF, 542 kB)

Professor Amanda Kirby | 30 July 2021 | Youth justice

This report summarises the evidence base around neurodiversity and the lessons for those working in youth justice and youth offending services.

Risk and Desistance: A Blended Approach to Risk Management (PDF, 289 kB)

Hazel Kemshall | 25 June 2021 | Probation

This report explores a blended approach which combines practice to manage risk with practice to enhance desistance.

Social capital building supporting the desistance process (PDF, 333 kB)

Dr Katherine Albertson | 18 June 2021 | Probation

This report summarises the concept of social capital and how increases in the strength, range and quality of bonding, bridging and linking opportunities can be beneficial in supporting the desistance process.

Exploring procedural justice and problem-solving practice in Youth Court (PDF, 403 kB)

Gillian Hunter and Jessica Jacobson | 28 May 2021 | Youth justice

This report provides an overview of procedural justice, the links to legitimacy, and the research evidence for its positive effects on engagement and cooperation.

Mentoring and peer mentoring (PDF, 306 kB)

Dr Gill Buck | 30 April 2021 | Probation

This report summarises the evidence base in relation to mentoring and peer mentoring, with a focus upon its potential for supporting and empowering individuals to desist from offending.

Needs assessment: risk, desistance and engagement (PDF, 332 kB)

Kevin Wong and Rachel Horan | 26 March 2021 | Probation

This report recognises the importance of effective and robust assessment for planning and service delivery.

Collaborative Family Work in Youth Justice (PDF, 258 kB)

Professor Chris Trotter | 26 February 2021 | Youth justice

This report highlights: (i) the links between family relationships and criminal behaviour; and (ii) the research evidence on the effectiveness of family interventions for children in the criminal justice system.

County lines (PDF, 271 kB)

Professor John Pitts | 29 January 2021 | Youth justice

This report highlights how County Lines operations have moved to the country and expanded over recent years.

 

2020

Electronic monitoring in probation practice (PDF, 390 kB)

Professor Anthea Hucklesby and Dr Ella Holdsworth | 16 December 2020 | Probation

This report highlights the differing types and uses of electronic monitoring.

 

Contextual Safeguarding (PDF, 334 kB)

Dr Carlene Firmin | 05 November 2020 | Youth justice

This report sets out how Contextual Safeguarding has changed the response of child protection systems to children at risk of significant harm in extra-familial settings and relationships.

Maximising positive mental health outcomes for people under probation supervision (PDF, 385 kB)

Dr Coral Sirdifield and Professor Charlie Brooker | 13 August 2020 | Probation

This report highlights the importance of maximising positive mental health outcomes for people under probation supervision – both for the individuals themselves and in terms of wider societal benefits.

Trauma-informed practice (PDF, 542 kB)

Kieran F. McCartan | 07 July 2020 | Probation, Youth justice

This report summarises the evidence base around trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences in the lives of people who have committed offences.

 

Building restorative probation services (PDF, 374 kB)

Dr Ian D. Marder | 01 June 2020 | Probation

This report highlights the Council of Europe guidelines on restorative justice.

 

Emotional Labour in Probation (PDF, 355 kB)

Dr Jake Phillips, Dr Chalen Westaby and Andrew Fowler | 28 April 2020 | Probation

This report explores the concept of ‘emotional labour’ and its application to the delivery of probation services.

Recruitment, training and professional development of probation staff (PDF, 329 kB)

Nicola Carr | 06 February 2020 | Probation

This report highlights the recent introduction of Council of Europe guidelines covering the recruitment, training and professional development of probation staff.

Innovation and the Evidence Base (PDF, 596 kB)

Professors Chris Fox and Kevin Albertson | 10 January 2020 | Probation

This report explores the concept of innovation and its application to the delivery of probation services.

 

2019

If reoffending is not the only outcome, what are the alternatives? (PDF, 312 kB)

Kevin Wong | 05 November 2019 | Probation

This report highlights the complexities of measuring outcomes.

 

Innovation in probation: The Eurobarometer on Experiencing Supervision (PDF, 891 kB)

Professor Ioan Durnescu | 17 October 2019 | Probation

This report highlights the links between subjective experiences of supervision and probation outcomes, and how this has led to the development of a new tool for use with service users – the Eurobarometer on Experiencing Supervision.

Supervision Skills for Probation Practitioners (PDF, 180 kB)

Peter Raynor | 30 August 2019 | Probation

Individual supervision is what most people supervised by probation services receive most of the time, and the studies reviewed in this report highlight the importance of investing in practitioners’ skills.

International Human Rights Standards and Youth Justice (PDF, 194 kB)

Barry Goldson | 10 July 2019 | Youth justice

This report reviews the key international human rights standards which apply to youth justice. The standards provide a unifying framework for formulating youth justice policy and for guiding practice.

A Model for Resettlement Based on the Principles of Desistance and Recovery (PDF, 263 kB)

David Best | 06 June 2019 | Probation

This report reviews the latest research evidence from the field of addiction recovery.

European Probation Rules (PDF, 367 kB)

Ron Canton | 20 March 2019 | Probation

This report focuses upon the European Probation Rules, which were a key reference for the Inspectorate in developing standards for inspecting probation services.

Reconciling ‘Desistance’ and ‘What Works’ (PDF, 794 kB)

Shadd Maruna & Ruth Mann | 13 February 2019 | Probation

This report summarises the development of the ‘desistance’ and ‘what works’ research literature and noting key findings.