Academic Insights

Academic Insights are aimed at all those interested in research and developments in the evidence base for high-quality probation and youth justice 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 the delivery of services. Crucially, evidence-based practice is supported by blending key findings and insights from a range of models, disciplines and types of research, as well as from across jurisdictions.

The views expressed in the papers do not necessarily reflect the policy position of HM Inspectorate of Probation.

2024

The ‘Sequential Intercept Model’ – a trauma-informed diversionary framework (PDF, 268 kB)

Dr Suzanne Mooney, Dr Stephen Coulter, Professor Lisa Bunting and Dr Lorna Montgomery
25 January 2024 | Probation

This report highlights how the ‘Sequential Impact Model’ (SIM) can be used as a trauma-informed  framework which identifies key stages and opportunities for diverting children and adults with complex needs from the                                 criminal justice system or from penetrating deeper into the system.

2023

Realising the rehabilitative potential of approved premises (PDF, 299 kB)

Carla Reeves and Peter Marston
21 December 2023 | Probation

This report sets out the potential of approved premises (APs) to support desistance and rehabilitation whilst managing risks of harm to the public. Consideration is given to the optimum approach for APs at the system level, community level, and at the establishment level.

Issues, challenges and opportunities for trauma-informed practice (PDF, 318 kB)

Dr Sarah Senker, Dr Anne Eason, Dr Chris Pawson and Prof Kieran McCartan
17 November 2023 | Youth justice

This report presents ten critical questions, including whether we know how to identify good trauma-informed work and measure positive outcomes, whether the criminal justice system and settings are conducive to trauma-informed approaches, and whether the wider community is supportive.

Evidence-based core messages for youth justice (PDF, 337 kB)

Professor Ursula Kilkelly
20 October 2023 | Youth justice

This report identifies ten key messages from the research literature for an evidence-based approach to youth justice policy and practice; while recognising the need for the evidence base to continually evolve and to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice.

Desistance, adversity and trauma: Implications for practice with children and young people in conflict with the law (PDF, 455 kB)

Jonathan Evans, Tricia Skuse, Dusty Kennedy and Jonny Matthew
29 September 2023 | Youth justice

This report sets out a practice agenda that supports desistance from offending processes, engages with social adversity and trauma, and helps to empower children and young people to work towards their pro-social goals.

A tripartite strategy for unpaid work in the community (PDF, 363 kB)

Dr. Eoin Guilfoyle and Dr. Louise Kennefick | 21 July 2023 | Probation

This report sets out the benefits to be gained from a clear underpinning philosophy and strategic direction for unpaid work which meets the needs of victims, those who have offended, and the community as a whole.

 

The Risk-Need-Responsivity model: 1990 to the Present (PDF, 285 kB)

Dr James Bonta | 30 June 2023 | Probation

This report summarises the history of the Risk-Need-Responsivity model of assessment and rehabilitation from 1990 to the present day.

 

The IDEAS approach to effective practice in youth justice (PDF, 386 kB)

Heidi Dix and Jen Meade | 26 May 2023 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Heidi Dix and Jen Meade, outlining the IDEAS approach to effective practice in youth justice which comprises the five interlinked elements of influence, delivery, expertise, alliance, and support.

 

Cover of Supporting children’s compliance on community supervisionSupporting children’s compliance on community supervision (PDF, 308 kB)

Dr Mairéad Seymour | 28 April 2023 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Mairéad Seymour, introducing the concept of compliance and exploring strategies that pro-actively support and encourage substantive compliance by children and young people.

 

Ethical humility in probation (PDF, 296 kB)

Frederic G. Reamer | 31 March 2023 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Frederic Reamer, highlighting the importance of practitioners’ humility and reflective practice when managing ethical issues in probation.

 

Cover of Growth and the core conditions of transformative change

Growth and the core conditions of transformative change (PDF, 832 kB)

Emma Hands and Dr Sarah Lewis | 24 February 2023 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Emma Hands and Dr Sarah Lewis, introducing the ideas and practices of Growth work.  A whole system approach is promoted which seeks to grow an organisation through building a sense of community and belonging.

Effective practice in Resettlement (PDF, 249 kB)

Dr Matt Cracknell | 27 January 2023 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Dr Matt Cracknell, reviewing the evidence base on how best to support people as they leave prison and transition back into the community.

 

2022

Older people on probation (PDF, 389 kB)

Nichola Cadet | 16 December 2022 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Nichola Cadet, highlighting the importance of understanding the needs of older people on probation.

 

 

Professionalism in Probation (PDF, 355 kB)

Dr Matt Tidmarsh | 28 November 2022 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Dr Matt Tidmarsh, reviewing the literature on ‘professionalism’ and applying it to the probation service.

 

 

Desistance, recovery, and justice capital: Putting it all together (PDF, 322 kB)

Hazel Kemshall and Dr Kieran McCartan | 28 October 2022 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Hazel Kemshall and Kieran McCartan, highlighting the importance of recovery capital and justice capital to desistance and community integration.

 

Using attachment theory in probation practice (PDF, 369 kB)

Dr Maria Ansbro | 30 September 2022 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Dr Maria Ansbro. It examines the research findings on attachment theory in probation practice, covering the history, themes and case examples.

 

Child to Parent Abuse (PDF, 330 kB)

Dr Amanda Holt | 26 August 2022 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Dr Amanda Holt. It examines the research findings on child to parent abuse, covering its prevalence, contexts, and impacts. Dr Holt reiterates the importance of our focus upon high-quality, well-focused, personalised and coordinated services which support both the safety of the child and the safety of other people.

Putting professional curiosity into practice (PDF, 321 kB)

Jake Phillips, Sam Ainslie, Andrew Fowler and Chalen Westaby | 29 July 2022 | Probation

This report was kindly produced by Jake Phillips, Sam Ainslie, Andrew Fowler and Chalen Westaby. The focus is upon the concept of professional curiosity, its application within probation, and the implications for good-quality practice.

Adultification bias within child protection and safeguarding (PDF, 528 kB)

Jahnine Davis | 24 June 2022 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Jahnine Davis, highlighting adultification bias, its links to racialised discrimination, and how it can impact upon child protection and safeguarding practices.

Compliance with international children’s rights in the youth justice system (PDF, 301 kB)

Dr Louise Forde | 27 May 2022 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Dr Louise Forde, examining international children’s rights and how they can be adequately realised for children who come into contact with the youth justice system.

Systemic Resilience (PDF, 290 kB)

Dr Alex Chard | 29 April 2022 | Youth justice

This report was kindly produced by Dr Alex Chard, summarising the concept of Systemic Resilience which brings together systemic thinking and resilience theory.

 

Transitional safeguarding (PDF, 412 kB)

Dez Holmes and Lisa Smith | 25 March 2022 | Youth justice

This report summarises the concept of Transitional Safeguarding, which recognises that the transition to adulthood is a process that continues beyond an 18th birthday, and that many harms and traumas do not stop at this age.

 

Transforming outcomes: social impact measurements and youth justice  (PDF, 286 kB)

Dr Claire Paterson-Young | 25 February 2022 | Youth justice

This report summarises the value of social impact measurements for organisations to evaluate their achievements, strengths and weaknesses.

 

Refining processes in policy and practice in working with people accused or convicted of a sexual offence (PDF, 798 kB)

Kieran F. McCartan | 21 January 2022 | Probation

This report summarises the new Council of Europe recommendations on the assessment, treatment and reintegration of people accused or convicted of a sexual offence.

 

2021

Bias and error in risk assessment and management (PDF, 295 kB)

Hazel Kemshall | 16 December 2021 | Probation

This report summarises key learning for practitioners and organisations in relation to risk management.

 

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)

Rob 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.