Avoiding ‘starburst’: The need to identify common metrics of evaluating strengths-based programmes in prison

BEST, David, BARTELS, Lorana, BECK, Graham and MUSGROVE, Amy (2020). Avoiding ‘starburst’: The need to identify common metrics of evaluating strengths-based programmes in prison. Prison Service Journal.

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    There are numerous personal accounts and positive programme evaluations of the rehabilitative and transformative power of painting, poetry, football, running, educational attainment and peer mentoring – all of which can be classified as ‘positive’ and ‘strengths-based’ activities and interventions – in numerous different prisons in numerous different countries. Almost all prisons have programmes of education and programmes that can be classified as promoting a rehabilitative culture. Some of these are even evaluated externally to assess whether and to what extent they can be said to ‘work’. However, little of this evaluation attempts to examine the sustainability or capacity-building of this work. Based on our discussion of three strengths-based programmes in the United Kingdom (UK) adult prison establishment, some clues emerge about what could arise as a two-tiered approach to the evaluation of strengths-based projects, based on proximal effectiveness and longitudinal impact on culture and practice. The paper concludes with an overview of common metrics of strengths-based innovations and programmes which may lead to increased credibility and investment in times of austerity.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Crown Copyright
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 14:01
    Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 14:30
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26427

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