The role of sport in promoting desistance from crime: an evaluation of the 2nd Chance Project Rugby and Football Academies at Portland Young Offender Institution. Southampton, GB, University of Southampton, 66pp.
More than half of all crime is committed by people who have previously been through the Criminal Justice System (Home Office, 2006) and reoffending rates within the young adult prisoner population are among the highest. Prison therefore presents a critical opportunity to engage with offenders through interventions and programming. Previous research has identified a clear need for specialist delivery and carefully planned methods of motivating offenders to make positive life changes, and sport presents a unique opportunity to engage with even the most challenging of young people caught up in a cycle of offending and imprisonment.
This report summarises the evaluation findings of the 2nd Chance Project football and rugby academy, a two year
initiative at HMP YOI Portland which uses sport as a way of engaging with young adult male prisoners in identifying and meeting resettlement needs and facilitating the transition from custody to community. The report is made up of eight key sections: Chapter 1 provides a contextual overview of the role of sport as a crime prevention initiative; Chapter 2 outlines the background to and delivery of the sports academies at Portland Young Offenders Institution; Chapter 3 introduces the evaluation process. Chapters 4-5 present the qualitative and quantitative research findings, and Chapter 6 is dedicated to a discussion of the key results. Chapter 7 explores the key recommendations generated by the research, and Chapter 8 summarises the suggested future research directions. The report concludes with a series of illustrative case studies presented in Chapter 9.
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