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The health of people with Court Orders supervised by probation services: an exploratory study

The health of people with Court Orders supervised by probation services: an exploratory study
The health of people with Court Orders supervised by probation services: an exploratory study
There is growing evidence on the association of health problems, such as mental health and substance use, along with social factors, such as unemployment, housing, education and social networks with offending. Most research has focussed on prisoners, rather than community offenders. Little is known about offenders with Court Orders, yet this information is needed to shape service delivery.

A mixed methods study was designed to address this knowledge gap; to quantify the prevalence of these health problems and social disadvantage within a cohort of offenders newly sentenced with Court Orders, and follow them up over the duration of their Court Order to assess service access and impact.

These offenders were shown to be more disadvantaged than the general population with higher levels of unemployment, low educational attainment, homelessness and childhood experiences of care. There were high levels of alcohol use, drug use and mental health problems which were similar to levels observed in prisoners. Those who used class A and B drugs (excluding cannabis) were over three times more likely to breach or commit further offences while on a Court Order than offenders who did not take these drugs.

Nearly half had inadequate health literacy levels, so interventions need to be tailored to reflect this. Offenders often experienced multiple problems and clustering of problems was observed. Those with identified needs did not always access services they required.

At follow-up, some improvements were observed, but gaps between need and service access were still evident. Qualitative results described how material deprivation, homelessness and adverse childhood experiences contributed to problems with mental ill health and addiction alongside offending behaviour. Offenders are a vulnerable population, where a single incident often leads to a downward spiral of complex needs. The value of Offender Managers supporting offenders with their complex problems was also highlighted.

A multi-pronged and multi-agency approach is needed to tackle the problems faced by offenders in addition to a systematic way of identifying those at risk of offending, providing appropriate interventions at different stages through the life course.
University of Southampton
Richards, Emma
701c9a8a-b9a0-4f18-beba-06004fb6673a
Richards, Emma
701c9a8a-b9a0-4f18-beba-06004fb6673a
Parkes, Julie
59dc6de3-4018-415e-bb99-13552f97e984
Roderick, Paul
dbb3cd11-4c51-4844-982b-0eb30ad5085a
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c

Richards, Emma (2018) The health of people with Court Orders supervised by probation services: an exploratory study. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 391pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

There is growing evidence on the association of health problems, such as mental health and substance use, along with social factors, such as unemployment, housing, education and social networks with offending. Most research has focussed on prisoners, rather than community offenders. Little is known about offenders with Court Orders, yet this information is needed to shape service delivery.

A mixed methods study was designed to address this knowledge gap; to quantify the prevalence of these health problems and social disadvantage within a cohort of offenders newly sentenced with Court Orders, and follow them up over the duration of their Court Order to assess service access and impact.

These offenders were shown to be more disadvantaged than the general population with higher levels of unemployment, low educational attainment, homelessness and childhood experiences of care. There were high levels of alcohol use, drug use and mental health problems which were similar to levels observed in prisoners. Those who used class A and B drugs (excluding cannabis) were over three times more likely to breach or commit further offences while on a Court Order than offenders who did not take these drugs.

Nearly half had inadequate health literacy levels, so interventions need to be tailored to reflect this. Offenders often experienced multiple problems and clustering of problems was observed. Those with identified needs did not always access services they required.

At follow-up, some improvements were observed, but gaps between need and service access were still evident. Qualitative results described how material deprivation, homelessness and adverse childhood experiences contributed to problems with mental ill health and addiction alongside offending behaviour. Offenders are a vulnerable population, where a single incident often leads to a downward spiral of complex needs. The value of Offender Managers supporting offenders with their complex problems was also highlighted.

A multi-pronged and multi-agency approach is needed to tackle the problems faced by offenders in addition to a systematic way of identifying those at risk of offending, providing appropriate interventions at different stages through the life course.

Text
PhD thesis FINAL with corrections - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 8 July 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: February 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435489
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435489
PURE UUID: fc133b5a-e6cc-4a60-add9-94823af5d023
ORCID for Julie Parkes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6490-395X
ORCID for Paul Roderick: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9475-6850
ORCID for Julia Sinclair: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1905-2025

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 08 Nov 2019 01:38

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