McGlynn, Jade Elizabeth (2014) Encouraging desistance through resettlement: an exploration of voluntary sector practice. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study is an exploration of voluntary-sector resettlement practice and the encouragement of the desistance process through resettlement work. The author discusses how desistance theory ties in

with resettlement practice. This exploration is important because of the current political context of

resettlement and the Government’s pledge to revive the rehabilitative ideal. Through this revival, the

Government has focused their efforts towards resettlement support, both in custody and on release, with a view to supporting offenders to lead lives free from crime. The voluntary-sector has been given an important role within this agenda and they have been encouraged to become major

providers of resettlement services through Payment by Results contracts. Therefore, this research aims to address how effectively voluntary-sector organisations can support desistance through resettlement.

The author uses thematic analysis and a deductive ‘top-down’ process to analyse a series of in-depth interviews sourced from staff, volunteers and service-users of a voluntary-sector resettlement

project. The author analysed the data in accordance with the literature surrounding resettlement and desistance with particular emphasis on whether voluntary resettlement practice accords with desistance research and theory. The author then uses those findings in order to shed light on the implications of the implementation of desistance in resettlement practice.

The author concludes that voluntary-sector resettlement practice did not accord with desistance due to the incorrect utilisations of practices. Underpinning this was a lack of understanding, on an

organisational level, of desistance in resettlement work and it was found that this was either a

possible consequence of, or made worse by, the traditional model of resettlement which voluntary-sector organisations work within which, by their nature, militate against a desistance-based

approach to resettlement. The collective findings, therefore, led the author to question whether

desistance theory and research is useful for voluntary-sector organisations to implement due to the complex nature of desistance and the difficulty in retrofitting it into traditional ways of voluntary-sector workings. Thus, these implications and findings provide a foundation for, and indicators of, future research into how resettlement services can support desistance through resettlement.

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