Connected corrections and corrected connections: post-release supervision of long sentence male prisoners

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Mulcahy, Jane
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University College Cork
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In this thesis I establish the desirability of adopting a connected, healing-centred approach in which multiagency collaboration is prioritised in order to improve outcomes for long sentence male prisoners. I explore how childhood trauma is often at the root of addiction and offending behaviour, based on qualitative interview data with twelve men approaching release. Their narratives revealed histories of neglect, abuse, family dysfunction, poverty, deprivation and community adversity. My core interviewees’ accounts of engagement with services, personal development opportunities, pre-release preparation and reentry are supplemented with interview and focus group data from criminal justice policy-makers, practitioners and community-based organisations, to provide wider context. My thesis argues that penal policy and practice must become trauma-responsive as a matter of urgency. Physiological safety is a prerequisite for human beings, without which we cannot develop new, healthier relational patterns or adopt pro-social behaviours. To increase the desistance-supportive potential of prison and post-release supervision in Ireland, people working on the frontlines of criminal justice must play a personal role in helping offenders to begin to renegotiate and re-story their undigested trauma, by fostering relational health, promoting strengths and displaying cultural sensitivity. Greater effort is required to ensure that the transition back to the community is safe and responsibly managed. A whole of government response is necessary to ensure that basic human needs are met upon release.
Prison , Probation , Offending behaviour , Rehabilitation , Sentence management , Reentry planning , Collaboration , Person-centred , Care , Wellbeing , Personal development , Healing , Trauma , Addiction , Safety , Attachment theory , Risk management , Risk-need-responsivity , Desistance , Interpersonal neurobiology , Polyvagal theory , Adverse childhood experiences , Strengths , Positive change , Reintegration , Supports , Whole of government approach , Post-release supervision , Relapse , Recovery
Mulcahy J. H. 2019. Connected corrections and corrected connections: post-release supervision of long sentence male prisoners. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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