We sponsor research to bring about change in how women and girls are dealt with in the criminal justice system

Our research listings

Research Papers and Briefings

At the end of their year on the Griffins Society Fellowship Programme, Fellows produce a 10,000 word Research Paper on their findings. Research Papers are available here to view or download as a PDF (the size of each file is given).  

For all papers you will find the REPORT IN FULL, and also a single-page ABSTRACT.  For more recent papers, an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY is also available.

Fellows' research can be freely copied and distributed as long as the author and the Griffins Society are credited.


 

Losing my voice: A study of the barriers and facilitators to disclosure for sex-working women in residential drug treatment

Author: 
Kirsty Tate
Published: 
2016

Sex workers present a complex and unique footprint of needs and behaviour patterns. This is especially the case when those women also have drug and alcohol issues. Yet, when many of these women enter drug treatment system, their histories of sex work and the complex patterns of needs that such histories generate are often overlooked. This is not surprising. In comparison to dealing with the immediate needs subsequent to drug and alcohol issues, tackling the needs arising from sex work can seem less urgent. Drug treatment is a momentous process of change, but the background question to this research report is whether just dealing with the drug and alcohol issues is enough or whether it is also necessary for a woman who has sex-worked to create an ex-sex worker role, and what stands in the way of or promotes that? The focus of this research is on sex workers and the residential drug rehabilitation – a setting wherein they are attempting to produce momentous change in their lives. I interviewed street sex workers, escorts and parlour workers. The aim was to contextualise the meanings sex workers placed on sharing their internal world with others and the powerful impact of disclosure of sex work in relation to their treatment.

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Prison as a place of safety for women with complex mental health needs

Author: 
Tamara Pattinson
Published: 
2016

The purpose of this study was to examine whether prison is being used as a ‘place of safety’ for women who have complex mental health needs and deemed in need of ‘protection’ from themselves. The research is based on interviews with police, court and prison staff. The researcher was also able to examine a number of warrants received from the courts to establish the reason for disposal into custody with specific emphasis on those cases where ‘own protection’ was the primary factor. The findings suggest that the current use of prison as a place of safety for women with complex heath needs is unworkable, flawed and potentially dangerous and not in the best interests of the women offenders and prison staff.

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Probation officers' accounts of practice with women convicted of intimate partner violence (IPV) towards men

Author: 
Gareth Hole
Published: 
2016

Comparatively little research has been conducted about the motivations and risk factors associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrated by women when contrasted to that of men. Few studies have investigated the effectiveness of interventions delivered to women convicted for IPV and virtually nothing is known about the experiences of probation officers working in this field. This study arose from observations I made working as a Male Safety Officer for the probation service, a role which offered support to men whose partners were convicted for offences of IPV towards them: very few probation officers made referrals and when they did, the men were frequently described as the ‘real’ or ‘primary’ perpetrator. This exploratory study investigates the reasons for this, through interviews with probation officers’ about their attitudes towards women convicted of IPV and how these impacted their work; it reveals insights about how participants dealt with two issues with which they were frequently confronted: women who reported perpetrating offences within the context of experiencing violence from partners and the high number who referred to experiences of trauma and psychological disturbance.

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Time after Time: A study of women's transitions from custody

Author: 
Jean O'Neill
Published: 
2016

This study stems from the author’s work as a manager with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), with particular responsibility for the INSPIRE Women’s Project. The research explores the transition of women from prison into the community through the women’s own accounts — within the context of Northern Ireland — and tests the view that, if women can sustain periods in the community following release beyond twelve weeks, the likelihood of successful re-integration is improved. The research used a longitudinal qualitative methodology centered on in-depth, life history interviews with women pre- and post-custody.

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