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.


 

Seeing differently: working with girls affected by gangs

Author: 
Jessica Southgate
Published: 
2011

While concern has grown in recent years about the extent of gang activity in Britain, the ways in which girls and young women are affected tends to be overlooked or distorted. This research aimed to address this gap by investigating how those working closely with young women defined their gang-association and what they believed to be the most effective way of responding to this. It looked to a small but vibrant number of voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSOs) to see how they have responded to meet girls' needs through their work and the challenges they faced in delivering this.

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Exploring the experiences of minority ethnic women in resettlement: what role if any, does ethnic culture play in the resettlement of Black (African-Caribbean) women offenders in the UK?

Author: 
Elizabeth Owens
Published: 
2010

The aim was to explore the experiences of black and minority ethnic women in resettlement in order to form a picture of resettlement from their perspective and to determine what, if any, role ethnic culture played in resettlement. Four questions were formed as guidance: 1. What are the resettlement needs of minority ethnic women? 2. What role does ethnic culture play in the resettlement of minority ethnic women in the UK? 3. How do minority ethnic women access and understand resettlement services? Is this influenced by their ethnic culture? If yes, to what degree, and how? 4. How are some providers successfully engaging these women? What are the ‘challenging’ areas to work on in making services accessible and meaningful to these women?

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What Judges think about prostitution - assessing the considerations & measures employed by members of the judiciary for sentencing women who sell sex

Author: 
Helen Atkins
Published: 
2010

The aim of this research project was to assess the considerations and measures employed by the judiciary when sentencing women who sell sex — and to make recommendations about legislative and policy change that could advance the application of justice in this area. The specific objectives were: to identify and explore the range of factors that judges take into account when sentencing women who sell sex; to consider the nature and depth of judicial awareness regarding the backgrounds and circumstances of women who commit offences in relation to selling sex; to gather evidence about sentences, legislation and sentencing; and to gather evidence from researchers or practitioners who work with women who sell sex. To obtain detailed attitudinal data a qualitative approach was adopted — and the field research consisted of twelve semi-structured interviews with fourteen respondents – seven judicial respondents and seven other stakeholders.

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'A two-way process': women offenders, personality, power and partnerships

Author: 
Pip Tibbetts
Published: 
2009

This research sought to address the following questions: • How do voluntary sector agencies working with women offenders currently perceive partnership work? • What is the current and emerging National and Statutory policy with regards to working with women offenders, and how does that impact on the partnerships in Bradford District? • What barriers are there to successful partnership work? • What impact does the contracting of services have on partnership activity for women offenders? • How can partnerships sustain and develop in future to improve outcomes for women offenders? The approach to this research combined both qualitative and quantitative data.

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'Double invisibility': recalled and female and forgotten in the Criminal Justice System?

Author: 
Rosie Deedes
Published: 
2009

This research looked at the reasons that women return to custody following a breach of licence (recall). Its purpose was to find out more about why women come back to custody; to see if there were discrepancies in the reporting; and to find out whether there were certain women more at risk of being recalled than others. The research also asked whether women who had been recalled had particular difficulties resettling into the community.

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An evaluation of The Freedom Programme: a prison support programme for women who have experienced domestic violence

Author: 
Lucy Watkins
Published: 
2009

This research evaluated The Freedom Programme - a group work support programme for women in prison. Three research questions were addressed: does the programme help women to develop ways of thinking and behaving that protect themselves, their children and others from harm; is the programme of equal value for BME women, lesbian women etc. as it is for white heterosexual women; and to what extent do women value the process of being able to discuss, share and explore issues with other women? The research questions were addressed through 14 interviews with women who attended the programme, four interviews with facilitators and observation of two sessions.

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Is Attachment Theory & the concept of a 'Secure Base' relevant to supporting women during the process of resettlement? Observations from The Women's Turnaround Project, Cardiff

Author: 
Leeanne Plechowicz
Published: 
2009

The Women’s Turnaround Project (TWTP) provides female offenders and those at risk of offending with a gateway to multi-service support on a voluntary basis. Each client is allocated a key worker to facilitate support in a wide variety of areas. The purpose of this research was threefold: • To explore attachment to parents during childhood and adolescence in the clients engaging with TWTP: Was a ʻsecure baseʼ lacking in childhood/adolescence and prior to intervention? • To examine whether attachment needs are addressed by TWTP: Does the key worker and client relationship provide a ʻsecure baseʼ for female offenders during the resettlement process? If so, how is this achieved and what are the difficulties faced? • To highlight good practice and make suggestions to improve future practice for TWTP, the Probation Service and other agencies working with women during the resettlement process.

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The sustainability of gender-specific provision in the Youth Justice System

Author: 
Sue Mathews and Cath Smith
Published: 
2009

The original aim of this research was to examine the efficacy of the gender specific community based provision offered to young women by Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire youth offending services. It was also to consider whether girls responded more positively to a gender specific approach. During the preliminary preparations it became apparent that this would require research with a larger sample size. Accordingly, taking into account the limitations of the sample group, and without a matched cohort who had not attended the gender specific programmes, sustainability became the main focus of the research proposal.

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A woman's place? Identifying the needs of female drug users and responses in drug treatment policy and practice

Author: 
Patricia Trehan
Published: 
2008

The approach to this research is qualitative. The original purpose of the research was to attempt to establish why some women engage well with services and achieve their care-plan goals, whilst many others recognise that they need intervention and treatment, but refuse to engage with it. However, two major factors emerged during the interview phase, and these re-directed the research to address the following questions: • What are the real underlying causes of female drug use? and • Does the treatment system recognise them and make adequate provision for women?

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Volunteering for all? A qualitative study of women ex-offenders' experience of volunteering

Author: 
Clare Taylor
Published: 
2008

There has been a focus on increasing levels of participation in volunteering in recent years but volunteering opportunities for offenders and ex-offenders have been neglected, despite the fact that it is argued that volunteering can help reduce re-offending. The objective was to discover whether women who had volunteered found it to be a positive and beneficial experience. The research examined the wider issues around volunteering and by doing so sought to draw up a good practice guide. A further aim was to raise awareness of the specific issues for women ex-offenders.

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Arts intervention with female offenders

Author: 
Carlotta Goulden
Published: 
2007

The research looks at the uses of museum and gallery education with female offenders. It aims to: • provide evidence that working with the arts has a positive effect on the rehabilitation of female offenders; • argue that participation in arts projects for offenders is their cultural entitlement and should be facilitated by the authorities as a human right; • investigate the problems that arts organisations have in delivering projects to female offenders and suggest ways to overcome these problems. This qualitative research used observations, questionnaires, field notes and semi-structured interviews through to participation and action research. Projects were undertaken with the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A), in HMP Askham Grange and in HMP Holloway.

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Female offenders in a rural environment: access to community support agencies

Author: 
Fiona Perez
Published: 
2007

The key question raised by this research is 'to what extent does living in a rural area impact on the successful resettlement of female offenders and the specific disadvantages that they face’. The research examines how aspects of rural crime may differ from urban crime, and the particular difficulties female offenders in a rural environment face when complying with a court order or prison licence. The main focus of the research is the availability and accessibility of community based partnerships and agencies in rural areas. The research is based on interviews with eighteen women who were interviewed in the probation office where they reported – five in Carlisle, eight in Barrow-in-Furness, four in Whitehaven and one in Workington. Key-workers from various agencies were also interviewed and the problems of delivering a service to offenders in rural areas discussed

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