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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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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'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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On detention: The use of prison for girls aged under 18

Author: 
Sarah Clarke
Published: 
2007

The objective of this project was to examine the processes that assist with effective resettlement for juvenile girls with specific reference to the work of the Rivendell Unit* by: • identifying the concerns that young women and staff have about effective resettlement specifically in terms of gender; • identifying successful current practice for this group in resettlement; • identifying barriers to effective resettlement; and • charting the experience of resettlement for these young women and follow-up issues over a set period of time.

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