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.


 

Resettlement experiences of street sex-working women on release from prison

Author: 
Hazel Renouf
Published: 
2017

This research explores the lived experiences of resettlement for street sex-working women alongside the views of professionals from community-based projects that have supported this group in their transitions from custody to the community. The study considers the challenges facing women on the day they leave prison and also the wider resettlement process: what preparation and planning takes place prior to release and the experiences and difficulties encountered by women once they have returned to life in the community.

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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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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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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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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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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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Last Chance: older women through the Criminal Justice System

Author: 
Carlie Newman
Published: 
2005

This research project focusses on older women in the criminal justice system and aimed to: • ascertain what proportion of older women offenders (50+) make up the growing prison population; • examine community sentences and other punishments given as an alternative to custody, for this group; • provide a focus on the rehabilitation and resettlement of older women on their release from prison, especially those with drug and alcohol problems; • examine the role of outside agencies in the resettlement of older women offenders and to determine their effectiveness. The research is based on interviews with offenders, magistrates, judges, justices’ clerks, probation officers, representatives of voluntary organisations, a deputy prison governor and government ministers.

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Life on Life Licence: a follow-up to report 2002/01 - Resettlement issues facing female lifers

Author: 
Rachel Chapman
Published: 
2004

Griffins Research Paper 2002/01 is the report of a study of the resettlement issues facing women lifers before release. This follow-up research focussed on the women’s actual experience of release: • to explore whether the women had been adequately prepared for release and whether they received sufficient support to assist with their reintegration into the community; and • to consider whether the reality of release corresponded with the women’s expectations before release.

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Supporting People: Good news for women ex-prisoners?

Author: 
Sally Malin
Published: 
2004

The importance of housing in the resettlement of women ex-offenders is well established. Supporting People (SP) is a UK government programme which took effect in April 2003, bringing together at local authority level the main partners of housing, health, social services and probation to plan strategically and commission services which are cost effective, reliable, transparent and needs-led. This research project carried out between October 2003 and December 2004 sought, through interviews and document review, to explore the early impact of SP at both national and local levels on planning and provision for women ex-offenders. A comparative perspective was secured by review of two community based ex-offender initiatives outside the UK.

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Resettlement issues facing female lifers

Author: 
Rachel Chapman
Published: 
2002

Women offenders face particular challenges on resettlement into the community and although some issues will be the same for all women prisoners, women lifers face distinct issues and these are often overlooked. In particular, a lifer will only be released when she has convinced the Parole Board that she is a sufficiently low risk to be managed in the community. An essential aspect of this assessment is the release plan and whether it provides sufficient support for effective reintegration. Resettlement is, therefore, of particular significance to women lifers because it can impact on their chance of being released and of being recalled. The purpose of this study was to research the range of resettlement issues facing women lifers from a legal perspective. The focus was women lifers’ preparation for release in the context of the life sentence; the parole board process and the life licence.

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