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The reintegration of violent offenders into the community

Newhouse, Mark (2019) The reintegration of violent offenders into the community. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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In Western Australia, about 10,000 prisoners are released into the community each year with most of these having been incarcerated following a conviction. A recidivism rate around 45% means there are large numbers of released prisoners who are reoffending and are returning to custody. Violent offenders account for about 20% of all prisoners and the harms caused by this group to the community, their families and themselves are considerable. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the government, the community and the returning prisoners themselves that their re-entry into the community is successful.

This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the prisoner reintegration process for violent offenders and, in particular, the elements of the process which contribute effectively to the ex-offender living a non-criminal and satisfying life. Using a qualitative methodology, nine adult males who had been imprisoned for (non-sexual) violent offences and had been released into the community were interviewed regarding their experiences. Recruitment of the participants was through a number of agencies which provide resettlement or rehabilitation and counselling services. A Grounded Theory approach was employed to analyse the transcripts of the interviews, with saturation of the resultant categories being achieved.

Five central themes emerged: the need for connection, a self-awareness which includes motivation for a process of change, a need for support from external agencies which is individually orientated, an agentic capacity to set one's own directions and a desire to give back to assist others. The Good Lives Model of rehabilitation and reintegration is examined and demonstrated to be a close fit to providing a means of addressing the issues arising from the participants' experiences. The implications of this to policy and practice are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Law and Criminology
United Nations SDGs: Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Supervisor(s): Hall, Guy and Movassagh Reigler, Anahita
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