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.


 

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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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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Provision of support for imprisoned adult female street-based sex workers

Author: 
Louise Clark
Published: 
2006

The aim of the research was to look at what specialist support services exist in prison for street-based sex workers. The main objectives were: to ascertain what specialist services exist in prison for sex workers; to explore how the services are accessed and delivered; to assess the awareness amongst prison based staff of the needs of sex workers in their care; and to examine prison-based strategies for supporting the needs of sex workers in prison.

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Exploring provisions for women in approved premises

Author: 
Gilliam McLeish
Published: 
2005

This study explores female need and provision within Approved Premises settings, primarily the particular needs of female residents/offenders including bailees, probationers and licensees. The study examines the structure of support to help women regain control of their lives, to empower them to progress to the next stage, ie. semi independent/independent living. It aims to highlight the strengths, weaknesses and, effectiveness of regimes in reducing offending for women; and to identify any gaps which exist. NB. The term Approved Premises refers to (Home Office) defined standards of practice.

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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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'What Works' with women who offend: A service user's perspective. Exploring the synthesis between what women want and what women get

Author: 
Rebecca Clarke
Published: 
2004

The aim of this project was to explore the relationship between what women in the criminal justice system want and need to desist from further offending, and what criminal justice and other associated agencies provide. A review of the literature exploring these issues, together with the information generated from the women’s accounts of their experiences, form the evidence contained in the full report.

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