Rethinking Community Reintegration: From Pie in the Sky to Coherent Strategy?

Jon Spencer, University of Manchester
Jo Deakin, University of Manchester

During the past five years there has been a significant and largely unexplained rise in the numbers of women being sent to prison and this paper is concerned with consequences of such sentencing decisions. The effective management of offenders before, during and after a prison sentence is an imperative of criminal justice policy makers. The overall aim of this strategy is the employment of sentencing policy and interventions based upon clear evidence of their effectiveness in reducing offending and protecting the public. There are four essential criteria to this strategy; assessment of risk and harm, the planning of supervision, case management and community re-integration. This paper is concerned with the latter of these policy imperatives. In considering community reintegration this paper will explore the following key issues:

the support systems and friendship networks that may contribute to women's social exclusion after release from prison. the support systems and friendship networks that may contribute to women's reintegration into the community after release. the effects of support systems and friendship networks on re-offending. the extent to which reintegration, social exclusion and re-offending are affected by issues of diversity. The relevance and implications of these issues to the `What Works' initiative are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006