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A Multi-Dimensional Evaluation of Youth Justice Practices and Outcomes in Wales / GEMMA, MORGAN

Swansea University Author: GEMMA, MORGAN

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/Suthesis.53747

Abstract

The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model has been recognised as the leading model of offender supervision due to its ‘empirical validity and practical utility’ (Polaschek, 2012:1). However, this thesis discusses the need to develop the explanatory depth, theoretical and empirical base of the RNR model...

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Published: Swansea 2020
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa53747
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Abstract: The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model has been recognised as the leading model of offender supervision due to its ‘empirical validity and practical utility’ (Polaschek, 2012:1). However, this thesis discusses the need to develop the explanatory depth, theoretical and empirical base of the RNR model in order to make it more applicable to youth justice practices in Wales. To date, the precise processes of supervision in the Welsh youth justice system has remained largely unexplored. This has created a gap in knowledge and poses several implications. With limited empirical insight, it is difficult to understand whether practitioners effectively implement evidence-based practices into their front-line service delivery. This thesis utilises the Correctional Programme Assessment Inventory 2010 (CPAI-2010) to evaluate the practices of four Youth Offending Services and one Secure Estate in Wales. Designed by North American academics, the CPAI-2010 measures practice integrity and indicates the extent to which criminal justice agencies are aligned to Gendreau et al.’s (2004; 2010) conceptualisation of the RNR model. Previous research has revealed that high CPAI scores (high practice integrity) are associated with lower levels of recidivism. This study revealed that a practice integrity gap exists in Wales. As such, this thesis discusses the factors that undermine practice integrity and provides practical solutions to bridge the gulf that exists between the theory of effective practice and its implementation of front-line service delivery. Additionally, this thesis addresses the evaluation responsivity issues associated with using the CPAI-2010 in Wales. The innovation of this study is the development of a responsive, youth-specific, evidence-based evaluation tool - the Youth Justice Evaluation Inventory (YJEI).
Keywords: Criminology, Youth Justice, Responsive Evaluations, Risk-Need-Responsivity, Children First, Practice Integrity