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PhD student prosjects

Collaboration in Liaison and Diversion Services in the UK

Paulo Bastos Thiago Roche

Background: High rates of vulnerabilities observed among offenders in contact with the Criminal Justice System is a worldwide problem. As solution, it has been suggested that collaboration between mental health services (MHS) and criminal justice system (CJS) is crucial for the implementation of an appropriate rehabilitation model. This research investigates the efficacy of cross-boundary collaboration between CJS and MHS with the support of Liaison and Diversion Service (L&D) in Dorset, UK.

Research questions: The central question is “Is interagency collaboration the adequate means to enable diversion of vulnerable people from the Criminal Justice System into treatment and promote rehabilitation?”. In order to respond to the main query, four sub-questions will support this study, as follows: 1) How is the current model of L&D playing out for agents in criminal justice and welfare services? 2) In the current L&D Model, how does the care pathway of vulnerable people who come in contact Criminal Justice System appear in practice?  3) How is collaboration constructed in the interaction between L&D and other agencies in CJS and MHS? 4) What types of tools and instruments are used and developed to support collaboration in the process of diverting vulnerable offenders from CJS?

Method/Project Design: This research adopts a qualitative approach, having ethnography as its main methodology. Thus, content analysis will be employed to help contextualize interagency collaboration as well as to examine eventual policy contradictions between organizations and/or levels. In addition, semi-structured interviews and participant observation will be used to help understanding the practitioners’ perspective on interagency collaboration and to investigate their interaction at the ethnographic fields. 

Collaboration in Overgang Bolig in Norway 

Will Dugdale

The aim of this project is to explore the application of interprofessional collaborative practice with Health Service, Specialised Mental Health Service and Prison Service front-line professionals working with offenders’ mental health needs. The study is specifically in relation to the Norwegian prison system, with data being collected from open-prisons. To achieve this, examination of will be at three levels: firstly through Norwegian prison policy, observations of the practices undertaken within prison and front-line professionals’ perceptions. The focus of this research will therefore be to map and analyse potential differences between policy, practice and perceptions to potentially identify constraints in collaborative practice.