2011 What Women Want.pdf (341.04 kB)
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What women want: The importance of qualitative approaches in evaluating work with women offenders

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2012, 14:40 by Carol Hedderman, Clare Gunby, Nicola Shelton
In 2004 the Government in England and Wales published a new policy on responding to women who offend. The aims were to reduce women's involvement in crime and to divert them from prison. The 'Together Women' project was funded under this policy initiative to demonstrate how services for women offenders should be provided in the community. The first stage of the associated evaluation included interviews with Together Women's clients as their feedback was seen as important in helping to develop effective services and as an early indicator of impact. However, the final assessment of impact relies on a quantitative assessment based on project files and criminal records data. The only interviews to be conducted will focus on asking sentencers about whether they use Together Women to divert women from custody.This article draws on interviews conducted with Together Women clients in the project's development phase to argue that outcome evaluations which rely exclusively or mainly on information in project databases and criminal records may not capture key elements which make an intervention 'work'. Neglecting service users' insights may lead to under-estimating resource needs, unrealistic target setting, and the eventual abandonment of promising ideas in favour of the next 'new' magic bullet.

History

Citation

Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2011, 11 (1), pp. 3-19 (17)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Criminology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Publisher

SAGE Publications on behalf of the British Society of Criminology

issn

1748-8958

eissn

1748-8966

Copyright date

2011

Available date

17/05/2012

Publisher version

http://crj.sagepub.com/content/11/1/3

Language

en