The PPO scheme and its impact on desistance

O'Keeffe, Alexander (2014) The PPO scheme and its impact on desistance. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The Prolific and Other Priority Offender (PPO) scheme was introduced in 2004 and has since become firmly established in Police and Probation practice across the United Kingdom. Official statistics would suggest this programme has had a significant impact on reducing re-offending amongst the group of offenders this intervention targets, but research to date has not considered how offenders journey through the PPO programme, and what factors have led to its apparent success. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of offenders who are subject to the PPO programme, and the label of 'PPO', with a view to understanding whether this intervention supports the process of desistance from offending. Primary research, in the form of interviews were conducted with six individuals who have been subject to the PPO scheme for the last two years. A thematic analysis was then conducted with the verbatim interview transcripts to identify emerging themes from the data. The findings from this primary research suggested that for those who experience this intervention it is perceived to be highly intrusive and persecutory. The subjects described significant levels of Police intervention, surveillance, and considerable periods of time spent in custody; all of which they related to the PPO scheme. From the primary data, there was no evidence to suggest that this intervention promotes the identified 'turning points' identified in the desistance literature such as employment or positive relationships, or generates the external and internal conditions which this paradigm suggest are important to end the cycle of offending. Conversely, it the data suggested that the PPO scheme in fact could destabilise familial ties, legitimate employment and pro-social relationships due to it's intensive nature. However, there was some evidence that this approach did generate some behavioural changes, but these were motivated to avoid the contact with the Police rather than desisting from crime. Further research should identify the link between the length of time those nominated to the programme spend in time in custody and on remand, or recall for breach of licence, compared to a control group of non-PPOs. It could be established whether the re-offending rates have reduced simply due to the reduced time this group of offenders are at liberty in the community, as opposed to the PPO scheme developing desistance.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 10:43
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 10:43

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