A chance to think again? an evaluation of the Victim Awareness Course pilot

Simkin, Clare (2015) A chance to think again? an evaluation of the Victim Awareness Course pilot. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation examines the introduction of a victim awareness course, which has been designed as a rehabilitative and educational option for low level offending dealt with by use of a conditional caution or penalty notice for disorder. The study sought to determine the extent to which the course was successfully introduced in a single police force area over a 14 month period. It aimed to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement in the course from the perspective of police officers, offenders who attended the course, victims and the course provider. Key to the study was an understanding of the concept of empathy and the extent to which this could be developed through a single three hour course. The research was undertaken by means of non-participant observation, interviews and questionnaires, based upon a literature review which highlighted both the key concepts and methodological issues associated with such evaluations. This approach enabled a thematic analysis of the key findings and suggested further avenues for research.
    The study showed, in line with much of the literature in this field, that determining the extent to which re-offending can be reduced by means of a single intervention is problematic. Whilst indicative results suggest that the aims and purpose of the course were well understood by all parties, it was less clear if offending behaviour would be altered by the course alone. The absence of a clear and definitive outcome in relation to recidivism is countered by results which suggest a growth in empathy and an understanding of the consequences of the offending behaviour, with a consequent self-defined determination to desist from further crime.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 12:02
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 12:02
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/19855

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