Research and Evaluation
The Safer Living Foundation believe in evaluating all projects from the outset, with a view that evidence-based practice and service user involvement are key to the planning and delivery of any new initiative. Nottingham Trent University provide ongoing evaluations for each project that the charity runs.
This area of the website will provide you with an overview of our evaluation ethos, and up to date findings will be published here when they become available.
What do our evaluations look like?
Our evaluations focus on two aspects: (1) The process and (2) The outcomes.
(1) The process: This involves examining all aspects of the service that is being delivered, looking at what works well and what could be improved. For example, we often conduct interviews with service users as they engage with a project, to find out what their experiences are and whether they would prefer anything to be different or improved. The outcomes from this can then be fed back into the service delivery to bring about positive changes to our projects.
(2) The outcomes: This involves examining whether the aims and objectives of each project are being achieved. For example, an aim of our Circles of Support and Accountability projects is that there will be a reduction in loneliness and isolation and an increase in mental wellbeing and so we measure these before and after a Circle finishes, to see whether these aims have been achieved.
Find a copy of our latest evaluation report here!
The following two posters are from the Safer Living Foundations recent attendance and presentation at the Annual British Psychology Society Division of Forensic Psychology Conference held in Newcastle in June 2018. One is for the YPCoSA evaluation and the other on the Aurora project (prevention) evaluation.
BPS DFP Conference Posters 2018.
Prison-based CoSA PhD Research
Kitson-Boyce, R., Blagden, N., Winder, B., & Dillon, G. (2018). ‘This time it’s different’ preparing for release through CoSA (The prison model): A phenomenological and repertory grid analysis. Sexual Abuse: A journal of research and treatment. 10.1177/1079063218775969
Circles of support and accountability (CoSA) in the prison-model begin prior to the
core members’ release from prison and continue with them on release in to the
community. The purpose of this study was to explore the expectations of release of
those convicted of a sexual offense and how this develops during their participation
in the prison sessions of CoSA. The research question was to consider how the
prison-model of CoSA relates to the desistance of crime, in particular the phases of
desistance developed by Gobbels, Ward, and Willis. Data were collected using both
phenomenological interviews and repertory grids at two different time points; prior
to starting the circle in prison (n = 9) and just before release (n = 5). The findings
suggest the prison sessions provide a sense of support and “no longer being alone”
often absent in those who sexually offend. The additional prison sessions enabled
the participants to experience this during their approaching release date; a stressful
period that was characterized by anxiety. Further research is now required to explore
whether circles in the prison-model are able to encourage and reinforce the cognitive
change required for desistance, enabling the core members to successfully manage
their underlying anxieties surrounding societal stigmatization.
Kitson-Boyce, R., Blagden, N., Winder, B., & Dillon, G. (2018). A prison-model of CoSA: The potential to offer ‘through the gate’ support and accountability. Journal of Sexual Aggression. 1-17. 10.1080/13552600.2018.1509575
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) are an intervention used to
support and enable those who have been convicted of a sexual offence
(core member), to reintegrate back into society, whilst still holding them
accountable for their behaviour (Cesaroni, 2002). The purpose of this
study was to introduce a new prison-model of CoSA and to explore the
core members’ perceptions of their release from prison, and subsequent
future in the community, prior to it starting. Interviews and repertory
grids were carried out with those who had accepted a core member
place on this initiative (n = 9). The findings derived from the data
highlight the core members’ concerns regarding their pending release
from prison, along with a potential turning point towards a more prosocial
self. A prison-based model of CoSA may provide support and
accountability during this transitional stage, thus helping to counter any
isolation experienced and capitalise on any cognitive change.
University of Nottingham Trent Study Day: Nottingham, December 2015