• Criminological Research, Policy and PracticeDeveloping creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples’ experiences of the Youth Offending Services during the Covid19 pandemic

      Wilkinson, Dean J; Price, Jayne; Crossley, Charlene; University of Chester
      The Covid19 lockdowns (2020-2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functions of the Criminal Justice System, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic affected individuals across the wider society, this includes the social circumstances of young people involved within Youth Offending Services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population is frequently drawn from marginalised circumstances and rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of the young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the Covid19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using an artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to devise lyrics which captured their perceptions and experiences of the YOS during this time. The artist developed a successful rapport with young people based on, familiarity with and passion for, music. He promoted their strength, improving their confidence which was perceived to elicit more in-depth perspectives that might not have otherwise been obtained using more traditional methods. As such, the method and methodology outlined developed the young peoples social and communicative skills whilst producing meaningful feedback that can contribute to the YOS recovery plan and thus future of the service. This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the Covid19 pandemic. This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the Covid19 pandemic.
    • A systematic review of the characteristics and needs of older prisoners

      Wilkinson, Dean John; Caulfield, Laura S; Univeristy of Chester; Univeristy of Wolverhampton
      The older prisoner population is growing faster than the older general population and placing a strain on prisons. Much of the existing literature focusses on the healthcare needs of, or in-prison initiatives for, older prisoners. Typically, these are responsive and lacking an evidence-based understanding of the characteristics and needs of this group. There is a need to review and understand what the existing evidence base concludes about the needs of this population. This paper presents a systematic review of the existing literature on the needs and characteristics of older people in contact with the criminal justice system. After a thorough search and selection process, 21 papers, from 2002 onwards, were included in the final analysis. The review process was structured through PICOs and reported using PRISMA. The contradictions within the existing evidence base make it difficult to reach firm conclusions about the needs and characteristics of older prisoners. What is clear from the existing research are the relatively high levels of need. There is also some consensus that where older people commit homicide the victim is likely to be an intimate partner. Overall, there a need for consistent recording and reporting of characteristics and demographics and more systematic study design. This paper has highlighted the key findings and limitations in the existing literature. Future research should make use of secondary official data sources to provide a clearer understanding of the characteristics of this group, their routes to prison, their needs, and challenges they present.