The legitimacy of offender management programmes in a post-TR landscape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: the article explores the under-considered perspectives of service users engaged in various community sentences based on a ‘strengths-based’ approach to desistance. Further to changes in the sector, the paper considers service user views of programmes delivered by combinations of agencies from private, public and third-sectors.

Design/Methodology: the paper is based on analysis of 64 semi-structured interviews with users of four programmes, accompanied with informal fieldwork observations by the researchers as they carried out the research at the premises of service providers.

Findings: the research finds that service user perceptions of the legitimacy of programmes is closely related to their understanding of three key dimensions: first, the 'authenticity' of those delivering the service, second, the instrumental (in broad terms) gains they expect from engagement, and, third, their understanding of the identity and ethos of the programme.

Originality value: the paper adds important understanding based on service user perceptions in a period when service provision is being diversified. Further directions for other research are identified and it is recognised that a limitation of the current study is that it incorporates a sample drawn from one area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
JournalSafer Communities
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2018


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