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    The role of needs assessment in the effective engagement of people with conviction

    Wong, Kevin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3847-2316 and Horan, Rachel (2021) The role of needs assessment in the effective engagement of people with conviction. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 60 (1). pp. 122-140. ISSN 2059-1101

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    Abstract

    We argue for the potential for needs assessment and sentence planning to transcend their core justice functions and set the tone for effective engagement between probation supervisee and supervisor. We draw on lived experience – analysis of interview and observational data from probation supervisors and supervisees, collected during the testing of a new needs assessment and sentence planning tool which aims to integrate the risk, needs, responsivity (RNR) model with desistance principles. After testing the findings against established models and principles of effective engagement, counter‐intuitively, we found that: disagreement can lead to agreement and more effective engagement. Additionally, that attention should be paid to the potential for the physical case management and supervision environment to positively influence the needs assessment and sentence planning process. These and the other findings have implications for policy and practice in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions where probation is a core criminal justice function.

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