Engaging young offenders in novel community-based initiatives in professional sports settings: an exploration of how Everton in The Community’s Safe Hands programme might support the resettlement of young prison leavers and the potential for delivering a programme like Safe Hands in Scotland

MacNeill, Ian Alexander (2021) Engaging young offenders in novel community-based initiatives in professional sports settings: an exploration of how Everton in The Community’s Safe Hands programme might support the resettlement of young prison leavers and the potential for delivering a programme like Safe Hands in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Supporting the resettlement of young prison leavers emerged as a central criminal justice policy challenge in the 21st Century. Most young people in prison reoffend or are reincarcerated after release. While the role of sport in seeking to reduce youth crime has grown in recent years, most literature and programmes have concentrated on diverting young people away from offending or prison-based initiatives, with less focus on the role of sport or sporting settings in supporting resettlement. The first strand of this thesis explores how the Safe Hands programme, delivered by Everton in the Community (EiTC), believed to be the first official resettlement initiative delivered by a Football in The Community (FiTC) organisation, supports young prison leavers’ resettlement. Drawing on interviews with current and former participants and EiTC staff, this thesis argues four aspects of Safe Hands are key to promoting resettlement: its setting; structure; staff; and activities. These are presented in a logic model which hypothesises connections between programme components and outcomes. Additionally, individual, organisational, and system level barriers to delivering Safe Hands are identified. These barriers are discussed from a systems thinking perspective, offering a critique of current resettlement, particularly a lack of synergy among services for young prison leavers and how such programmes can be influenced by system level changes, such as economic austerity. The second strand of this thesis builds on the Safe Hands research by exploring the potential for delivering a similar programme in Scotland, where equally poor outcomes for young prison leavers are evident. Using interviews with stakeholders from the Scottish Throughcare sector, including young people in prison, and from the Scottish Football in the Community (SFiTC) industry, it identifies potential barriers and facilitators to both delivery and engagement of young prison leavers. Based on these findings, this thesis argues that Safe Hands affords strong potential for supporting the resettlement of young prison leavers and there is nothing in the Scottish context to suggest a similar programme could not be delivered. However, an SFiTC would need a certain level of capacity and capability to deliver a programme like Safe Hands and some modifications may be required. Recommendations include: suggesting wider adoption of programmes like Safe Hands across the UK, including those which consider using different sporting settings; and that resettlement systems would benefit from being subject to a needs assessment to clarify how resettlement outcomes for young prison leavers might be improved, including steps to ameliorate the wider social and economic constraints on their lives.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: resettlement, sport, youth crime, football, intervention, Safe Hands, Everton in The Community.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Helen, Dr. Sweeting
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Ian Macneill
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82182
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 18:45
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 10:18
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82182
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82182

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