Analysing of supervision skills of juvenile justice workers

30 Jan 2013

There is evidence that the style of supervision by juvenile justice workers can make a difference to the likelihood that young people under supervision will re-offend. This study aimed to examine the style of supervision offered by juvenile justice workers and how this relates to re-offending patterns by clients. It provides information about what goes on in worker/client interviews and what works best in fostering reduced recidivism.

More specifically the aim was to gather information about the nature of micro-skills which are used by youth justice workers in the supervision of offenders on probation parole and other community based orders, how clients respond to the use of those micro-skills and how the use of the skills relates to client outcomes such as recidivism.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Juvenile Justice in NSW. Forty-seven workers participated in the study. The next 5 clients allocated to the workers from the time of volunteering from the study were then selected for each of the workers. The workers were then asked to invite the research officers who were working on the project to observe the next interview they conducted with any one of the five clients who were allocated to them. Eighty-nine interviews were observed however an additional 39 were also observed as part of the pilot study for this project. They are included in the analysis and results reported on in this paper. In total 128 interviews were observed. Eighty interviews were also conducted with clients following the observation and 78 interviews were conducted with workers following the observations and interviews with the clients.

Two year recidivism data is available for 117 of the observations. Eleven of the interviews were conducted in remote areas of NSW during 2011 and the recidivism data for those interviews is not yet available.

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