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Bridging the Gap: A Review of the Pact Family Engagement Service

Bridging the Gap: A Review of the Pact Family Engagement Service

Main Contact: Jane Dominey with Charlotte Dodds and Serena Wright

The purpose of this research was to review the operation of PACT’s Family Engagement Service (FES) and identify ways in which FES contributes to outcomes associated with reduced re-offending, order and wellbeing in prisons, and outcomes likely to support the desistance process.  Drawing on existing knowledge about family engagement work in prisons, the research used observation, interaction and interview to document FES processes and examine the factors that are associated with positive outcomes for prisoners and their families.

 The primary research questions were:

  • What are the key processes of the FES practice model?
  • How are these linked to positive outcomes in the areas of family contact, positive intention about desistance and well-being in prison?
  • Is there any evidence to suggest that different approaches are needed to family engagement work for women and men in prison?

The final report was published in September 2016.

Our Aims

The primary aims of the Centre are to:

  • bring together research interests relating to community sanctions (with a European and international as well as a national focus), gender, crime and justice
  • develop the links between criminal justice and social justice
  • give students and colleagues working in these broad areas a clear identity.   

A second, but no less important, objective is to use the Centre as a base from which to apply for research funding. 

Thirdly, the Centre links academic and practitioner related interests - organising a number of workshops with members of the National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Companies, voluntary organisations and youth justice agencies. 

The Centre holds occasional seminars and workshops and runs a monthly reading group.