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The psychosocial experience of role reversal for paraprofessionals providing substance misuse and offender treatment: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

The psychosocial experience of role reversal for paraprofessionals providing substance misuse and... Purpose – Many ex-offenders and substance misusers are employed in the treatment and intervention of offenders. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this role as a protective factor in the maintenance of desistance. Design/methodology/approach – Seven paraprofessional employees of a substance misuse service were interviewed using semi-structured interview and analysed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings – Four super-ordinate themes emerged: “The Fragile Sense of Self”; “Hitting Rock Bottom”; “Belonging and identity” and “Maintaining the role reversal”. These themes captured the journey of moving through crime and substance misuse into desistance and employment. Research limitations/implications – The sample size is small; therefore generalisation is reduced. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) could be considered subjective. Further research should attempt to explore similar ideas with different populations and using different methods. Practical implications – This work suggests that practitioners and policy makers should look at the vital importance of paraprofessional employment in relation to desistance from crime. Social implications – Offenders and substance misusers are often left without direction or a fixed new identity, and return to the only life they have known. This study suggests that paraprofessional employment might provide a sense of belonging and identity that could benefit the ex-offender, their clients and society. Originality/value – This is an opportunity to advance knowledge in the area of paraprofessional employment as an aid to “recovery” and lifelong desistance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Forensic Practice Emerald Publishing

The psychosocial experience of role reversal for paraprofessionals providing substance misuse and offender treatment: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Journal of Forensic Practice , Volume 17 (1): 12 – Feb 9, 2015

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-8794
DOI
10.1108/JFP-10-2014-0032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Many ex-offenders and substance misusers are employed in the treatment and intervention of offenders. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this role as a protective factor in the maintenance of desistance. Design/methodology/approach – Seven paraprofessional employees of a substance misuse service were interviewed using semi-structured interview and analysed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings – Four super-ordinate themes emerged: “The Fragile Sense of Self”; “Hitting Rock Bottom”; “Belonging and identity” and “Maintaining the role reversal”. These themes captured the journey of moving through crime and substance misuse into desistance and employment. Research limitations/implications – The sample size is small; therefore generalisation is reduced. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) could be considered subjective. Further research should attempt to explore similar ideas with different populations and using different methods. Practical implications – This work suggests that practitioners and policy makers should look at the vital importance of paraprofessional employment in relation to desistance from crime. Social implications – Offenders and substance misusers are often left without direction or a fixed new identity, and return to the only life they have known. This study suggests that paraprofessional employment might provide a sense of belonging and identity that could benefit the ex-offender, their clients and society. Originality/value – This is an opportunity to advance knowledge in the area of paraprofessional employment as an aid to “recovery” and lifelong desistance.

Journal

Journal of Forensic PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 9, 2015

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