1st Edition

Rehabilitation Work Supporting Desistance and Recovery

By Hannah Graham Copyright 2016
    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    Conversations about rehabilitation and how to address the drugs-crime nexus have been dominated by academics and policymakers, without due recognition of the experience and knowledge of practitioners. Not enough is known about the cultures and conditions in which rehabilitation occurs. Why is it that significant numbers of practitioners are leaving the alcohol and other drugs field, while disproportionate numbers of criminal justice practitioners are on leave?

    Rehabilitation Work provides a unique insight into what happens behind the closed doors of prisons, probation and parole offices, drug rehabs, and recovery support services drawing on research from Australia. This book is among the first to provide a dedicated empirical examination of the interface between the concurrent processes of desistance from crime and recovery from substance misuse, and the implications for rehabilitation work. Hannah Graham uses practitioner interviews, workforce data and researcher observations to reveal compelling differences between official accounts of rehabilitation work, and what practitioners actually do in practice. Practitioners express a desire to be the change rather than being subject to change, actively co-producing progressive reforms instead of passively coping with funding cutbacks and interagency politics.

    Applied examples of how practitioners collaborate, lead and innovate in the midst of challenging work are complemented with evocative illustrations of insider humour and professional resilience. This book is a key resource for students, academics and practitioners across fields including criminology and criminal justice, social work, psychology, counselling and addiction treatment.

    1. Introduction, 2. Rehabilitation: From Paradigms to Processes, 3. Tools and Approaches in Rehabilitation Work, 4. Navigating the Research Process, 5. Alcohol and other Drugs Rehabilitation Work, 6. Criminal Justice and Working with Offenders, 7. Allies and Adversaries: Complexity and the Dynamics of Collaboration, 8. Theorising Rehabilitation Work and the Helping Professions, 9. Innovation, Leadership and Hope for Change, 10. Changing Rehabilitation Cultures


    Hannah Graham (PhD) is a Lecturer in Criminology in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at the University of Stirling.

    "This fascinating book provides important new insights into the real world of rehabilitation and a sophisticated account of the challenges and opportunities experienced by diverse groups of practitioners as they grapple with how best to respond to people with complex needs. Issues of collaboration, morale, resources, vision and hope have never been more pressing, nor the stories of those working at the coalface more compelling. A truly remarkable achievement."

    Rob White, Professor of Criminology, University of Tasmania, Australia

    "Hannah Graham has emerged as one of the most interesting and important new voices in the study of rehabilitation. This eloquent and evocative new book asks not just ‘what works’ but what is the work of offender rehabilitation. The findings provide a fascinating way forward for creating and maintaining rehabilitative cultures in criminal justice."

    Professor Shadd Maruna, Dean of the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University – Newark, USA

    "This is an exceptionally thoughtful, reflective and ambitious book. It confirms the emergence of Hannah Graham as a unique and important voice in global debates about rehabilitation theory and practice. She brings to her work and to this book an unusual and precious gift; the ability to synthesise knowledge from across a range of disciplines and on a number of related (but much too rarely connected) topics. For that reason, this book should be read by everyone who cares about what rehabilitation is and what it could and should be."

    Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology and Social Work, University of Glasgow, UK

    "This book is a very welcome and important contribution to the recovery and desistance literature. It is essential reading for anyone interested in translating academic theories and evidence into the real world of practice. It provides valuable insights into how practitioners manage complex working environments including organisational structures and culture, discipline loyalties and individual ideologies, and how these factors impact on day to day rehabilitation work in criminal justice settings."

    Professor Chris Trotter, Director of Monash University Criminal Justice Research Consortium, Monash University, Australia