Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell B5: Practitioners; Safeguarding the community
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Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell B5

Practitioners; Safeguarding the community

One of 25 cells in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix Matrix cell logo

Seminal and key studies on the impact of the practitioner in criminal justice work and safeguarding the community. Explores whether exceptional abilities are needed to forge productive therapeutic relationships in these situations.


S Seminal studiesK Key studiesR ReviewsG Guidancemore Search for more studies

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K Getting along with therapist important for offender treatment completion (2008). More so than for other patients at a Canadian substance use rehabilitation centre, seeing their therapist as understanding and involved was related to whether patients under criminal justice supervision/pressure completed treatment. Problem drinking was the most common substance use issue. Discussion in bite’s Issues section.

K ‘Not my job’ perception and lack of confidence impede assessment of domestic violence (2016). Interviews with stakeholders suggest that staff in substance misuse treatment services in England do not always have the skills, confidence – or consider it their job – to ask patients about their intimate relationships and possible violence between partners. Associated guidelines arising from same project below.

K Mothers in Wales say staff support critical to family preservation and child welfare (Welsh Assembly Government, 2008). See also later evaluation (2012) of the same Welsh service, which worked intensively over a few weeks with substance using parents (their problems mainly involved alcohol) whose children faced imminent care proceedings. In both reports the mothers powerfully testified to the impact of individual staff. Discussion in bite’s Issues section.

R Supervising offenders is about the quality of the relationship (2002). PDF is of whole issue of the journal the article is in; turn to page 16 of the PDF, numbered page 14 of the journal. How to plan and implement crime-reduction programmes for substance using and other offenders including desired offender supervision skills and attributes. Turns the spotlight on the quality of the contacts that occur in the supervision setting. See also associated supervision manual below. Discussion in bite’s Where should I start? section.

R Best practice in working with substance users in the criminal justice system (Australian Government, 2005). Covers desired/required working styles, attitudes and understandings of treatment and criminal justice staff.

R Can motivational interviewing work in criminal justice settings? (2005). Asks whether the contradictions of at the same time helping and punishing, controlling and being client-centred (‘motivational arm-twisting’), undermine motivational interviewing’s ethos and effectiveness. Discussion in bite’s Issues section.

G Manual for research-based offender supervision (2005). Led by the author of our starting point review, a manual on how probation and other supervision staff can motivate behaviour change and manage offenders’ behaviour instead of merely monitoring it.

G Working with male patients who physically abuse their partners (2015). Based partly on research in England, key capabilities (knowledge, attitude and values, ethical practice, skills and reflection and professional development) for treatment staff working with men who use substances and perpetrate intimate partner violence. Associated study from same project above.

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