Horizontal and vertical responsibilisation in the resettlement field

Article


Cracknell, M. 2023. Horizontal and vertical responsibilisation in the resettlement field. Safer Communities. 22 (1), pp. 28-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-09-2022-0037
TypeArticle
TitleHorizontal and vertical responsibilisation in the resettlement field
AuthorsCracknell, M.
Abstract

Purpose:
The Offender Rehabilitation Act (ORA) 2014, extended post-release supervision to individuals serving short prison sentences while introducing an extended array of actors into the resettlement field. This article explores the barriers that prison practitioners and community probation workers faced in their attempts to provide resettlement support, and how in response to these barriers, these practitioners enacted particular responsibilisation strategies.
Methods:
This empirical research features the perspectives of 19 prison, probation and third-sector actors within a case-study area in England. Qualitative interviews were carried out, alongside observations and field notes of daily practice.
Findings:
Findings indicate that despite the promise of additional support, practitioners face significant barriers inhibiting their ability to provide effective resettlement assistance. The three specific barriers identified are; institutional, temporal, and political-economic. In response, practitioners enacted particular responsibilisation strategies, shifting blame vertically down to service users, and horizontally towards the other actors involved in managing these individuals.
Originality:
These findings help to expand our understanding of the responsibilisation literature, particularly how responsibilisation operates at a practitioner level, and how barriers become refracted and reframed into responsibilisation strategies. This article also draws on the ‘mass supervision’ literature to demonstrate how the introduction of multiple agencies obfuscates individual responsibility for resettlement and large caseloads erode supervisory practice.
Practical implications:
This article concludes with a brief overview of the latest iteration of resettlement practice, before exploring how a desistance-focused approach by practitioners may improve resettlement outcomes.

KeywordsResponsibilisation; Resettlement; Short sentences; Transforming Rehabilitation; Through the gate; Mass supervision
Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeSustainability
LanguageEnglish
PublisherEmerald
JournalSafer Communities
ISSN1757-8043
Electronic2042-8774
Publication dates
Online16 Feb 2023
Print17 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Dec 2022
Accepted10 Nov 2022
Submitted02 Sep 2022
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-09-2022-0037
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