Claire Lightowler, Director of the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), appears in a video that supports an award-winning offender desistance project.
The Discovering Desistance project placed second in the Outstanding Impact in Public Policy category of the Celebrating Impact Awards, organised by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). An impact video was produced for all shortlisted projects.
Claire Lightowler provided knowledge exchange expertise to the project, which was led by Fergus McNeill (University of Glasgow) who was joined by Stephen Farrall (University of Sheffield) and Shadd Maruna (Institute of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Queen’s University Belfast). The other members of the project team are leading researchers about the process of desistance from crime.
The video, which was shot in HMP Barlinnie, features members of the project team talking about the importance of desistance research, and how they found new ways to connect with ex-offenders and hear their stories. Workshops between ex-offenders, prisoners and prison officers, a film with ex-offender turned probation officer Allan Weaver and a blog all helped to achieve this, and have a positive impact on how the Scottish Prison Service works with offenders.
Claire talks about the impact of the blog, which received 25,000 unique hits, and led to further engagement through blog posts, comments and insights from people who had offended, who were watching the film and wanted to share their experiences.