Armon Tamatea

Research Projects

28 Nov 17
with: Department of Corrections categories: Literature reviewResearchCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticePrisonsPrisoners

Editorial - Stephen Cunningham

Addressing the imbalance: Enhancing women's opportunities to build offence free lives through gender responsivity - Hannah McGlue

Collaborative, relational and responsive: Principles for the case management of women in prison - Marianne Bevan

Methamphetamine use disorders among New Zealand prisoners - Jill Bowman

Strengthening continuity of care: Corrections' Alcohol and Other Drug Aftercare Worker Pilot - Caitlin Chester

Suicide in New Zealand prisons - 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2016 - Robert Jones

Transforming intervention and support for at-risk prisoners - Deborah Alleyne

The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale: Validation for use as a screen for suicide risk in New Zealand prisons and probation settings - Dr Nick Wilson

An introduction to countering violent extremism - Jayde Walker

The last defence against gang crime: Exploring community approaches to gang member reintegration - part I - Armon Tamatea

Supported accommodation services for released offenders in New Zealand - a review - Diane Hallot and Madeline Patterson

From Māori Therapeutic Programmes to Mauri Tū Pae - Tara Hape

A review of the Saili Matagi Programme for make Pasifika prisoners - Lucy King and Sosefo Bourke

Measuring practice quality: A new approach in a Corrections setting - Giles Sulllivan

Safety leadership - creating a positive safety culture at Corrections - Louise Giles and Colin du Plessis

An integrated approach: Holistic assessment of vocational trainees - Graeme Couper

Do your stretch: Yoga as a rehabilitative intervention - Dr John Sinclair

Good to Grow: How's it working - Sebastian Collin Smyth and Darius Fagan

Focus groups in prison - Sophia Walter

Role differences between psychologists who work in Corrections and those who work in Forensic Health Services - Glen Kilgour and Nicola Tiller

Book review: Sport in Prison: Exploring the role of physical activity in corrections settings -Rosie Meek reviewed by Alan Walmsley

14 Jul 15
with: Department of Corrections categories: EvaluationLiterature reviewResearchConflict & Conflict ResolutionCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticePrisonsHealth & Safety at WorkPrisoners


  • Editorial- Darius Fagan
  • Desistance from crime: A review of the literature - Marianne Bevan
  • Discovering desistance: Reconfiguring criminal justice? - Fergus McNeill, Stephen Farrall, Claire Lightowler and Shadd Maruna
  • Lessons from research into youth desistance - Jill Bowman
  • The role of release planning in the reintegration experiences of high-risk offenders - Sophie R. Dickson & Devon L. L. Polaschek
  • Desistance in high-risk prisoners: Pre-release self-reported desistance commitment and perceptions of change predict 12-month survival - Devon L. L. Polaschek & Julia A. Yesberg
  • Practice note: Building recovery, reducing crime - Kathryn Leafe
  • The problem with ‘the problem with gangs’: Reflections on practice and offender desistance - Armon Tamatea
  • Physical Readiness Assessment and staff resilience - Dr Alan Walmsley
  • Whakamanahia Wahine Programme for low-risk women offenders - Dr Annie Weir
  • Book review: The Resilience Factor - Karen Reivich, PhD & Andrew Shatte, PhD
  • Book review: Desistance from Sex Offending: Alternatives to Throwing Away the Keys - Laws, R. & Ward, T. (2010). Reviewed by Benita Stiles-Smith, PhD
  • Information for contributors.


The desistance issue

Often articles and information about desistance leave me with more questions than answers.  Like many practitioners, I am desperate to find the dummies guide ‘how to stop offenders re-offending’, however it is never likely to be that simple.

Desistance is a term widely used in the fields of criminology and criminal psychology to describe the process of an offender successfully stopping or reducing offending over a period of time. While the term is widely used in the research, it is only just beginning to emerge in our thinking in frontline practice in Aotearoa. However, those of us who work with offenders must develop systems and practices that give offenders the best chance of desisting from crime. In this issue of Practice we get the opportunity to explore the topic of desistance further and in context for New Zealand practitioners.

In this issue we have gathered a range of articles from New Zealand and the wider world that I hope will challenge practitioners to think about their practice differently. Throughout all of the articles there is a common thread that the ‘offender / client / service user’ perspective is very important to ensuring a system promotes change and a move toward desistance.  Many articles encourage a collaborative approach; this makes a lot of sense given every individual is unique and every case different, making it imperative for us to customise our practice based on the person and circumstances in front of us.

If you are new to the idea of desistance, a good place to start in this issue is the literature review by Marianne Bevan. This summarises concepts from a comprehensive range of the most prominent authors and articles on desistance.

There are two articles related to the Department’s on-going parole research project led by Devon Polascheck from Victoria University.  The article by Dickson and Polaschek examines the importance of offenders’ individual release plans. Polaschek and Yesberg then examine the relationship between an individual’s commitment to change and the likelihood of desistance from crime over a 12 month period.

A comprehensive research report by Jill Bowman into youth desistance follows the Department commissioning Dr Jarrod Gilbert to locate and interview 50 high risk young offenders who ‘desisted’ from crime. The report contains some salient information for practitioners about what works and what does not and in particular emphasises the importance of reintegrative assistance, and eliciting and enhancing pro-desistance self talk.

We are also privileged to have an international article in this issue contributed by Fergus McNeill, Stephen Farrall, Claire Lightowler and Shadd Maruna who are amongst the world’s leading researchers on the topic of desistance. The article presents ten propositions that were developed from a series of workshops throughout the UK that focused on the development of practice for desistance.  Some of these propositions challenge common current practice ideals and encourage us to think differently about how our systems operate.

One of the book reviews in this issue looks at The Resilience Factor which is considered a bit of a bible for anyone who wants to develop their knowledge of resilience to work with offenders or build personal resilience.

So, I hope this issue of Practice will leave you with a lot of questions about your practice, as it’s only by questioning what we do that we improve. There probably is no simple ‘answer’ to how to stop re-offending, but this issue of Practice will give you a lot of clues and guidance to hone your practice.

Darius Fagan
Chief Probation Officer, Department of Corrections