Glen Kilgour

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

18 Aug 16
with: Department of Corrections categories: ResearchCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticeDrugs & AlcoholMental Health

The New Zealand Department of Corrections is in an enviable position internationally to deliver a world-leading correctional system. We have a clear understanding of our offender population and a strong connection to other agencies. We have a well-established evidence base that we use to shape our policies and to understand what works.

We are small enough to innovate, and work within a public service that fosters collaboration and inquiry.

In this edition we have taken a broad focus on innovation in Corrections. We explore emerging research, outline innovative programmes to reduce re-offending, and discuss the application of new theoretical approaches to understanding human behavior.

Hot off the press, Devon Polaschek’s article Do relationships matter? Examining the quality of probation officers’ interactions with parolees in preventing recidivism provides a fascinating exploration of the role of human relationships in creating change. Devon discusses how the supervision of offenders in the community has changed over generations and jurisdictions, and can be anything from intensive surveillance designed to detect any act of criminality or non-compliance, to social work-based case management. Depending on the main goals of supervision, the importance of the relationship between the staff member and the offender has also varied. However, the evidence suggests that relationship quality is related to recidivism.

Jill Bowman sets out the interesting findings from the recent Comorbid substance use disorders and mental health disorders among New Zealand prisoners study. This 2016 research provides updated information on the state of New Zealand prisoners’ mental health and drug and alcohol problems. Results show that 91% of prisoners had been diagnosed with either a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder over their lifetime. Over the last 12 months, almost two-thirds of prisoners had been diagnosed with either of these disorders – three times higher than the general population.

We explore some initiatives that have been innovative both in New Zealand and international jurisdictions. Rob Jones presents a case study on the Hutt Valley justice sector innovation project that highlights this excellent joined-up Justice Sector initiative. Ben Hehir looks to the United States for evidence of effectiveness on Project HOPE, which offers “swift, certain and fair” sanctions. Introduced in 2004, the approach uses frequent drug testing and short terms of imprisonment in response to sentence breaches. This approach has spread throughout the United States and is being examined by policy makers worldwide.

In terms of New Zealand’s offender treatment programmes, we are at the forefront of evidence-based practice. In the article Ka Üpane, Hannah Cleland and Juanita Ryan describe how the over-arching goal for the pilot was to provide meaningful and empirically supported treatment to high-risk, violent, short-serving offenders. One basic premise is that the offenders in the programme have not developed, or mastered, essential pro-social skills and must be assisted to develop these skills.
In his article, Employment as a factor in desistance from crime, Stephen Cunningham sets out his game-changing approach to working with employers to help offenders into meaningful, productive and non-offending lives.

Finally, a couple of articles examine some fascinating new theoretical approaches to problem-solving provided by behavioral economists and the ‘nudge’ concepts.

12 Feb 16
with: NZ Police categories: EvaluationResearchConflict & Conflict ResolutionCrime & SafetyPrisonsVictimsPrisonersWomenYouth


  • Twenty years of Corrections - The evolution of offender rehabilitation - Dr Peter Johnston
  • The High Risk Personality Programme - Revised: An evaluation report - Dr Nick Wilson, Glen Kilgour
  • Women's experiences of rehabilitation and re-offending summary of findings - Marianne Bevan
  • Te Kupenga - An approach to working with offending families - Jill Bowman
  • Public protection orders - Managing the most dangerous offenders under a civil regime - Michael Herder
  • Co-morbidity research - Part one - Jill Bowman
  • What does it mean when Corrections says we will place the victim at the centre of our concerns in the family violence context? - Julie Sach, Rachel Smith
  • Making a difference for young people in prison - Kathy Foster
  • Rolleston Prison - Reflections on a multi-disciplinary team in action - Mike Howson, Alexandra Green, Gill Roper, Megan Stenswick
  • Reduced re-offending by 25% by 2017 - David Lewis, Kerry Consedine, Janice Hickey
  • Frontline Futures - Uarnie More
  • Characteristics of a learning culture - Darren Johnson
  • Psychopathy and its implication for criminal justice - Dr Nick Wilson
  • Book review: Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the path to knowing thy self - David Dunning (2005), reviewed by Dr Crista McDaniel
  • Book review: The Girls in the Gang - Glennis Dennehy and Greg Newbold, Reviewed by Shelley Kennedy
  • Information for contributors

Evidence based practice: What does it mean for us?

The Department’s frameworks for the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders are based on the evidence of ‘what works’. This issue of Practice contains a number of themes and principles that are well-recognised as being successful in the reduction of re-offending.

To acknowledge the Department’s 20th anniversary, Peter Johnston gives us some insight into how the Department’s approach to offender rehabilitation has evolved over the years. The article highlights many changes that have come into effect as a result of using evidence based research from New Zealand and around the world.

Principles such as targeting interventions towards offenders’ needs and aligning the intensity of these interventions with assessed risk are paramount in creating change. These principles of Risk and Need must, of course, be coupled with Responsivity. The articles by Kathy Foster, Nick Wilson, and Julie Sach and Rachel Smith illuminate the importance of these principles.

Previous editions of Practice have focused on collaboration and motivational interviewing, and we re-visit these themes in this issue. The article by Mike Howson, Alexandra Green, Gill Roper and Megan Stenswick explores how a multi-disciplinary team is working in action and the benefits this has for offenders. Jill Bowman presents a multi-disciplinary team in a different context, showing similar positive outcomes.

Motivational interviewing is internationally accepted as effective to encourage and maintain change. As highlighted by Nick Wilson and Glen Kilgour’s article, Marianne Bevan’s article, and the article by David Lewis, Kerry Consedine and Janice Hickey, building motivation in offenders is important if they are to change and sustain that change.

Woven throughout many of the articles is the evidence based principle of risk assessment, which is vital in mitigating risk. However, at times, mitigation of risk requires more than rehabilitation interventions; sometimes the public need extra protection. This issue is explored in the article by Michael Herder, who introduces us to public protection orders.

We also touch on how, as an organisation, we need to use people’s experience and knowledge to continue making a difference. Darren Johnson discusses learning cultures, and Uarnie More looks at our new way of recruiting the right people for the job.

I hope this issue of the journal enriches your practice, and encourages you to always act on the evidence.


Sarah Symonds

Director Case Management
NZ Department of Corrections

14 Jul 15
with: Department of Corrections categories: EvaluationResearchAbuse & NeglectCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticePrisonsPrisoners

Issue two of Practice: The New Zealand Corrections Journal focuses on youth offending and includes:

  • Editorial - David Wales
  • Early development and youth offending: Practical implications for intervention with, and reintegration of young prisoners - Devon L. L Polaschek
  • Youth who sexually abuse: Characteristics, treatment outcomes and practice implications - Clare-Ann Fortune
  • A new way of working with young people - Kevin Kneebone
  • Programmes for younger people - Gordon Sinclair
  • Working effectively with youth - Debra Cresswell and Vinnie Campbell
  • Case managers and the youth units - Madeline Butler-Munro
  • An introduction to offending by youth - Glen Kilgour

Welcome to Issue 2 of Practice: The Corrections Journal.

We’ve had some great feedback on our first issue, and word of its arrival has spread across the country and beyond our shores. We’re delighted that this publication can showcase some of the great work that is going on in New Zealand to work more effectively with offenders and bring re-offending rates down.

Issue 2 is a special issue in that we’ve decided to focus on a single topic, a topic that is particularly important if we are going to really get to grips with reducing re-offending. All the articles in this issue focus on youth offending. It’s timely to dedicate an issue to this topic, since although youth crime rates are dropping in New Zealand, there are still significant numbers of young people making their way through the criminal justice system and ultimately coming to Corrections to serve prison or community-based sentences.
As a Department we want to do better with these young people. To signal our commitment to achieving this we have created a youth strategy as a means of aligning all the work we are doing and to highlight the areas where we need to do more. We have recently appointed a dedicated principal advisor youth strategy to lead this work. This is tangible evidence of our commitment to doing better for young offenders so they go on to commit fewer crimes and create fewer victims.

As with much of the work we do in Corrections, we cannot expect to succeed if we try to address youth crime alone, so we are partnering with other justice and social sector agencies to share expertise and knowledge and work together in ways to better address the problems.

It’s a real honour that so early in the establishment of our new publication we’ve had respected academics and experienced senior officials from other agencies submit articles to sit alongside those of our own experts in this issue. This bodes well for the future of Practice. We are sure that there is something for everyone in this issue and, as we encouraged you to do last time, we hope you all take the opportunity to read beyond the articles that at first glimpse appear to be the most relevant to your own practice. That way Practice will achieve its aim of exchanging knowledge and ideas that lead to better practice.

Police are often the first agency to come into contact with a young person when they are thought to have committed a crime. The actions that police take can have a key influence on the path that young people take. SeniorSergeant Kevin Kneebone’s article tells us how Police have made youth one of their top priorities. He discusses the “alternative actions” that Police are able to take when working with young people.

We have three papers in this issue describing the specialist work of Corrections staff with young offenders (in Corrections we use this term to describe offenders under the age of 20). Corrections operates three specialist youth units which house offenders aged nineteen years or younger, and are situated within Waikeria Prison, Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and Christchurch Men’s Prison. Maddy Butler-Munro’s paper outlines the integral part that case managers play in the rehabilitation and reintegration of the young people who pass through these units. Debra Creswell and Vinnie Campbell explain how probation officers can work effectively with young offenders and illustrate how one probation team have developed a youth-centric approach to practice. Gordon Sinclair summarises the characteristics of rehabilitation programmes that work for young offenders. These characteristics are applied to the interventions we use in Corrections.

Some young offenders commit very serious crimes. Clare-Ann Fortune’s paper describes the individual, family and offence characteristics of youth who sexually abuse, looks at the effectiveness of specialist community-based treatment programmes for sexually abusive youth in New Zealand, and outlines some key practice implications for those working with sexually abusive youth.

As this issue shows, youth offending is an area that attracts some skilled and passionate people, and I have no doubt that focusing on this area will contribute significantly towards Corrections’ goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017.

David Wales
Assistant General Manager Programme Design and Implementation
Department of Corrections