Stephen Cunningham

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

04 Aug 17
with: Department of Corrections categories: Literature reviewResearchConflict & Conflict ResolutionCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticePrisons
09 Dec 16
with: Department of Corrections categories: Literature reviewResearchConflict & Conflict ResolutionCrime & SafetyLaw & JusticePrisonsEmployment & Labour

Editorial - Changing practice; changing lives

This edition focuses on some key pieces of work being led by Corrections as well as initiatives being jointly led with other organisations, for example in the employment space and the family violence sector.

There are a number of articles that give us insight in to how much we have achieved over the last five years, in particular our Director Māori, Neil Campbell’s, article on tikanga-based programmes. This article reminds us that addressing the high rate of Mäori re-offending cannot be achieved alone and reinforces the need to collaborate with Mäori groups to improve the way we design and deliver programmes.

Wayne Goodall’s gem The Sentenced Prisoner Population 1980-2016: The link between policy changes and growth generates much food for thought. The article outlines key legislative and policy changes that have impacted on the growth and changing nature of the sentenced population.

As Goodall’s article highlights, there are now many more people in prison for drug offences, hence the need for evidence-based alcohol and drug treatment, as outlined in the article by Dr Jillian Mullen. The relevance of these programmes is highlighted by the complexity of the needs we are seeing in the youth who are sentenced to prison. Dr Ashley Shearer highlights the importance of a principled approach and the involvement of communities when working with young people in the prison setting.

This also applies to how we work with women in the custodial environment. Hannah McGlue’s article on trauma informed practice and the article from Bevan, Lynch and Morrison on female family violence perpetrators give rich information on understanding why women offend and how we can work differently with them to improve their lives.

These articles enable us to better understand those we are working with and how we can adapt our practice so they can make changes.

I cannot stress how much I recommend you to grab this edition and read it thoroughly. It will not only enrich your work, it will also remind you of our commitment to changing lives and how we can all make a difference every day.

Nova Banaghan
Director Quality and Performance, Service Development
Department of Corrections

Volume 4 Issue 2: December 2016:

Editorial - Changing practice; changing lives - Nova Banaghan

The Department of Corrections’ tikanga-based programmes - Neil Campbell

Innovations in reducing re-offending - Juanita Ryan, Robert Jones

The Sentenced Prisoner Population 1980-2016: The link between policy changes and growth - Wayne Goodall

Trauma hiding in plain view: the case for trauma informed practice in women’s prisons - Hannah McGlue

Cross-agency plan to deliver world leading interventions for people who use violence within their family - Zoey Henley

Towards an understanding of female family violence perpetrators: A study of women in prison - Marianne Bevan, Ella Lynch and Dr Bronwyn Morrison

Evidence-based principles for prison-based alcohol and drug treatment - Dr Jillian Mullen

State of mind: mental health services in New Zealand prisons - Kate Frame-Reid and Joshua Thurston

Supporting offenders into employment – a joint initiative - Marama Edwards and Stephen Cunningham

Guided Release: A graduated pathway enabling safe and successful reintegration for long-serving prisoners - Anita Edmonds

Aukaha te Waka – the Future of Probation 2016 – 2021 - Brent Reilly

An exploratory analysis into the mortality of offenders - Ong Su-Wuen, Ella Lynch

Building relationships to improve outcomes for youth in Corrections - Dr Ashley Shearer

Book Review: What Works in Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation - Kahurangi Graham

Book Review: Environmental corrections: A new paradigm for supervising offenders in the community - Dr Peter Johnston

Information for contributors


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.