Mea culpa The complexity of financial problems among probation clients
About 30,000 prisoners return to society every year. Probation officers, who supervise many of these people during their rehabilitation, often notice that the progress clients make with regard to finding housing and work and establishing relationships is often hampered by the complex financial problems they have. In addition, probation workers lack tools to adequately support them.
About 30,000 prisoners return to society every year. Probation officers supervise a substantial part of these people, with the aim to reduce the risk of recidivism and to stimulate social rehabilitation. Probation officers often support clients in making progress in domains such as housing, work and relationships. However, this progress may be hampered by complex financial problems clients often experience. Financial problems are known in criminological literature to be a criminogenic factor. Without help, many probation clients hardly have a view on being debt-free. However, probation officers often lack tools to adequately support clients with financial problems and thus, in the absence of a clear methodological approach, seek their own way.
In response to previous research from the Research group Working with Mandated Clients and the Research group Debt and Debt Collection on financial problems among probation clients, the Probation Service was asked to conduct further research on these problems and to develop methodologies for supporting clients with financial problems.
The current PhD research project, supported by the three probation organisations, is in line with this previous research, and aims to systematically gain more insight into the factors that influence the relationship between financial problems and delinquency among probation clients and to contribute to the development of tools that probation officers can use to adequately support clients with financial problems.
The results of this PhD research project will be shared via scientific and practice-based publications, both during and after its completion.
01 September 2018 - 01 August 2022
This PhD research project focuses on the direct and indirect associations between financial problems and delinquency among probation clients. Quantitative and qualitative methods - risk assessment data analysis, file research and interviews - will be used to examine four aspects:
- The prevalence, severity and scope of the financial problems among probation clients
- The background of financial problems and the role of offending history
- The influence of financial problems on the risk of recidivism
- The tools that probation officers need in order to adequately support clients with financial problems.