Empowering young people: multi-disciplinary expressive interventions utilising Diamond9 evaluative methods to encourage agency in youth justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-148
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent research on arts and sports in the (adult) criminal justice system suggest arts and sports projects can have a positive impact on offenders. Arts programmes have been shown to help increase offender’s self-esteem, communication skills and self-worth (Allen et al. 2004, Miles & Clarke 2006, Parker et al. 2014, Wilson et al. 2009, Wilson & Caulfield 2009). Arts- and sports-based programmes have commonly been employed to improve prisoners’ overall learning capacity and motivation, enhance self-efficacy, help offenders explore and develop prosocial identities and positive relationships with others and act as a ‘catalyst’ for positive psychological and attitudinal changes and therefore contribute, directly and indirectly, to desistance from further offending. The research presented herein utilises a mixed method approach to evaluating sports and arts-based interventions within a Secure Children’s Homes (SCHs) in England and Wales, adopting the Diamond9 model and semi-structured interviews, considered further below. This is the first time the model has been adopted within a Secure Children’s Home; an under-researched area of the criminal justice system. Accordingly, the results provide an original insight into the voice of this currently underrepresented demographic of the Secure Estate. The Secure Estate incorporates: SCHs, Secure Training Centres (STC), and Young Offender Institutions (YOI).

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