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An exploration of staff views of a trauma-informed pathway in a sentenced and remand prison

Crole-Rees, Clare, Tomlin, Jack, Kalebic, Natasha, Collings, Morwenna, Roberts, Neil P. and Forrester, Andrew ORCID: 2023. An exploration of staff views of a trauma-informed pathway in a sentenced and remand prison. The Journal of Forensic Practice 10.1108/JFP-04-2023-0012

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Purpose People in prisons have a high prevalence of poly-traumatisation throughout their life span. The behavioural and emotional sequalae of trauma are likely to be managed across the whole organisation. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the key components of a trauma-informed approach within the custodial context. This study aimed to gather in-depth knowledge of staff views on the components of an optimal trauma pathway in a prison and the organisational factors that influence its implementation. Design/methodology/Approach The authors’ research design is qualitative, involving in-depth, semi-structured interviews with eight members of staff from different professional backgrounds at a single prison in the UK that houses sentenced and remand prisoners. Data was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Findings Three super-ordinate themes were identified within the data. Firstly, components of a trauma-informed pathway included sub-themes of asking about what has happened and knowing how to respond; providing specialist approaches; enabling residents to cope; screening and detection; and a compassionate relational approach. Secondly, organisational factors were associated with sub-themes of culture and leadership, resources and systems and processes. Thirdly, staff factors were associated with sub-themes of skills development and training, staff well-being and support and staff attitudes. Practical implications Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD in prisons are under-detected, and there are complex psychosocial factors within prisons that mediate the effectiveness of psychological therapies. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the first exploration of staff perspectives on the components of a trauma-informed pathway within custodial settings. Future directions should involve the piloting and evaluation of the components of the trauma-informed pathway, with a focus on longer-term outcomes and exploration of the organisational factors that impact on effectiveness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2050-8794
Funders: Welsh Government
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 October 2023
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 11:37

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