Researchers evaluate substance misuse and crime prevention programmes in Wales
A Swansea University academic has been awarded more than £245,000 by the Welsh Assembly Government's Department for Social Justice and Local Government for three key research projects into the impact and effectiveness of criminal justice-related interventions.
Dr Kevin Haines (pictured), Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology in the School of Human Sciences, will undertake two projects focusing on substance misuse and a further project on the effectiveness of crime prevention programmes.
The first project, which has been awarded £61,236, will evaluate the effectiveness of INCLUDE Turnaround – an 11-week intensive treatment programme in four centres across South Wales, which is aimed at reducing substance use by young people. The work will be carried out in collaboration with Cambridge-based Applied Research in Community Safety Ltd.
The second project to be evaluated will be the Early Parental Intervention Project, which is located in five centres across South Wales. The project targets substance misusing parents to reduce their use of substances and improve outcomes for their children.
Collaboration with Salford University and Applied Research in Community Safety Ltd has led to the award of £79,399 to measure the effects of the programme on the behaviour of parents and improvements in the quality of life of their children.
Dr Haines said: "These two research projects are concerned with very topical and important issues: young people, substance misuse and parenting. A key aim of the research is to provide new knowledge on the effectiveness of positive interventions designed to reduce harmful behaviours and improve the quality of life of children, young people, and their parents."
The third project, which will be undertaken with Cardiff University and Applied Research in Community Safety Ltd, is a Wales-wide evaluation of the effectiveness of crime prevention programmes supported by the Welsh Assembly Government's Safer Communities Fund.
The researchers have been awarded £105,110 to identify the most effective programmes across Wales in reducing anti-social and offending behaviour by young people.
At the conclusion of the research, the team will make recommendations to the Welsh Assembly Government on how future Safer Communities Fund support can best be targeted on implementing the objectives of the All Wales Youth Offending Strategy.
Dr Haines said: "We are delighted with the funding award for these three research projects. Together, they provide a significant opportunity for us to carry out important research with the potential to shape the future landscape of interventions across Wales for positive interventions tackling substance misuse, anti-social behaviour, and offending by young people.
"There is much innovative good work already going on in Wales and our research aims to consolidate and improve practice in these areas. The research findings will not only be of value locally but there is much that other jurisdictions can learn from Wales."
For information about the Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology at Swansea University visit the Centre's website.