STREAM (Workstream 4)

STREAM (Strategic Targeting of Recidivism through Evaluation And Monitoring) was a major two-year (2012 – 2014) European research project, funded by the EU ((JUST/2011/JPEN/AG/2892) and involving criminal justice agencies, Ministries and universities in several European countries. It was led by the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales. The broad aim of the project was to support the development of effective practice across Europe in working with offenders in the community and to facilitate the sharing of evidence-based good practice.

Workstream 1 (led by Jean Hine, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) tried to find out more about how practice is evaluated across the EU. Evaluation is undertaken unevenly across Europe, but it has the potential to show that projects and agencies are achieving their aims and highlight how they may be able to improve their practice.  The findings of the research in this Workstream will be used to develop guidance on evaluation to help member states learn from each other, taking account of the different legal and social contexts within which it takes place, and to evaluate their own work. Examples of experience and good practice were gathered and compiled as  a  web-based ‘tool kit’ of evaluation methods which could be used to develop policy and practice across Europe.

Workstream 2 (led by Professor Joanna Shapland, University of Sheffield, UK and Sue Rex, NOMS) investigated the  feasibility of applying and evaluating the Skills for Effective Engagement and Development (SEED) programme, developed in the UK, in another European jurisdiction. The aims were to test whether this model to enhance practitioners’ skills in engaging with offenders can be applied in a different country.

Workstream 3 (led by Dr Ioan Durnescu, University of Bucharest) attempted to obtain a European picture of current developments and processes in one-to-one supervision. This involved a literature review, focusing on the aims and impact  of one-to-one supervision across Europe. This helped to identify effective models of practice that were disseminated across the whole STREAM project and further EU-wide networks, to assist organisations in developing and improving their staff-offender supervision and practices.

Workstream 4 (led by Professor Rob Canton, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) was an attempt to assess the impact of the Council of Europe’s European Probation Rules. Are they being used? If not, what are the reasons for this – can any obstacles be identified and overcome? If they are being used, how – and what difference do they make to policy and practice?

To fulfil the objectives of Workstreams 1 (Evaluation) and 4 (Probation Rules) Jean Hine and Rob Canton and their colleagues contacted people in all countries in the EU, in many cases holding Skype conversations with knowledgeable individuals. STREAM was a project of considerable importance to the European probation community. See also the account of the Final Conference held in Malta in October 2014.

Workstream 4 was led by Professor Rob Canton, working with Dr Nick Flynn, Joe Woods with the support of Dr Charlotte Knight, Jane Dominey, Jean Hine and Ross Little.