University of Twente Student Theses


Predicting professionals’ engagement in information provision about victim-offender mediation to offenders with addiction problems and the impact of an educational intervention

Muijsson, Sunlight (2022) Predicting professionals’ engagement in information provision about victim-offender mediation to offenders with addiction problems and the impact of an educational intervention.

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Abstract:Aim: Participation in victim-offender mediation (VOM) can have positive effects for both the victim and offender and is associated with reduced reoffending. Although many offenders struggle with addiction problems, offenders with such problems seem underrepresented in VOM cases. As most applications for VOM are made by professionals, this study examines factors that might hinder or facilitate informing offenders with addiction problems about VOM and referring them to the program to improve our understanding of the referral process and its functioning. The study considers factors such as work orientation and attitudes towards informing that influence professionals’ intention to inform offenders about VOM and the approach they adopt to do so. An educational intervention was conducted in which mediators shared knowledge and practical tips regarding VOM with the aim to strengthen facilitating factors and increase professionals’ intention to introduce VOM to offenders. The study examines the impact of the intervention to explore whether it could be an effective means to increase information provision about VOM and improve the referral process in the future. Method: A quasi-experimental design was adopted. Participants were 71 professionals from the organization Tactus Verslavingszorg (i.e., addiction healthcare) who work with offenders with addiction problems. Two groups were created: 36 professionals who received the intervention and 35 who did not. Self-reports were collected using a questionnaire before and after the intervention. The data were analyzed using paired samples t-tests, Pearson correlations and multiple regression. Results: A personalized approach to informing offenders about VOM was most favored in the results. Professionals thought it was most fitting to address VOM when doing so was perceived to be helpful for the client. Professionals with a stronger rehabilitative orientation had more positive attitudes towards VOM and were more likely to prefer a proactive approach in which they actively inform offenders about VOM. A protective approach, in which there is more reticent to inform offenders, was the least favored in the results. Compared to those who did not receive the intervention, those who did reported stronger beliefs that they were prepared to introduce VOM to their clients and a stronger intention to do so. Conclusions: Integrating protocols for providing information about VOM within organizations could be helpful to optimize the VOM referral process for offenders with addiction problems. This study’s findings suggest that an intervention targeting why, how and when to inform offenders about VOM could be an important step in establishing such protocols. These interventions must pay attention to adopting a proactive approach, clarifying the suitability of VOM and offer professionals tools that they can implement in practice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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