Criminal Justice Study (CJS)
The Criminal Justice Study (CJS) will compare the relative effectiveness of two screening tools and three forms of intervention of different intensity and duration.
Overall 96 Offender Managers from 9 probation offices across 3 English regions (London and the South East Regions (n=5), North East Region (n=4)) will be recruited.
In London and the South East Regions it is likely that the five offices will be situated in the London boroughs of Brent, Enfield, Lambeth and Southwark and in Winchester. Within each office approximately 10-11 Offender Managers will each need to recruit five offenders to the study during a nine month period
In the North East it is likely that the four offices will be situated in Darlington/Durham, Newcastle, Northumberland and South of the Tyne. Within each office approximately 10-11 Offender Managers will each need to recruit five offenders to the study during a nine month period
Offender Managers will be fully trained during a 2-3 hour training session by the research team and the experienced Alcohol Health Workers and will also receive ongoing support during the time of the project.
The 96 Offender Managers will be randomly allocated to screen for alcohol use disorders on their caseload using a short screening questionnaire (either the Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST) or the Modified Single Alcohol Screening Question (M-SASQ) and to deliver one of three intervention conditions:
- 1. A client information leaflet control condition (n=32 Offender Managers)
- 2. 5 minute simple structured advice (n=32)
- 3. 20 minute brief lifestyle counselling delivered by an Alcohol Health Worker (n=32).
When a client screens positive, the OM will invite them to participate in the research and ask them to complete a short questionnaire before they receive the intervention. They will receive a £10 voucher for taking part in the research. All offenders will then be contacted via telephone by research staff in 6 months time, who will administer the same questionnaire. They will receive another £10 for doing this.
Overall the 6 month follow up will provide important information on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of screening and brief intervention for alcohol use disorders in probation. We will also look at OMs and clients views about the appropriateness and acceptability screening and intervention, and examine the staff and organisational factors associated with successful implementation.