Insiders’ views of their role: Toward their training
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CitationKrespi Boothby, M. R. (2011). Insiders’ views of their role: Toward their training. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 53.4, 424-448.
Research on peer-led support programs in prisons suggests that these programs are beneficial. One such program is the Insiders Scheme. Preliminary reports on its effectiveness suggest that it has a positive impact on prisoners as well as on the Insiders themselves. Nevertheless, there is no detailed information on the ways in which the Insiders perceive their role. Information may help to set targets for training of Insiders. Therefore, in the present qualitative study, focus group meetings were undertaken with all three Insiders in a male prison, using an interview-guide approach to describe the ways in which the Insiders perceived their role. The anonymized transcripts of these meetings were analysed inductively by following established conventions to ground analysis in the data. Insiders evaluated their role in terms of the different aspects of their role, the strategies that they used to help other prisoners, the personal impact of their role, the difficulties that the experienced during the course of their work, and possible ways of improving their role. The present findings contribute to an evidence-base for peer-centred training for the Insiders Scheme and therefore highlight the value of undertaking qualitative research among Insiders to identify specific targets for their training.