For most people, withdrawal from crime is a process, or rather an event. This project published by the Rand Corporation, produced an easy-to-use questionnaire to be used by those who worked with offenders to acquire intermediate results: positive exchange indicators that can indicate progress towards a crime-free future.
The research shows that, especially for criminals with deeply rooted social and personal problems, withdrawal from crime is not a one-time event. Often, it is a long-term process of fundamental change to their own identity, to their values and lifestyle, which involves periods of abstention caused by a transgression interrupted by relapses.
The effectiveness of services for criminals is normally evaluated on the basis of the rate of recurrence. However, these results are better measured over long periods of time and require access to reliable data concerning convictions or other offence-related measures. This is not feasible for many interventions, in the short term, for criminals freed by organisations without the time or resources necessary to carry out an analysis of recurrence. Moreover, some interventions, such as cultural programmes in prison or tutorials, have the objective of supporting the withdrawal process, rather than ending the criminal process.
This study aims to identify and develop a tool to measure intermediate results. This would involve changes in skills and thinking directly or indirectly associated with reductions in recurrence, which could indicate that a criminal is making positive changes towards a crime-free future, but has still not managed to do so. For example, intermediate results can include improved problem solving skills, better time management and increased resilience.
The project focused on developing a measurement tool for those who offer tutorial and arts programmes for criminals. In particular, community sector and volunteer organisations.
The project is based on close collaboration and cooperation with a series of suppliers that offer programmes and arts to criminals. With an iterative process of bibliographic research, consultations, valid tests and analysis, the research team produced an academically informed questionnaire of 29 articles, called the Instrument of Measurement of Intermediate Results (IOMI). Along with the OMI, the researchers also developed a cost tool, a guidance tool and a tool for entering data.
The IOMI measuring tool and the other materials that make up the tool kit provide an easy-to-use package that arts suppliers and tutors can use (and possibly many other types of intervention) to assess the impact of its own work relatively quickly and directly.
The IOMI is not a completely validated instrument, but preliminary tests showed clear signs that the instrument has value, internal consistency, stability and the potential to reflect change with most intermediate results it measures”.
The IOMI, in theory, is informed and based on accurate reviews of evidence and on an in-depth consultation with suppliers of programmes of tutorials and arts.