Selection Processes in Prison-Based Treatment Referrals: A Street-Level Bureaucracy Perspective [2017]

Studies indicated that detainees are not always allocated to treatment programs based on official guidelines. Street-level bureaucracy theory suggests that this is because government employees do not always perform policies as prescribed. This study aimed to assess whether this also applies to the allocation of offenders to treatment in Dutch penitentiary institutions, and aimed to determine which factors influenced this. The proposed questions were addressed by studying a group of 541 male prisoners who participated in the Dutch prison-based Prevention of Recidivism program. Results showed that official guidelines were, in most cases, not leading when referring detainees to programs. Instead, treatment referrals were influenced by a broad range of risk factors, as well as the length of an offender’s sentence.

A. Q. Bosma, M. J. J. Kunst, A. J. E. Dirkzwager, P. Nieuwbeerta

Crime & Delinquency, Vol 64, Issue 8, 2018