The role of community and land-based interventions in supporting rehabilitation
Whilst there is an increasing recognition of the benefits of horticultural interventions in the community (Bos and Kneafsey, 2014) and with offenders (Brown et al., 2015) at present there is little focus on the role of such interventions in supporting rehabilitation, which for the purpose of the project includes those transition from prison to the community, those on a recovery journey, and those experiencing poor mental health and homelessness.
As such, the aim of this scoping project is to explore the role of community and land based interventions in supporting rehabilitation, which incorporates the concepts of desistance, resettlement, and wellbeing. This research is situated in the context of criminal justice system reforms (‘Transforming Rehabilitation’) and involved a systematic search and review of the literature, a policy review, interviews with selected case studies and stakeholders, and examined the different models of interventions.
The systematic review identifies the lack of attention in the academic literature given to land-based interventions targeted at those in the criminal justice system as well as marginalised communities (those experiencing homelessness and substance misuse for example). Coupled with the growing evidence base around the benefits of horticultural interventions in the community (Bos and Kneafsey, 2014) and with offenders (Brown et al., 2015) and in the context of the policy reforms and privatisation of the probation service, it is important to recognise the positive contribution such interventions can make to people’s journeys and life experiences, as well as their wellbeing, level of desistence and societal resettlement.
The role of training, employment and business (and partnership working) in supporting these areas is also a central theme to the research. In light of the increasing expectation from the third sector to support communities in this area, it is pertinent to explore and demonstrate the work undertaken by such organisations.
This research aims to not only provide case studies of community and land-based interventions working with marginalised communities, but to also act as a tool for third sector organisations to use and for a future research proposal to further explore this area of work.
Read the final report
Take a look at the related project: 'Evaluation of the Master Gardener Programme at Rye Hill Prison: A Horticultural Intervention with Substance Misusing Offenders'
Take a look at the related project: 'Evaluation of the Master Gardener Programme'