Research and analysis: Investigating disciplinary adjudications as potential rehabilitative opportunities

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The exploratory study investigated whether greater focus on rehabilitation might be possible in disciplinary adjudications. The findings show that adjudicators can, and some do, use skills that facilitate or support rehabilitative change, despite adjudications being a punishment-focussed process by design.

If adjudications can be delivered in a way that supports and facilitates rehabilitative change, then a regularly occurring event, which by definition involves prisoners whose behaviour is concerning (i.e. involves alleged rule-breaking), could have important beneficial outcomes for prisoners and prisons. The adjudication context could contribute to a rehabilitative prison climate or environment, which has been proposed as a way to make prisons more effective in achieving their goals of reducing reoffending and protecting the public.

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