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Supporting justice-involved people with extreme complex needs in the Australian community: a third sector practice perspective
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-12-03, DOI: 10.1108/jidob-09-2021-0014
Natalia Hanley, Helen Simpson, Juan M. Tauri


This qualitative research aims to explore staff perspectives on working effectively with people with intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system.


Taking a case study approach, staff working for a third sector community organisation were interviewed about the components of effective work with their customers. The staff supported people engaged in the Community Justice Program.


Staff consistently described relationship building as the most important part of their work. There were three components to relationship building: the process of relationship building, the elements of a high-quality staff–customer relationship and the staff skills needed to develop a good relationship.


This paper makes two contributions to the literature. First, it focuses our attention on a third sector organisation supporting people in contact with the justice system as opposed to a formal criminal justice agency. Second, the paper seeks to understand the processes and skills staff deploy to build a high-quality relationship with criminal justice-involved people with intellectual disability.