30 Jan 2017
New Distant Voices project to challenge views of ‘offender rehabilitation’
Distant Voices, the partnership between Vox Liminis and the SCCJR, has secured funding for a new project, Coming Home.
The Economic and Social Research Council (60%) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (40%) have agreed to co-fund the project, which is also supported by Creative Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service and Glasgow Community Justice Authority.
The project will led by the SCCJR’s Fergus McNeill (Professor of Criminology and Social Work at the University of Glasgow), Alison Urie (Vox Liminis), Jo Collinson Scott (Lecturer in Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland) and Oliver Escobar (Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh).
Turning conventional understandings of ‘offender rehabilitation’ on their head, Distant Voices is concerned not with ‘correcting offenders’ but rather with exploring and changing how they are received when ‘coming home’ after punishment. Its aims are:
- to improve academic and public understandings of social re/integration after punishment;
- to develop innovative practices to better support re/integration; and
- to better engage a range of citizens, communities and civil society institutions in re/integration.
As a collaborative action research project drawing on criminology, popular music, politics and other disciplines, Distant Voices combines creative practices (principally songwriting and sharing), research and knowledge exchange to enable dialogue and learning about re/integration – and to practice and experience it. Its participatory methods draw together a wide range of differently situated citizens, organisations and associations to form a ‘community of enquiry’ and of creative practice.
By so doing Distant Voices aspires to develop theories and concepts of reintegration and rehabilitation, to influence related behaviours, to inform interventions and, more broadly, to encourage the development of a fairer and more vibrant society.
The project commences on April 17. The team will be advertising soon for a Project Coordinator and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate.