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Review 3 of "Social Supports for Community-Supervised Offenders: Risk Factors or Protective Factors?"

Published onJun 23, 2021
Review 3 of "Social Supports for Community-Supervised Offenders: Risk Factors or Protective Factors?"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

I think this article makes a novel contribution to the literature. It includes a strong literature review, that effectively summarizes key insights from across varied research. Analysis of the research interviews draw on these insights and give concrete form to the way social supports seem to operate within the context of community correctional supervision. 

I wonder whether the authors could go a bit further in articulating the criteria for why some kinds of supports are judged positive and some negative. This is particularly important given the title of the article, which asks whether social supports are “Risk Factors or Protective Factors?” The authors say “the themes identified are categorized…according to a subjective evaluation.”  I think the authors are actually some underlying theories about how criminality is sustained or interrupted (i.e. not really “subjective”). Some of this thinking is evidenced in the sections on “How These Forms of Support May Discourage/Encourate Reoffending.” It is also notable that the positive factors focused on emotional support, identification of risk factors, being present, future-oriented and instilling consequential thinking, seem to have a strong synergy with cognitive behavioral approaches (Lipsey et al., 2007), Risk-Need-Responsivity principles (Bonta & Andrews, 2016), and principles of core correctional practice (Dowden & Andrews, 2004):

  • Bonta, J., & Andrews, D. A. (2016). The psychology of criminal conduct. Taylor & Francis.

  • Dowden, C., & Andrews, D. A. (2004). The importance of staff practice in delivering effective correctional treatment: A meta-analytic review of core correctional practice. International Journal of Offender Therapy and comparative criminology48(2), 203-214.

  • Lipsey, M. W., Landenberger, N. A., & Wilson, S. J. (2007). Effects of cognitive‐behavioral programs for criminal offenders. Campbell systematic reviews3(1), 1-27.

There is a missing “is” in the phrase: “Meanwhile, though marriage important...”

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