Supporting offenders with multiple needs: Lessons for the 'mixed economy' model of service provision

Tim McSweeney, Mike Hough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This article draws on an evaluation of a large-scale programme in London, 'From Dependency to Work' (D2W), to discuss the obstacles to effective work with offenders with multiple needs. D2W, a five-year programme funded through the Single Regeneration Budget, aimed to support offenders with a range of multiple needs including drug dependence, mental health issues, employment problems and illiteracy. It was an ambitious programme that sought to co-ordinate the work of statutory and voluntary agencies in a similar way to the 'mixed economy' model envisaged for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS); that met with implementation problems, which limited its overall impact. These related in part to problems in finding ways of effectively assessing those with multiple needs, and planning a rational sequence of interventions; but the way in which the programme was performance-managed also destabilized the partnership to a considerable degree. The study carries important lessons for NOMS, both in relation to approaches to offender management and to contract management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
JournalCriminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006


  • Drug treatment
  • Employment schemes
  • NOMS
  • Offender needs


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