PhD Studentship: Reducing reoffending through improved collaborative practice between mental health and correctional service systems: A Norwegian case study

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Health & Social Science

Lead Supervisor name: Sarah Hean.

Aim: To explore current collaborative interagency practices in MHS and CS in Norwegian correctional services. Theoretically the study is underpinned by Cultural Historical Activity systems Theory. It explores specifically the front line professionals’ perspective of the interaction of activity systems of front line mental health professionals and prison officers that overlap when these groups support the needs of mentally ill offenders.

Method: A case study of a Norwegian prison and an ethnographic approach is taken in the study. There are two phases. Phase 1 comprises participant observation of collaborative working practices during interagency meetings between MHS and CS professionals. Interorganisational meetings between correctional and MHS will be observed in a single case study prison site in the SW of Norway and include both interagency leadership and case conference meetings (n=15). Phase 2 comprises semi-structured interviews with professionals working with offenders (n=20) stratified by profession (prison officers, prison nurses, doctors and social workers) and specialized mental health staff (psychologists and psychiatrists). Interviews explore their experiences of current and historical interagency practices. The CLM is presented to them and the feasibility of this model in their working lives explored. A key deliverable/outcome of the project is a framework describing current collaborative practices between the MHS & CS from perspective of frontline professionals within the Norway context. This framework will be compared and contrasted with similar frameworks collected in the wider COLAB project of the offender perspective as well as the UK context and be used as data needed by the COLAB consortium to validate change laboratories as a model of collaboration within the forensic mental health environment.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £14,000 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 36 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 15 December 2016.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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South West England