This page contains up-to-date information on our 2021-22 Strategic Objective 'OLR Qualitative Research'. Find out who's leading the project and how to contact us, plus get progress updates and more below.

Objective and Outcome

We will produce research to better understand the experience of individuals with an OLR who have been released into the community and recalled to custody.

This work will address a gap in current research and explore the experience of custody through to release into the community, and the support available to individuals with an OLR. The research will also consider, for those who have been returned to custody, the factors which have contributed to recall.

The findings will inform discussions with ministers around the OLR sentence as well as day-to-day management of individuals with an OLR in custody and the community.

Project Leads

This is a Strategic OLR objective led by our Head of OLR.

Debbie Campbell

Debbie Campbell (Head of OLR)

Debbie is a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist.  During her early career she worked in addiction services; secure mental health and latterly the Scottish Prison Service. Debbie achieved her Chartered and Registered status in 2019.

Debbie has a wealth of experience in assessment and interventions for general and sexual violence. Through her various roles she has had the opportunity to develop, deliver and manage offending behaviour programmes delivered in custody. Working across different prisons also provided significant experience in psychological assessment in areas including general, sexual and intimate partner violence, cognitive functioning and personality.

Debbie has a keen interest in the management of individuals who present a high risk of general and sexual violence. In 2020 this prompted a move to the Risk Management Authority where Debbie is now the Head of Order for Lifelong Restriction.

@DebbieRMA     #RMAScotOLR

Project Plan and Timeline

This is a multi-phase project for the OLR Team that just begun in May 2021, forthcoming stages will include:

  • Recruit Research Assistant – May-June 2021
  • File Review – May-June 2021
  • Contact with Lead Authorities – July 2021
  • Ethics Application – July 2021
  • Research Proposal Submitted to RMA Board – July 2021
  • Data Collection – August-October 2021
  • Data Transcription and Analysis – November-December 2021
  • Final Research Report – January-February 2022
  • Publication  and Dissemination – March 2022

Partners and Working Groups

The project will require the RMA to work collaboratively with lead authorities, including the Scottish Prison Service and Criminal Justice Social work. Discussions around the proposed research will commence with partners in May-June 2021.

Evidence Base

The Literature Review for this project will commence in May-June 2021. Information will also be drawn from the OLR database and OLR case files.

Progress Updates

Recently we welcomed our new temporary Research Assistant, Jihad Diab, to the team. He brings with him an excellent knowledge of research methods and great enthusiasm for the research. We’re pleased to report that, in line with our project plan, this objective is now well underway. In June the team begun an initial literature review, and we’ve started to look at individuals with an OLR who may be suitable for interview. We’ve recently made contact with Lead Authorities – specifically Scottish Prison Service (SPS) – to begin the process of gaining ethics approval for interview. The team are currently drafting the Research Proposal with the intention to submit in August 2021.

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