Preliminary research informing policy on remote alcohol monitoring in criminal justice: the Scottish experience
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OBJECTIVES: To explore the views of Scottish offenders on the impact of alcohol on their experience of offending and their lives in general. Furthermore, to explore their views on the concept of remote alcohol monitoring (RAM) as a way to address alcohol misuse upon liberation from prison. METHODS: A convenience sample of 12 serving offenders participated in one of three focus groups. Data were analysed using the principles of thematic analysis. RESULTS: Analysis of the data revealed the significant impact of alcohol on the lives of the participants. Key themes included the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption; the association of alcohol with harm; the association of alcohol with offending; the previous attempts to reduce alcohol consumption and possible reasons for failure; and the views of participants on the utility of RAM in relation to crime prevention. CONCLUSIONS: Participants had significant issues with alcohol misuse prior to incarceration that had impacted on their offending and resulted in both health and social harms. Participants were generally positive but pragmatic about RAM, recognising that technology alone may not be enough to change deeply ingrained and addictive behaviours.
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