There is limited amount of knowledge about the effects of rehabilitation and treatment programmes for young offenders in the Swedish context. The aim of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge base of how social change is mediated by programmes of social rehabilitation. The task is to understand how program components are related to successful social change of the clients.
The dissertation is based on prospective empirical studies. Participants of two specific types of social programs, KrAmi and Knuff, have been followed for a one year period and both groups are compared with a comparison group of clients in probational care. A total of 136 people are included in the sample; 62 KrAmi-participants, 21 Knuff-participants and 55 probation clients. KrAmi and Knuff both have in common that they address to young unemployed people with social problems. Both programs have a social learning approach, and the aim is to prepare the participants for labour market. Two empirical studies have been carried out.
One of the studies is an effects study, using the Addiction Severity Index, ASI as instrument. This study deals with the question of to what extent the clients have been changed after one year in respect of five problem areas; employment, criminality, family/relationships, alcohol abuse, use of drugs. As far as KrAmi is concerned a majority of the participants show considerable positive change. A smaller part of the Knuff-group also changed while for probation-group the change is much less and goes in both directions. It is obvious that KrAmi-group has succeeded to a higher extent than the other groups.
The aim of the second study is to explain and understand the nature and causes of client effects. Alterations are focussed from the perspective of participants' as well as programme counsellors' assessments of the change and possible causes. The participants who had corrected their behaviour, according to the effect study, also had changed their ways of attributing meaning. Their language was changed as well. The positive change seemed to start from the contradiction between the life situation as addicts or delinquents and the wish to live another life. This conflict pushed them to ask for help and to find new solutions. When the process is successful the participants become involved in the programme activities and in social life. Contributions of the programmes to participants' lives include the opportunity to experience positive ways of living, practical and moral support. Thus, the participants achieved a feeling of success. Counsellors on their part pushed the participants to handle and reflect on previous as well as new experiences as basis of positive explanations of life situations.
The last part of the dissertation assesses the interaction between clients and programme counsellors from a theoretical point of view. The interplay is discussed in terms of four aspects. The first aspect takes Schutz' concepts, "meaning" and "provinces of meaning" as starting point, and suggests that social change has its origin from differences between provinces of social meaning. It is in such differences that "elements of change" could be identified. The second aspect focussing the time before programme, suggest that to be trustworthy the program should communicate a projection, of both the aim of change and steps taken to that goal, that is recognisable and relevant to the participants. The third aspekt uses Engeströms "levels of learning" to understand how participants development interacts with methods used. Succesful clients achievements could be described on three levels. One conlusion that tools should be adjusted to the level of development. The last aspect takes Lave&Wengler models of "Legitimate peripheral participation" in use to illuminate the clients active part in the change process arguing that clients examines the programme relevance in relation to their own insecurity.
Stockholm: HLS , 1999. , 232 p.