Addiction and criminal justice interventions
: a complex systems analysis

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The candidate’s interest in the field of addiction and criminal justice interventions stems from his experience as a practitioner and senior manager in substance misuse services over a 15 year period from 1989 until 2003. During this time he was involved in providing, managing and developing services for people with enduring and complex needs, of which involvement with the criminal justice system was a key feature. The candidate during this period was also involved in training professionals to work with addition and multiple complex needs, was an accredited practice teacher for social work and probation students, and involved in higher education teaching for the Schools of Social Work and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. On having taken up a full time academic career in 2003 the publications which form the body of this submission both outline and analyse the candidates scholarship and research in conceptualising, research and teaching the evidence, ethics and outcomes of interventions to address addition within a context of complex and multiple needs. Central to this work has been the development of an applied social science perspective concerning the relevance and complexity theory to understanding addition as a complex adaptive system and the necessity of the whole systems approaches to providing a framework for policy formation, the management of service delivery and the practice of interventions. It will be argued that in the delivery of interventions to address addition, complexity theory challenges our ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions of casual and linear relationships in the delivery, practice and outcomes from those interventions. It will also be argued that application of complexity theory represents a new heuristics for overcoming what we have been hitherto unabridged fault lines in social science methodologies.

Date of AwardMar 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMichael Nash (Supervisor)

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