Blog Archives

Archive for the ‘Offender work’ Category

Empathy: The foundation of best practice

We are currently working with Corrections Victoria on a large pilot program implementing aspects of motivational interviewing with custodial staff. This is happening in two prison sites and a probation site in the Grampians region. Given that empathy is a foundational skill for motivational interviewing (we code for it as a global measure on the […]

Compassion… The greatest of virtues

Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in almost all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts and pains of another. Compassion is often regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, though when based on […]

Being careful how we see others

‘Me against my brother; my brother and I against my cousin; myself, my brother and my cousin against others’, so goes this old Arab Bedouin saying. It is however problematic and underpins sameness, rather than diversity. Now more than ever, we are seeing a hardening towards those who are different than ourselves, which in turn […]

Technology… An abuser’s best friend?

Nowadays, the same technology designed to make our lives easier and more efficient, is increasingly being used as a tool to monitor, manipulate, shame and control people easily, and at a distance. As you will know, domestic violence isn’t always about physical violence, and in fact, it is psychological abuse that is by far the […]

Men’s Safety Project – A FREE site for men and practitioners

81% of people think it is possible to change people’s behaviour around family violence* So do we… It’s not uncommon for men to struggle with patterns of abusive behaviour in their relationships, and for that pattern of behaviour to have a detrimental impact on everyone; partners, children and men themselves. While changing these often ingrained […]

Making behaviour change sticky

Here’s a question… What do you do after learning something new? Answer: I bet you go back to doing what it is that you usually do the whole time thinking, “that was nice”, “interesting”, “informative” etc. What you probably don’t do is implement the information fully, whether immediately, later, or in some cases… ever! The same applies […]

Small numbers of family violence offenders create big impact!

Over the summer I received a tweet from the Sentencing Council in Victoria which reported half of reported domestic violence harm was caused by 2% of offenders. The report, by the Cambridge Centre for Evidence-Based Policing, used a harm index based on time spent in prison to analyse the offences of 36,228 people charged in […]

Mindful Facilitation

Have you ever walked into a group session and found yourself in reactive mode to one or more of the participants? Have you ever walked away from a session, knowing you have been triggered and felt uncomfortable with your performance? We have all been there at some point in our group facilitation. I certainly have. I was […]

HMA launches new website

We are excited. Today we launch our new website (www.hma.co.nz). Over the past three months we have been working with Wired Internet Group to rebuild our website so that it now operates across a number of platforms including desktop, tablet, and other mobile devices such as smart phones. We invite you to go and have […]

Anxiety robs us of our empathy

I spend a lot of time working in the criminal justice area with staff around general offending or family violence. The literature from the motivational interviewing field teaches us that empathy is one of the global measures, that along with partnership, indicates a strong working alliance. I have been thinking about what makes it so […]

Our big successes

People often ask me, “What do you do?”. Putting this into a two minute pitch is often difficult. When asked I say our team is about enhancing community safety and wellbeing. Firstly we develop a range of evidence-based interventions in the family violence and general offender sector. Secondly, we up-skill practitioners to deliver ours and […]

Case study on HMA features on Totara site

As you will know Hall McMaster & Associates (HMA) is a niche consulting agency. HMA provide programme design, training and mentoring to New Zealand and overseas governments in the important areas of criminal justice, family violence prevention, motivational interviewing and parenting. We are excited to be mentioned in a case study around the use of Totara, the learning management system that we use to host our online learning […]

Self talk that keeps us stuck

I am currently preparing to run a workshop on motivational interviewing for prison officers who are about to manage a unit for prisoners with mental health issues. In my research I came across a great book chapter by Ronald Murphy on MI (in source below). While the article was on developing motivation in those with […]

Restorative conferences continue to empower victims

I have always been a strong supporter of restorative processes since the time HMA worked on the design of the original pilot programme for the Ministry of Justice back in 2005. The idea of ‘facing up’ to those that we have hurt is at the heart of the process; it is at the heart of […]

Restorative conferences for psychopaths

Imagine putting an offender who has little ability to express empathy and a victim together to talk about the impact of the crime committed. I’m not sure about your initial reaction but mine was: “This runs a real risk of revictimisation.” I was really interested therefore to watch a TED Talk by Daniel Reisel who […]

Reintegration of offenders back into the community

The puzzle of what works in the reintegration of prisoners back into the community is a major issue facing a number of jurisdictions. A small study of 26 prisoners released from New South Wales Prison by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre showed that a third spent their first night after release sleeping rough. The rest […]

Effective Interventions with Offenders – New Stock has arrived

The view of the 1970s and ’80s – that in terms of rehabilitation programmes, nothing works – continues to exert an influence that is no longer deserved. Over the last twenty years more than 2,000 published evaluations and 75 meta-analyses have shown that carefully designed and delivered interventions, supported by good supervision, at their best […]