The role of sport in reducing reoffending among young men in prison: Assessing the evidence base.

Gwen Lewis, Rosie Meek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sport is increasingly being promoted as a positive diversion, intervention and rehabilitation tool for use with young offenders. A plethora of Western research has highlighted the positive impact that community sports-based interventions can have on young people at risk of or involved in crime, yet limited attention
has been paid to how sport can be utilised with custodial populations to address offending behaviour and ultimately reduce reoffending. In this paper we outline the rationale and limited accumulated evidence supporting the use of sport as a rehabilitative tool in prison settings. In particular, we explore the ways in which sport can be effectively used to promote desistance form crime as well as produce benefits within the immediate custodial context. It is proposed that while sport alone will not necessarily prevent reoffending, sport can offer an effective way in which to embed numeracy and literacy, or motivate offenders
who may be difficult to engage in other resettlement, educational or psychological interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
JournalForensic Update
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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