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Transferring 24/7 sobriety from South Dakota to south London: the case of MOPAC's alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement pilot

Bainbridge, Laura (2019) Transferring 24/7 sobriety from South Dakota to south London: the case of MOPAC's alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement pilot. Addiction, 114 (9). pp. 1696-1705. ISSN 0965-2140

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Identification Number: 10.1111/add.14609


Background and aims: During the past three decades an expansive literature has emerged that is dedicated to analysing the processes of policy transfer. One neglected pathway involves subnational agents emulating crime control innovations that have emerged in subnational jurisdictions of other nations. This paper presents the case of the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime's (MOPAC) Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) Pilot to examine the multi-level factors that facilitate and/or constrain international–subnational crime and justice policy transfer. Methods: A qualitative case study design reconstructed the (in)formal events that led to components of the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project (USA) being either abandoned or integrated into MOPAC's AAMR Pilot. Evidence is drawn from elite interviews and documentary materials. Results: A series of inter/transnational-, macro-domestic-, meso- and micro-level factors enabled and/or obstructed processes of complete international–subnational policy transfer. Exclusion of domestic violence perpetrators from the London Pilot was fuelled by interest-group hostility and mobilization. Use of alcohol tags rather than breathalysers to monitor compliance was a result of political–economic constraints, concern surrounding intrusion, technological innovation and policy-orientated learning. The decision to omit an ‘offender pays’ funding mechanism was a consequence of legal incompatibility and civil service reluctance, while ‘flash incarceration’ for breach was not implemented due to European policy harmonization. Conclusions: The London Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement Pilot was a policy ‘synthesis’ that combined ideas, goals, vocabulary, principles, technology and practices from the South Dakota model with the existing English and Welsh criminal justice framework. Structural factors and the actions of particular agents limited the extent to which policy transfer occurred.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 16:27
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2024 06:27

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