Integrated recovery-oriented way of working

When it comes to rehabilitation of and aftercare for citizens released from detention, connecting voluntary and mandatory treatment practices is a key challenge on both the national and local levels.

The research group explicitly focuses on linking up inside and outside detention, on bridging inside and outside, on connecting factors between voluntary and mandatory treatment, i.e. on an integrated recovery-oriented way of working. Other vulnerable groups, such as the homeless, asylum seekers and people receiving mental health treatment face similar challenges when switching from care received in a care setting to outside it.

At the heart of recovery-oriented work towards rehabilitation in the community is always the client and his or her path to exercizing full and active citizenship. Using the powers and skills of the individual and their social network takes centre stage in this approach. This way of working is based on strength-based strategies, such as strength-based interventions, the Good Lives Model, Restorative Justice and Desistance from Crime. It involves approaching behaviour, including deviant or criminal behaviour, as a social conflict that always involves the client, their social network, society and possibly also a victim.


The research group aims to give insight into the interplay between structures, processes and mechanisms in working with clients inside and outside detention. We also want to contribute to a better understanding of the role of professionals, organisations, volunteers and the social environment. Every study by the research group covers the following aspects:

  1. cliënt recovery (self-recovery)
  2. restoring the client-social network relationship
  3. restoring the client-society relationship
  4. restoring the client-victim relationship.


The research group explicitly aims to connect with industry by establishing long-term partnerships. The related objective is to improve professional practice, and to gather knowledge and operating frameworks for education. Examples of this include the collaborations with forensic treatment facility De Woenselse Poort, Vught penitentiary, Dordrecht penitentiary and Exodus Nederland. The research group also provides substantive support to the KIND, Ouder en Detentie (CHILD, Parent and Detention) centre of applied research. This centre carries out research, provides advice and trains professionals to help restore the relationship between the child, the detainee and his or her social network. More information is available in Dutch at

Dr Bart Claes is Professor of Integrated Recovery-Oriented Way of Working.

Contact us

Integrated Recovery-Oriented Way of Working Research Group
PO Box 90116
4800 RA Breda
The Netherlands

Ms. Rolinka Plug-Haak
+31 88 525 65 16
[email protected]