Mea Culpa de complexiteit van financiële problematiek onder reclasseringscliënten

Authors Gercoline van Beek
Publication date 2022
Research groups Werken in Justitieel Kader, Schulden en Incasso
Type Doctoral thesis


The relationship between socioeconomic factors and crime is a classic theme in criminological literature. However, the relationship between debt and crime is still unclear, and little is known about the causality of this relationship and the factors that influence it. In addition, effective interventions and guidelines to adequately support offenders with debt are limited. Therefore, this thesis aims to systematically gain more insight into the factors that influence the relationship between debt and crime among probation clients and to contribute to developing tools that probation officers and other forensic social professionals can use to support clients with debt adequately. The relationship between debt and crime was studied by (1) a systematic and scoping literature review (5 studies were included in the systematic review and 24 studies in the scoping review), (2) a client file study including risk assessment data of a sample of 250 Dutch probation clients, (3) a quantitative study including recidivism data of the same sample of 250 Dutch probation clients, (4) interviews with 33 Dutch probation officers and 16 clients, and (5) a multiple case study focusing on working elements in the supervision of individual offenders (5 cases). The results show that debt is prevalent among probation clients, hinders resocialization, and increases recidivism risk. Debt and crime are not only related directly but are also related by a complex interplay of problems in different life domains, such as problems regarding childhood, education and work, and mental and physical health. Notwithstanding the strong relationship between debt and crime, financial assistance for probation clients with debts is limited. As debt is strongly related to problems in other life domains, a systematic collaboration between professionals of different disciplines is necessary to support clients with debt adequately.

On this publication contributed

  • Gercoline van Beek
    • Teacher-researcher
    • Research groups: Werken in Justitieel Kader, Schulden en Incasso

Language Engels
Key words proefschrift, financiële problematie, financial problems, reclasseringscliënt, debt, crime, recidivism, risk factors, probation work, supervision

Gercoline van Beek

Gercoline van Beek

  • Docent-onderzoeker
  • Research groups: Schulden en Incasso, Werken in Justitieel Kader