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Table 2 Contextual factors mentioned by interviewees

From: Experiential peer support and its effects on desistance from delinquent behavior: protocol paper for a systematic realist literature review

Contextual factor Important elements according to interviewees
Timing Support by an experiential peer might be beneficial in various stages: before something occurs, when there are already some signals, when something has already occurred, and during aftercare or rehabilitation3; probably the sooner the better1; and the individual should be willing to take steps towards desistance1
Prerequisites of experiential peer Experiential peers should
- be credible1 and realistic1
- be respected by the client1,4 (by having displayed criminal behavior of similar severity4)
- be willing to learn about methodological and evidence-based practices1
- learn how to navigate in a system with political interests and bureaucratic restrictions1
- be able to reflect on own experiences and integrate these with those of others2; know what has and has not helped them and that this might be different for someone else2; and be capable of self-reflection3
- not have a distancing attitude2
- be approximately the same age as the client2
- if applicable: have been released from prison some time ago3
- know the difference between utilizing own experiences and glorifying them1,2,3
- focus on the client’s story and adapt their support to that3
- not be too radical in their rejection of “the system” or society1,4
  1. 1Lector juvenile delinquency and researcher; 2Experiential peer (mental health care) and researcher; 3Experiential peer (forensic mental health care) and trainer, 4Experiential peer (no training) and formal care provider