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Probation

Circular

PUBLIC PROTECTION: COGNITIVE REFERENCE NO:


SELF-CHANGE PROGRAMME 36/2005

PURPOSE ISSUE DATE:


To inform Probation Areas of arrangements for the implementation of an 20 May 2005
accredited programme for high risk male offenders who have repeatedly
committed offences of serious violence. Having begun the programme in
IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
prison, offenders will continue it post-release by completing the community
component known as Block 6. Immediate

ACTION EXPIRY DATE:


Chief Officers should arrange for the following action by the Offender June 2009
Managers of prisoners placed on the Cognitive Self-Change Programme
(CSCP): TO:
• Once notified by the prison’s CSCP Resettlement Manager, Offender Chairs of Probation Boards
Managers should attend a one-day briefing arranged by the Offending
Chief Officers of Probation
Behaviour Programmes Unit (HM Prison Service).
• Liaison with the Resettlement Manager over involvement in the Secretaries of Probation Boards
programme by the offender’s nominated significant other(s). This will
include advice concerning the proposed involvement of significant CC:
others in monitoring the offender’s behaviour during the programme Board Treasurers
particularly in relation to any potential risks that such involvement might
Regional Managers
create or heighten.
• Attendance at – or remote participation by teleconferencing in – a
programme review meeting held at the prison between Blocks 4 and 5. AUTHORISED BY:
• Completion of training in the delivery of Block 6 of the programme. Liz Hill, Head of Public Protection
• Delivery of Block 6 of the programme post-release, on a one-to-one and Licensed Release Section
basis.
ATTACHED:
SUMMARY
N/A
The Cognitive Self-Change Programme is available in six male prisons. The
programme consists of six ‘blocks’, five of which take place in prison and the
sixth under supervision on licence. Offenders on Block 6 of the programme
will invariably be subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements
(MAPPA).

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS


PC31/2000

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


Jo Thompson, Public Protection, NOMS
Tel: 020 7217 8823 Email: Jo.Thompson8@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Chris Bull, Offending Behaviour Programmes Unit, HM Prison Service
Tel: 020 7217 5566 E-mail: Christine.bull@hmps.gsx.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
THE COGNITIVE SELF-CHANGE PROGRAMME

CSCP is a high intensity cognitive-behavioural intervention that aims to reduce violent reconviction in high-risk adult
offenders whose repetitive use of violence is part of a general pattern of antisocial behaviour and criminality. The
programme aims to reduce violent recidivism by changing offenders’ distorted thinking processes and individual patterns
of antisocial thinking which lead them to violence and criminal conduct, and by reducing the impact of contributory
violence risk factors specific to each individual. The dynamic risk factors the programme seeks to change are:

• The individual’s thinking patterns which lead him to violence and other anti-social acts.
• Lack of insight into violent behaviour
• Violent fantasy
• Poor management of increased arousal or anger
• Socio-cognitive skills deficits (such as problem-solving and impulse control)

The programme is long and intensive comprising 136 to 257 group sessions (8-17 months), and an average of 26 one-to-
one sessions in the CSCP prison establishment, followed by monthly sessions until release or transfer to a non-CSCP
establishment. Length of treatment depends on the needs of the offender. When a prisoner is placed on the programme,
the CSCP Resettlement Manager in the establishment will inform his Offender Manager. The community element of the
programme (Block 6) is flexible in length; the number of sessions will be determined on a case-by-case basis in
accordance with the needs of the risk management plan. The decision to end Block 6 delivery will be taken as part of the
management of the plan.

A brief summary of the content of each block is provided below:

Block One: Foundation sessions that develop skills for the objective observation of
thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs. Key tools are introduced.

Block Two: Identifying and understanding the connections; how thoughts, feelings,
attitudes and beliefs lead each individual to violence.

Block Three: Identifying new thoughts and intervention strategies, boosting cognitive skills
and developing skills for managing individual violence risk factors.

Block Four: Creating a relapse prevention plan and consolidating interventions.

Block Five: Practice in the prison setting.

Block Six: Practice in the community and consolidation of the relapse prevention plan.

Block 6 provides a structured intervention in the community after release. It will facilitate and monitor the post-release
application of the skills learned and practised in prison during Blocks 1 to 5 of the programme, and in particular will focus
on continued updating of the offender’s CSCP relapse prevention plan. Its implementation will provide an effective tool in
risk management planning, and support the management of violent offenders in the community within the MAPPA
framework.

Block 6 will be delivered by the Offender Manager. Treatment management will be provided by the Block 6 Programme
Manager, who is based in Offending Behaviour Programmes Unit in Prison Service Headquarters.

PC36/2005 – Public Protection: Cognitive Self-Change Programme 2


Offenders on the programme will include:

• Life sentence prisoners


• Offenders serving long determinate sentences and extended sentences for offences committed before 4 April
2005
• Offenders serving extended sentences or indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection under
the Criminal Justice Act 2003

If areas do not provide for the delivery of Block 6, difficulties in devising effective risk management plans for offenders on
CSCP will impact on Parole Board decisions concerning their release.

Inconsistency in the delivery of Block 6 will inevitably have a discriminatory impact on offenders.

PC36/2005 – Public Protection: Cognitive Self-Change Programme 3