Probation Circular

To inform Probation Areas of arrangements for the implementation of an accredited programme for high risk male offenders who have repeatedly committed offences of serious violence. Having begun the programme in prison, offenders will continue it post-release by completing the community component known as Block 6. REFERENCE NO: 36/2005 ISSUE DATE: 20 May 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: June 2009 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Liz Hill, Head of Public Protection and Licensed Release Section ATTACHED: N/A

Chief Officers should arrange for the following action by the Offender Managers of prisoners placed on the Cognitive Self-Change Programme (CSCP): • Once notified by the prison’s CSCP Resettlement Manager, Offender Managers should attend a one-day briefing arranged by the Offending Behaviour Programmes Unit (HM Prison Service). • Liaison with the Resettlement Manager over involvement in the programme by the offender’s nominated significant other(s). This will include advice concerning the proposed involvement of significant others in monitoring the offender’s behaviour during the programme particularly in relation to any potential risks that such involvement might create or heighten. • Attendance at – or remote participation by teleconferencing in – a programme review meeting held at the prison between Blocks 4 and 5. • Completion of training in the delivery of Block 6 of the programme. • Delivery of Block 6 of the programme post-release, on a one-to-one basis.

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).


Jo Thompson, Public Protection, NOMS Tel: 020 7217 8823 Email: Chris Bull, Offending Behaviour Programmes Unit, HM Prison Service Tel: 020 7217 5566 E-mail:

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

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-toone 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. Identifying and understanding the connections; how thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs lead each individual to violence. Identifying new thoughts and intervention strategies, boosting cognitive skills and developing skills for managing individual violence risk factors. Creating a relapse prevention plan and consolidating interventions. Practice in the prison setting. Practice in the community and consolidation of the relapse prevention plan.

Block Two:

Block Three:

Block Four: Block Five: Block Six:

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


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