SEX OFFENDER GROUPWORK PROGRAMME Information for Sentencers Once the court has ordered attendance on the sex

offender treatment programme, an assessment will be carried out to indicate whether the offender will have to complete sessions of work individually with a probation officer or in a group with others. This is in addition to the ongoing monitoring and supervision that is part of the main community rehabilitation order. All offenders are subject to careful monitoring and their progress will influence the type of ongoing work they undertake. The aim of the treatment programme is to teach self-control mechanisms to change attitudes and behaviour and stop further offending. Content of the programme is based upon recognised research findings which show the most effective ways to change offenders’ thinking patterns and alter their behaviour. Group members have all been convicted of similar offences and work through sessions to challenge their attitudes and behaviour and to learn new ways of coping with situations and feelings. They have to take part in a range of role-plays and pieces of work that encourage new ways of thinking and also learn how to make clear decisions to avoid difficult places, situations and patterns of behaviour. ENFORCEMENT OF THE SENTENCE To complete each part of the programme successfully offenders must attend every session and also meet regularly with their supervising probation officer. In the core groupwork, if one session is missed, the individual concerned will need to complete a catch-up session before continuing. If more than two sessions are missed, he will have to start the whole ‘block’ again.

Attendance at the full programme is monitored in accordance with Home Office standards. Any breach of attendance or conditions will be dealt with appropriately and may see the offender returned to court.

ASSESSING PROGRESS Before the group starts, participants are asked to complete a psychometric assessment. They are asked to do this again after completing all the sessions. The questionnaires indicate programmes impact in terms of changing the attitudes and behaviour of participants. These results are shared with the offender and supervising probation officer. • Probation officers will not recommend a community sentence for sex offenders if the pre-sentence report assessment indicates that they cannot be safely managed under probation supervision. If a community sentence is recommended, it will be based on an assessment that this option offers the best prospect for the protection of the public. Thorough risk assessment and management are key aspects of our work and are continuously reviewed. Wherever necessary, a multi-agency public protection panel will be convened, involving police, social services and other appropriate agencies to ensure a co-ordinated and consistent approach.

The content and delivery methods of the programme reflect the findings of recognised research into what works to effectively reduce offending.

The programme is approved as an additional requirement of a Community Rehabilitation Order or a Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order in accordance with the Powers of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. Supervision of the order will begin immediately and commencement of the groupwork programme will be with the first available place following. appearance at Court. Diversity The National Probation Service recognises that minority ethnic offenders, those with a disability or other special needs may have additional issues. These issues will be fully addressed in order that they derive maximum benefit from this programme.

National Probation Directorate

National Probation Service for England and Wales
This programme has been accredited by the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel (CSAP) for use in England and Wales (2000/01)