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Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
Information for Sentencers
What is ETS? ETS is a General Offending Groupwork Programme – one of several independently accredited programmes for use in England & Wales. Accredited Offending Behaviour programmes are part of the Probation Service’s What Works initiative, which aims to reduce general reconviction rates by providing types of supervision for offenders which are based on research and sound evidence. These approaches or ‘programmes’ are effective in changing the way offenders think and behave. The ETS programme was originally developed by the Prison Service and has been extensively researched and evaluated. Evidence from the evaluation of ETS within the Prison Service has shown that the programme can lead to a 15% reduction in reconvictions. Who is it for? ETS is aimed at offenders within the medium/high risk of reconviction group because available evidence indicates that it is most effective with these groups. Programme content ETS is a cognitive skills programme consisting of 20 group sessions, each lasting 2 – 21/2 hours. The programme is based on the premise that thinking is the basis of all behaviour, so in order to affect or change criminal behaviour the underlying thoughts and attitudes of offenders must be addressed. Research shows that many offenders have not acquired the skills of thinking in certain areas such as problem solving and critical reasoning. Offenders may not always see things from other people's points of view and can also have a poorly developed sense of values. The ETS programme addresses all these areas. However, there are many other factors which also influence behaviour such as motivation, opportunity and personal circumstances. These are also addressed within the programme and during individual work as part of the Community Rehabilitation Order, Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order or Licence. It is an intensive and demanding programme. National Standards enforcement procedures will apply in the normal way. Offenders being referred to the Programme also undertake a series of assessments and psychometric tests, pre- and post- programme. These are designed to measure change at the end of the programme. Diversity The National Probation Service recognises that women, 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 ETS.
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 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 in court.

Attendance at the 20 groupwork sessions 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.

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).