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3822_Think First A4.

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Think First
Information for Sentencers

What is Think First? The ‘Think First’ programme aims Diversity

Think First is a General Offending to tackle: The National Probation Service
Groupwork Programme – one of several recognises that women, minority
independently accredited programmes • Lack of problem solving skills – ethnic offenders, those with a
for use in England & Wales. Often offenders do not recognise disability or other special needs may
or anticipate problems or fail to have additional issues. These issues
Accredited Offending Behaviour consider alternative forms of will be fully addressed in order that
programmes are part of the Probation action. This programme can they derive maximum benefit from
Service’s What Works initiative, which challenge these rigid thought Think First.
aims to reduce general reconviction processes. The programme
rates by providing types of supervision approaches problem solving as a The programme is approved as an
for offenders which are based on skill which everyone can learn and additional requirement of a Community
research and sound evidence. These which can be applied to different Rehabilitation Order or a Community
approaches or ‘programmes’ are situations. It enables offenders Punishment and Rehabilitation Order in
accordance with the Powers of Criminal
effective in changing the way to see how their behaviour often Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. Supervision
offenders think and behave. works to their own disadvantage of the order will begin immediately and
in the long term, how it can harm commencement of the groupwork
Think First consists of: their families and the victims of programme will be with the first available
• 22 intensive groupwork sessions their crimes. place following appearance in court.
• 4 structured pre-group sessions and
• up to 6 post-programme sessions. • Poor social skills – A large Attendance at the full programme, which
proportion of offences either occur includes the 22 groupwork sessions, four
Who is it for? in groups or are perpetrated by pre-group sessions and up to six post-
Think First is aimed at offenders groups acting together. Poor social programme sessions is monitored in
within the medium /high risk of skills often result in inappropriate accordance with Home Office standards.
Any breach of attendance or conditions
reconviction group because available behaviour which can be manifested will be dealt with appropriately and may
evidence indicates that it is most in aggression, violence or hostility. see the offender returned to court.
effective with these groups. The programme can teach the
offender how to counter or resist
Programme content pressure from others.
Think First is a cognitive skills
programme, based on the premise • Poor personal control – National Probation Directorate
that thinking is the basis of all Some offences appear to have
National Probation Service
behaviour, so in order to affect been committed on impulse.
for England and Wales
or change criminal behaviour the When such offences are examined
underlying thoughts and attitudes carefully, it is often possible to This programme has been accredited by the
Correctional Services Accreditation Panel (CSAP)
of offenders must be addressed. identify the thinking that allowed for use in England and Wales (2000).
someone to behave in such a way.
Research shows that many offenders
have not acquired the skills of Think First can tackle these
thinking in certain areas such as problems and teach self-
problem solving and critical reasoning. management skills to enable
Offenders may not always see things offenders to think about
from other people’s points of view things differently.
and can also have a poorly developed
sense of values.