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INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT

OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES


INTRODUCTION
This report details the development of offending behaviour programmes and the progress this intervention
has made towards reducing re-offending.

Inward Change for Lasting Effect will inform and stimulate debate on the current rehabilitation work
with offenders.

International and national research has underpinned programme design that uses cognitive behavioural
techniques to target the very thought processes that can lead to criminal behaviour.

The accreditation process was introduced to ensure that offending behaviour programmes are delivered to
the highest standard by properly trained and motivated staff employed by the National Probation Service,
HM Prison Service, and the contracted prisons.

The reduction of re-offending, the protection of the public and the appropriate targeting of scarce resources
to medium and high-risk offenders, are among the main aims of the National Offender Management Service
(NOMS) which brings the work of the Prison and Probation Services together.

The cognitive behavioural approach has been carefully planned and evaluated to halt the ‘revolving door
of criminality’ that sees offenders entering the Criminal Justice System only to offend again after their
sentence has been served. A key part of the approach is to ensure that only those offenders whose risk profile
matches the target group for the programme attend it.

The successful completion of a cognitive behavioural-based programme by properly targeted offenders gives
motivated offenders the ‘thinking tools’ to look and manage life differently.

Inward Change for Lasting Effect explores the complex issues and looks at the research that surrounds this
area of work with offenders, many of whom live chaotic lifestyles that lead to repeat offending. Within the
framework of punitive well-targeted sentencing, the correctional services are delivering a researched and
evaluated approach that can reduce crime in our communities.

December 2007
CONTENTS

SECTION 1) OFFENDERS: THE PEOPLE WE WORK WITH:01,02,03,04


SECTION 2) DEVELOPMENT AND ACCREDITATION:05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12
SECTION 3) NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH:13,14,15,16,17,18
SECTION 4) STAND AND DELIVER - COMMENTS FROM GROUPWORK:19,20,21,22,23,24
SECTION 5) WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?:25,26

NOTE: IN THIS REPORT MODELS HAVE BEEN USED TO DEPICT OFFENDERS


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SECTION ONE

OFFENDERS:
THE PEOPLE WE WORK WITH

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT


OFFENDERS: WHO ARE THEY?

Men and women with a criminal conviction are part of Information from 2004 data on reconviction rates reveal

society and are therefore part of our everyday lives. that after a two year period 64.7% of prisoners (a total of

16,385) and 50.5% of offenders (30,698) on community

Walk down a street. Sit on a train or bus. supervision had re-offended. The predicted reconviction

Go to work. Shop at the supermarket. rates were 67.8% for the Prison Service and 54.1% for the

Visit the cinema. Go out to a restaurant. Probation Service.

The odds are that at some stage during the day you will

have sat next to, queued with, spoken to or have been To combat these high ‘return’ rates, more and more

served by someone with a criminal conviction. offenders are completing cognitive behavioural programmes

while serving their prison or community sentences.

Recent estimates suggest that in England and Wales 28% of

men aged between 21 to 45 years have a criminal conviction. These programmes are designed to reduce re-offending by

The figure for women in the same age group is 7%. helping offenders to learn new skills that improve the way
in which they think and solve problems, rather than acting

Our Criminal Justice System seeks to provide a range of impulsively without forethought. Programme participants

sentencing options that both punish the convicted offender, learn how to cope with pressure, consider the

and act as a deterrent against resuming criminal activities. consequences of their actions – and to see things from

The number of people being sent to prison for indictable other people’s perspectives.

offences has gone up in both Magistrates and Crown Courts.


The ultimate aim of each programme is to empower

The increasing severity of sentencing sees the Prison and offenders to use their new skills to deal in an effective,

Probation Services dealing with greater numbers of offenders, lawful manner with future problems or certain situations

who may have received a fine or a community sentence for that have played a contributory factor in their past offending.

their conviction in the past. The UK prison population is more


than 80,000 and rising. The average number of offenders

being supervised by the Probation Service at any one time is


around 200,000.
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COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL
BASED PROGRAMMES

Current criminal justice analyses place offenders into six

main offending groups: acquisitive crimes to obtain money Cognition - n. the mental action
or possessions, motoring offences, substance abuse, or process of acquiring
violence, racially motivated and sex crimes. knowledge through thought,
experience, and the senses.
The cognitive behavioural approach has been evaluated
and steadily increased to offer a more targeted suite of

programmes to deal with the behaviour of the identified


“We know from our own lives that there are
offending groups. times of significant enlightenment that affects
how we do things in the future. There are many
On average 70% of offenders who start a programme offenders who have experienced moments like
complete them. Recent figures show that in a 12 month this while attending an accredited programme.

period about 19,900 offenders successfully finished their


The programme has helped them change for
themselves and the way they live their lives.”
programme order while being supervised by the

Probation Service.
A trainer for programme tutors

Behavioural - adj. involving,


relating to,
or emphasizing behaviour.
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FACTORS THAT CAN LEAD TO OFFENDING

International and national research reveals that the majority


Criminogenic - of offenders have a wide range of criminogenic needs or
adj. causing or factors that are likely to lead to repeat offending. These
likely to cause
needs can be divided into static and dynamic risk factors.
criminal behaviour.

Static risk factors refer to an individual’s offending

history, which cannot be altered. The emphasis of

intervention work has to be on the dynamic risk factors

which can be changed. These can include past problems

with their education, substance abuse, and finding and


Static risk factors -
refer to an individual’s maintaining work.

offending history,
which cannot be altered. Criminal justice agencies use a range of assessment

procedures to ascertain risk levels and to inform their work

with each individual offender. The National Probation


Service and the Prison Service use a computerised assessment

system, called OASys. The assessment procedure includes an

individual’s offending history, a comprehensive review of

Dynamic risk factors - their background and a classification on their potential risk

refer to aspects of an of harm to others.


individual’s offending
history, which can be OASys reports found that, generally, offenders had on
altered in the future. average four criminogenic needs likely to cause offending

behaviour and that, overall, offenders in custody had a

greater number. A 1998 research study of male offenders

found the strongest predictors of re-offending following

release were - in order of importance - unemployment,

substance abuse, criminal associates, marital and family

status and personal/emotional problems.


INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 04

“I feel that you have to embrace ETS


(Enhanced Thinking Skills), you have
to see the programme as a positive
thing. To get something out of it,
you have got to put something in.”
ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS
An offender on ETS

Unemployment is viewed as an indirect cause of crime for

some offenders because their jobless status interacts with a

variety of social and economic factors in their lives. Regular

reviews of offenders on community orders reveal up to half

are unemployed. Further data suggests that nearly a

quarter (24%) of 18 to 20 year old offenders being

supervised in the community have basic skill deficits.

However, attitudes and behaviour underpin all these needs.


It is the way the offender thinks and behaves towards others,

which enable them to gain employment and qualifications;

to resist peer group pressure to take drugs; or to become

involved in further offences.

An international report that looked at a range of


evaluations in four countries concerning a cognitive

behavioural programme, found that poor cognitive

skills influenced the onset and maintenance of offending

behaviour. However, the cognitive deficits were likely to

have been the result of ineffective parenting or poor

engagement at school, and not lower intelligence or

neurological deficits.

The cognitive behavioural approach proposes that

acquiring better ‘thinking skills’ will enable motivated

offenders to make choices that will enable them to move

away from an offending lifestyle - a lifestyle that has been

the result of poor judgement or negative influences.


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SECTION TWO

DEVELOPMENT &
ACCREDITATION
OF PROGRAMMES

‘WHAT WORKS’ BASIC PRINCIPLES


The development of cognitive behavioural programmes is a Eventually the What Works principles that now underpin

measured and evaluated intervention that has evolved from the intervention work of cognitive behavioural programmes

the National Probation Service’s ‘What Works’ agenda. were identified and consolidated.

As well as programmes, the strategy also promoted the

development of basic skills education, drug treatment and The principles are:

the custody to work agenda.


- programmes are based on a clear and precise model that

As the What Works title suggests the main aims of the strategy specifically targets the causes of crime, and are drawn from

are to develop the supervision of offenders, serving collated ‘grass roots’ observations and experiences,

community or custodial sentences, so that: - the range of programmes are developed to deal with the

- interventions are based on evidence that shows the work is different risk levels of offenders i.e. more intensive

having an impact on re-offending rates, programmes should be targeted at high and medium

- agencies delivering the range of interventions to offenders risk offenders,

ensure that their partnership work remains coherent and - programme design ensures that each module is delivered

planned to maintain quality standards, in such a way that the group members can see it is

- each agency supports the ongoing assessment of interventions meaningful to them and their lives, and ways of learning,

to ensure that the quality of delivery and content is monitored - tutors adapt cognitive behavioural techniques to teach

and upheld throughout England and Wales, how the development of new problem solving skills can be

- interventions are designed to be of use with all groups used in all aspects of their lives,

of offenders including ethnic minorities, women and those - tutors create opportunities for group members to practise

with disabilities. their newly acquired skills,

- tutors maintain motivation of the participants and


THE NATIONAL ROLL OUT challenge negative attitudes and responses to the programme,
By August 2000, 48 out of the former 54 individual - tutors ensure that continuous assessment maintains quality
Probation Services were involved in developing 22 of delivery and integrity and poor standards can affect
programmes. As the nationwide roll-out gathered pace, programme outcomes,
experience gained through practice informed the national - interventions target other factors that may increase the
agenda. Time and time again, evaluations and assessments risk of re-offending such as poor basic skills.
were carried out – and the findings implemented. Results,

and the expertise of qualified staff delivering the

programmes, directed the What Works policy and practice.


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The Correctional Services Accreditation


Panel was set up in 1999 to build on
the experience of the General
Accreditation Panel and the Sex
Offenders Treatment Accreditation
Panel (SOTAP) in the Prison Service.

The What Works strategy became the responsibility of the new


National Director of the National Probation Service.
By March 2002, a challenging annual target had been set, for
12,000 offenders to have completed a range of programmes.

A joint Prison and Probation Accreditation Panel was established


and the first Probation Programme, ‘Think First’ by James
McGuire, was provisionally accredited.

There are currently four fully accredited programmes that are


used by both the Probation and Prison Services in their work with
offenders. These are: Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS); Controlling
Anger and Learning to Manage (CALM); a domestic violence
programme and the Cognitive Skills Booster programme which
was jointly developed.

By April 2004, accredited programmes were being delivered in


every probation area and in 112 out of 137 prisons in England
and Wales. Fifty-four prison establishments deliver two
programmes that usually includes a general offending
programme, a sex offender treatment programme and
sometimes there is a third option such as CALM.
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In line with the evidence that many


offenders have multiple criminogenic
needs, there is an emerging consensus
that presenting a multi-model
approach to interventions is going
to be the most effective way of
treating this identified group.

FULLY ACCREDITED PROGRAMMES EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT


All 42 Probation Areas of the National Probation Service Accredited programmes can be tough and demanding,

deliver a general offending behaviour programme, at least particularly for some offenders, who have to confront their

one of the sex offender treatment programmes; an anger beliefs, as they learn new skills and acquire knowledge to

management programme, such as Aggression Replacement stop further offending. Programme tutors report that drop-

Training (ART) or CALM; an accredited Domestic Violence out rates increase when an offender’s attention and

Programme; and the Drink Impaired Drivers’ Programme. motivation are compromised by other issues in their lives

Most Probation Areas have a programme to address such as worries concerning accommodation, unemployment,

substance-related offending, and some deliver the or reducing drug or alcohol misuse.

One-to-One programme, the women’s programme

and the cognitive skills booster to specific groups. There will inevitably be programme participants who

struggle with some of the written material because of poor

In 2006/2007, a total of 19,875 offenders on community literacy levels. Programme teams make detailed assessments,

supervision completed a specified offending behaviour and an offender with these deficits will be supported and

programme. During the past six years the figures on work will commence to boost their literacy skills.

offenders completing community-based programmes show:


The research typically shows that people, who successfully
Year Target Completions Achieved complete the offending behaviour programmes, do better
% in terms of lower reconviction levels than offenders who
2001/02 6,267 3,431 55%
drop out or have never taken part.
2002/03 12,000 7,716 64%
2003/04 15,000 13,136 88%
2004/05 15,000 15,595 104% Analysis of the 2007 data on Interim Accredited

2005/06 15,000 17,127 114% Programmes reveals that actual re-offending rates were
2006/07 17,500 19,869 114% significantly lower and therefore better than the predicted

rates for offenders who had completed their programme.


The number of programme completions has also expanded

in the Prison Service. In 1995-1996 a total of 746 prisoners


When compared to their predicted rate, there was a 25.8%
completed the Enhanced Thinking Skills and Reasoning and
drop in the re-offending rate for completers. The change in
Rehabilitation programmes. More than ten years later in
re-offending rates for people who started, but did not
2006-2007, that figure had climbed to 5793 completions of
complete, was a reduction of 4.3% and there was a 5.7%
the preferred Enhanced Thinking Skills programme.
reduction for non-starters.
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During 2005-2006, a total 44,972


offenders began basic skill courses.
During the same period 14,930
basic skills awards were achieved -
a 58% increase on the number
of awards granted in the
previous year.

OFFENDER FEEDBACK DIVERSITY


Five Probation Areas took part in a survey to canvass the One of the key criteria for programme accreditation is that

views of 337 offenders who had finished or only partially the needs of women and offenders from minority ethnic

completed their programme order. The group divided into groups are provided for.

263 programme completers and 74 non-completers.


The Probation Service has developed programmes

The programmes involved included a general offending specifically for minority ethnic offenders in the form of

behaviour programme, Controlling Anger and Learning additional modules for general offending behaviour

Manage (CALM), the Drink Impaired Drivers (DIDs), programmes, and has adapted the Drink Impaired Drivers’

Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) and the Programme (DIDs). Special groups are run exclusively for

Offender Substance Abuse Programme (OSAP). minority ethnic offenders.

The findings reveal that 72% of the offenders who failed The Probation Service has created a special programme for

to complete said that their non-attendance was due to female offenders convicted of acquisitive offences, which

issues such as relationship difficulties, childcare issues and was accredited in October 2003 by the Correctional Services

illness. Nearly 40% said that they had experienced Accreditation Panel.

transport problems and other offenders had experienced

difficulties with the literacy elements of the course. There is now research evidence to show that women have

One offender wrote that he ‘didn’t like writing in front of certain additional criminogenic needs to those of male

the group, as he was unable to read it back.’ offenders, and that these must be addressed as part of

intervention work. The most notable is often the issue of

An important fact from the group who completed was that current abusive relationships.

almost a quarter (24%) reported that they also felt like

dropping out at some point during the programme due to


personal difficulties. These were similar to those highlighted

by the offenders who failed to complete.


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Correctional Services
Accreditation Panel

The Correctional Services Accreditation Panel was set up in 1999


to build on the experience of the General Accreditation Panel
and the Sex Offenders Treatment Accreditation Panel (SOTAP)
in the Prison Service.

The panel’s key function is to get programmes accredited.


The accreditation process divides into two parts, the first deals
with programme design and the second with the quality of
programme delivery.

Members have drawn up a single set of criteria for programme design


for the Prison and Probation Services. The standards required are
very demanding. To be accredited, a programme must demonstrate
that it meets the following criteria:

A clear model of change backed by research evidence - the programme


must show which areas of risk will be reduced by attending the
programme - and why this approach will work with the specified
type of offending. The theory manual has to detail what will be
achieved at each stage - and describe why this combination of
targets and methods is likely to work with the selected offenders.
The joint accreditation panel will expect to see evidence from existing
research to back up the proposed programme proposal.

Selection of offenders - the programme identifies the measures used


to assess the characteristics of the selected offenders including the
nature of the offence, risk, motivation, learning style, gender and race.

Targeting dynamic risk - the programme targets the factors that


can be changed such as attitudes and behaviours. The manual must
explain why these factors have been chosen.
“I don’t feel I could deliver the
programme if I did not fully
Range of targets - the accreditation process requires that a believe in its approach.”
programme selects a range of risk areas to focus upon. The risk of
Enhanced Thinking Skills Tutor
re-offending is usually a combination of these, and the programme
must show the way these interlink and how it will bring about change.
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PROGRAMMES:
Content and Delivery

COGNITIVE The booster programme is provided for male and


SKILLS female offenders who have already successfully
BOOSTER completed Enhanced Thinking Skills, Reasoning

and Rehabilitation, Think First or One to One.

AGGRESSION ART is targeted at offenders whose current

REPLACEMENT offence includes aggressive behaviour or who

TRAINING have an established pattern of aggression and

who are at a medium to high risk of reconviction

and/or medium or above risk of causing harm.

ENHANCED ETS is a group-based programme for medium to

THINKING SKILLS high risk male and female offenders. It is based


on the idea that teaching thinking skills will enhance

a person’s ability to achieve worthwhile goals.

ONE TO ONE The programme is delivered individually to

medium to medium/high risk offenders and is


designed to work as a problem-solving intervention

that addresses a person’s offending behaviour.

WOMEN’S This programme is for female offenders who have


ACQUISITIVE CRIME a current conviction of an acquisitive nature or
ALSO KNOWN AS show a pattern of previous acquisitive offending.
THE WOMEN’S
PROGRAMME
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Correctional Services
Accreditation Panel

Effective methods - offending behaviour programmes normally feature


approved methods of working including the cognitive behavioural
approach. If a different method is selected, existing research or a
testable theory must be put forward in evidence.

Skills orientated - the programme must teach skills, which will help
participants to live and work without re-offending. There must be a
clear description on how skills are selected and taught, and how
participants’ learning is evaluated.

Sentencing, intensity and duration - the length of the programme


matches the risk. The frequency and number of programme sessions
match the learning styles and abilities of the participants. Offenders
who have a high fixed risk, e.g. they have a history of anti-social
behaviour, need programmes long enough to change established
attitudes and habits.

Engagement and motivation - the content and the teaching


methods should match the way participants learn best and motivate
them to want to change. Tutors should be positive and committed
to the programme.

Continuity of programmes and services - there is continuity between


prison and community-based programmes so that offenders can
make a smooth transition from one to the other and build on
their progress.

Continuous monitoring - checking procedures are in place to ensure


that staff are properly selected, trained and supervised and that the
programme is run as intended.

Ongoing evaluation - regular monitoring is carried out to ensure


there are improvements in the risk areas targeted and reconviction
is reduced.

“The CALM programme works best

with participants who are ready to

change their lives.”

Programme Tutor
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PROGRAMMES:
Content and Delivery

CONTROLLING ANGER CALM is a group programme for male offenders who

AND LEARNING TO are at a medium to high risk of reconviction and/or

MANAGE medium or above risk of causing harm. Participants

learn how to reduce their levels of emotional arousal,

resolve conflict and manage other negative emotions

related to offending.

DRINK The DIDs programme is targeted at male and female

IMPAIRED offenders who have committed a drink-drive related

DRIVERS’ offence and have no more than four previous

PROGRAMME convictions. The programme combines a cognitive

behavioural approach with an educational element

concerning alcohol consumption.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Community Domestic Violence Programme

PROGRAMMES (CDVP) and the Integrated Domestic Abuse

Programme (IDAP) are two cognitive behavioural

programmes. These are aimed at heterosexual male

domestic violence offenders where there is a medium

to high risk of harm. Both programmes consist of

groupwork sessions lasting two hours and individual

sessions, which can be delivered over the course of

13 to 26 weeks.

SEX OFFENDER GROUP- There are four accredited sex offender treatment

WORK PROGRAMMES programmes that aim to reduce offending by adult

male sex offenders; three are generic and one is


specific to internet sex offending. All adult participants

are within the normal IQ range. Additionally, there

is a programme being piloted for learning disabled

sex offenders.
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SECTION THREE

NATIONAL AND
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
ON OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING RE-OFFENDING


International research and, more recently, UK-based research studies are giving indications that cognitive behavioural-based

programmes are effective at reducing re-offending. The majority of the findings are from research that has been carried out

in North America and Europe during the last 30 years, although there are now more offenders in the UK attending and

completing these programmes.

The standard assessment is to look at reconviction rates during a specified follow-up period, usually two years. The reconviction

time line is usually calculated from the start of the community sentence or release from custody.

RESEARCH SUMMARY - More detailed results featured on pages 14 -18

International evidence
PROGRAMMES FOR ADULT SEX OFFENDERS
A meta-analysis approach uses an amalgam of results
- A recent international review found that cognitive
that have been obtained from a series of separate behavioural treatments for sex offenders in both prison
studies. The individual findings are statistically and the community were – on average – effective at

evaluated, correlated and quantified into an overall reducing offending.

measure of the results. - Participants in the Sex Offender Treatment Programme


(SOTP) in prison and Probation revealed a statistically

UK evidence
significant reduction in sexual and/or violent reconviction
PROGRAMMES FOR VIOLENT OFFENDERS within two years of release, when compared to offenders
& ANGER MANAGEMENT who had not attended the programme. However, the small
International evidence

- A number of international evaluations of anger management sample size in the probation-based study means that the
programmes, or programmes designed specifically for violent findings should be viewed with caution.
offenders, have shown mainly positive effects. However, the
GENERAL OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES
International evidence

results are inconclusive and more robust research is required to


- A recent international review found that, on average,
increase confidence in the findings.
cognitive behavioural programmes for general offenders
- A small-scale study of Aggression Replacement Training
reduced re-offending by four percent.
established a reduction in the reconviction rates of the
- A recent meta-analysis has suggested that positive effects
UK evidence

treatment group versus a matched comparison group.


of programmes are associated with treatment of higher risk
However, limitations of the study mean that these results
offenders, high quality treatment with an emphasis on anger
need to be interpreted cautiously.
UK evidence

control and problem solving.

- Initial research evidence is mixed, but the findings may


have been adversely affected by the way some of the early
programmes were set up and delivered.
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RESEARCH REVIEWED: national


A Home Office Research Study published in 2005 reviewed a series of research reports undertaken by or on behalf of the
Home Office to update knowledge of ‘What Works’ in corrections. Analysis of outcomes for completers and non-completers

in programmes (and other interventions) revealed that people who completed the programme did better than those who

failed to complete or did not take part.

WHAT THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS


The research from cognitive behavioural-based programmes suggests that certain key factors must be addressed or

programme delivery can be compromised and is less effective. The essential four are:
accurate risk assessments - to ensure offenders are assigned to the most appropriate programme that will target their
offending behaviour. The Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage Programme (CALM) is suitable for violent offenders

who act impulsively, not for offenders who commit their crimes with prior thought and purpose.

motivation - feeling positive about what they may learn from the programme is a crucial factor in successfully engaging
with the schedule of work - and finishing it.
support in dealing with other criminogenic needs - the range can include substance abuse, basic skill deficits and homelessness.
excellent standards - successful completions of the programme and their long term effect appears, to some extent,
to be dependent on the expertise and commitment of the tutors and the maintained quality of programme delivery.

PRE-ACCREDITED ENHANCED THINKING SKILLS & REASONING AND REHABILITATION IN PRISON

A research study carried out in 30 prisons on the The team concluded that the second study indicated that

pre-accredited Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) and the participants’ motivation had been poor and the study

Reasoning and Rehabilitation (R&R) looked at reconviction ran at a time of rapid programme expansion in prisons.

rates after two years. The study found a significant This speedy expansion may have affected the way the

reduction in the reconviction rate of 14 percentage points groupwork was handled.

for medium to low risk offenders and 11 percentage points

for medium to high risk offenders. A small study was undertaken that looked at Enhanced

Thinking Skills as part of an intensive regime for the Youth


The treatment group consisted of adult male offenders Offending Service and the Prison Service. After one year

serving a custodial sentence of two or more years, and the there were significantly lower reconviction rates of 10

comparison group was made up of offenders who had percentage points for the experimental group when
not taken part in such treatment. compared to the non-participating control group.

A second study was carried out after the two prison-based After a two year period, the significant difference had
cognitive skills programmes had been accredited. The disappeared, but the experimental group had taken longer
researchers found no difference in the two year reconviction to re-offend and had committed significantly fewer crimes
rates for prisoners who had participated in accredited after two years.
cognitive skills programmes between 1996 and 1998 –

and a matched comparison group. The comparison group


consisted of 1,947 offenders who did not take in treatment.
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NATIONAL RESEARCH ON OFFENDING PROGRAMMES


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMMES SEX OFFENDER PROGRAMME
A 1996 research study in Scotland on two programmes for TREATMENT IN PRISON
domestic violence used feedback from the men’s partners. A 2003 study assessed the impact of the national Sex
The treatment group numbered 51 and the control group Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) over a two-year
figure was 71. At the 12 month follow-up there were period in 23 prisons in England and Wales. The programme
significantly lower rates in frequency of violence and had been accredited at this stage.
further violence from the programme participants.

The study examined 647 adult male sex offenders serving a


This was a small study and although information from custodial sentence of four years or more for a sex offence
partners was encouraging, further research is required who had voluntarily participated in an SOTP, and had been
to assess the long term impact of the programme. discharged from prison for two or more years.

There was a significant reduction in reconviction when sex

offence and violent reconviction rates were combined.

Overall, this resulted in a 3.5 percentage point reduction in

reconviction for sex offences or violence.

TREATMENT IN THE COMMUNITY


Significant reductions in reconviction rates of 7.4 to 24

percentage points for treated child sex abusers were recorded

from an 18 month study of the West Midlands Sex Offender

Treatment Programme.

“Basically, CALM brings to the forefront of The study compared 155 adult male sex offenders (including

your mind what you know but don’t always child sex abusers, rapists and exhibitionists) who had been
think about. You learn to identify your on the programme with 74 offenders with similar groupings.
triggers, and learn to recognise the signs
Between Jan 1995 and June 1996 the study’s findings
when you are going to lose your temper.”
Offender on the CALM programme showed significant reductions in reconviction ranging from

7.4 to 24 percentage points for the treated child sex abusers.


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DRINK IMPAIRED DRIVERS’ PROGRAMME

Information was obtained from seven Probation Areas The results were: 18.1% of the programme completers were

concerning the effectiveness of the Drink Impaired Drivers’ reconvicted, with only 7.3% reconvicted with a drink-drive

(DIDs) Programme. DIDs is for offenders convicted of offence, compared to 30.6% of the non-programme group,

drink-drive related offences who have no more than four with 15.8% reconvicted of a drink-drive offence.

previous convictions.
However, the non-completers had a higher reconviction

To evaluate the programme’s effectiveness the reconviction rate than both completers and those who had not attended

rates of participants, who had completed all the sessions, or the programme. The reconviction rate for the drop-out

only part of the programme, were compared to a comparison group was 36.8% with 19.4% being reconvicted of a drink

group of drink-drive offenders who had not attended DIDs. drive offence.

The specified time period was from December 1999 to

January 2004 which produced a small sample of 382

programme completers, 144 non-completers and 291

offenders who had not been assigned to the programme.

The data showed that programme completers were

significantly less likely to be reconvicted than both the

non-programme offenders and the participants who did not


fully complete all the sessions. No significant difference

was found between the non-programme and non-

completer groups.

“The programme works best with participants


who are ready to change their lives. They are
tired of getting into trouble with the law and
hurting the people around them.”
Tutor on the CALM programme
17 - INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

RESEARCH REVIEWED: international


A 2006 survey published by the Washington State Institute looked at evidence-based offending behaviour programmes.

The survey conducted a comprehensive statistical review involving 291 programme evaluations produced during the last

40 years in the USA and other English-speaking countries. The research team found a number of programmes for adult

offenders that demonstrated an ability to achieve reductions in re-offending.

WHAT THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS


Key Findings:
When considering the findings of the report, it is important Cognitive behavioural treatment programmes for
to consider that at least a six month follow-up was general offenders
included, but a more robust approach to re-offending
The 2006 survey analysed 25 rigorous evaluations of
assessments requires a longer period considering the slow
programmes for the general offender population that
nature of the Criminal Justice System.
employed cognitive behavioural treatment. On average,

these programmes significantly reduced recidivism by

four percentage points.

Programmes for domestic violence offenders

The review assessed nine rigorous evaluations of

programmes for domestic violence offenders based on

educational and cognitive behavioural components.

On average, domestic violence treatment programmes

failed to demonstrate reductions in recidivism.

Programmes for sex offenders


There are also differences in the way that the study results
Eighteen evaluations of sex offender treatment
are described. The review reports ‘relative’ reductions in
programmes were analysed in a prison setting and in
reconvictions rather than ‘absolute’ i.e. no further crimes
the community. Cognitive behavioural treatments for sex
committed. This means that when the report quotes a 33%
offenders were, on average, effective at reducing offending
reduction, the figure might be referring to reconviction
in both settings. As a group these programmes
data that started at a baseline of 30% and reduced to
demonstrated the largest effects in this study.
20%. In the UK this reduction would be referred to as a
Other approaches (psychotherapy, counselling and
10% point drop in re-offending.
behavioural treatment of sex offenders) failed to show

reductions in re-offending.
As there are only baseline figures for the general offending

behaviour programmes, it is not possible to know what the

‘absolute’ reconviction reductions are.


INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 18

Example Conclusions
Redondo, Sanchez-Meca and Garrido 1999 carried out a The main findings from the four country evaluations were:

meta-analysis of all treatment interventions for offenders - the meta-analysis suggests that the R&R programme is

undertaken in Europe. Thirty-two published and effective in both institutional and community settings,

unpublished studies from 1980 to 1991 were included in - the programme benefited both low and high risk offenders,

their study. They found that, on average, treatment caused - the impact was greater with low-risk offenders, possibly

a significant decrease in re-offending. Programmes applied because of the greater likelihood of high risk offenders

to violent offenders were the most successful. dropping out of the programme and faring worse than
those who had never participated in the programme.
Example
Canadian Correctional Service: pilot study - offenders were
RESEARCH STUDY
selected on the basis of their high risk and high need levels.
A 2002 meta-analysis of 69 research studies found that
There were 50 high-risk offenders in the experimental R&R
the cognitive behavioural programmes were more effective
group and 26 offenders in the waiting list control. The two
in reducing recidivism than the behavioural ones.
groups were comparable in age, IQ and sentence length.

Recidivism was defined as re-admission to prison with or

without a new conviction. To find out more, please read

(i)The Impact of Corrections on Re-offending: a review

The first follow-up was carried out on 33 offenders who of ‘what works’ Home Office Research, Development

had been conditionally released. The follow-up period was and Statistics Directorate. February 2005.

at least three months, with an average period of 6.2 (ii)Evidence-based Adult Corrections Programmes:

months. Fewer programme participants were re-admitted what works and what does not. Washington State Institute for

for new offences or technical violations (26.3%) compared Public Policy. January 2006

to controls (35.7%). (iii)A Quantitative Review of Structured, Group-oriented,

Cognitive-Behavioural programmes for offenders. Criminal Justice

The second follow-up was carried out on 63 offenders who and Behaviour. April 2005.

had been conditionally released. The follow-up period was (iv)The Positive Effects of Cognitive-Behavioural Programmes for

at least six months, with an average period of 19.7 months. Offenders: A meta-analysis of factors associated with effective

The reconviction rate for the experimental group was 20% treatment. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2005.

while the control group had a higher figure of 30.4% (v)How effective is the ‘Reasoning and Rehabilitation’ programme

in reducing reoffending? A meta-analysis of evaluations in four

countries, Psychology, Crime and Law, January 2006.


19 - INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

SECTION FOUR

S TA N D A N D D E L I V E R
COMMENTS FROM GROUPWORK

Describing the programme : The Enhanced Thinking Skills Programme (ETS)

Tutors in conversation…

“The strength of ETS is that it can be applied to any “The exercise shows that if they just react like that - with no
area of life, not just with offenders. The crux of the ETS thought - they will probably lose the job that they really
programme is to show how thought affects what you do. enjoyed, and get arrested as a consequence. We showed that

this action is just not worth it.


“There is one session on perspective taking. We demonstrate

this with a role-play exercise involving three characters. “I don’t feel I could deliver the programme if I did not
There’s a football ‘hooligan-type’, a shop owner and a believe in its approach. There are the self-talk sequences
grandfather who wants to take his grandchild to a football that we teach, which is about relieving stress in certain situ-
match. Each offender takes a turn in the different roles and ations. I know they are effective because I use them myself.
tries to see things from the three different perspectives.

“Our work is not plain sailing: we deal with offenders who


“One offender had never previously considered how come to us with a lot of resistance and negativity. I see this
someone’s drunken behaviour on a bus would upset fellow as their defence. They are masking insecurities.
travellers. They had not thought that other people might

feel intimidated. ETS gives very practical examples. In the past they may have been told that they were stupid,

so how are they going to cope with ETS? It’s our job to
“Another scenario is that they have just started a new job show them they can.”
and they like it, and want to stay. But someone is making

them feel uncomfortable.The typical response is ‘I would

just fill him in.’

A programme participant says…

“The different role plays in ETS helped me understand things. I did one with another guy who pretended to be a drug

pusher. You have to think of it like a real situation. ETS teaches you how to stop and think. The tutors try and get into your
mind. I have learnt that other people have a right to their own opinion. You may disagree with it, but they have a right to
say it. In the past I didn’t respect that. I feel that you have to embrace ETS, you have to see the programme as a positive
thing. To get something out of it, you have got to put something in. You have to stay focussed.”
INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 20

Describing the programme : Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage (CALM)

Tutors in conversation…

“The CALM programme works best with participants who are ready to change their lives. They are tired of getting into

trouble with the law and hurting the people around them. Our skill as tutors is to turn the theory into practice and make

it real for each member of the group so they can use it in their own lives. We get them to understand that no-one is born

with a bad temper, we learn our responses. In other words they have learnt how they react from people around them.”

A programme participant says…

“Getting this supervision order and going on the CALM programme has helped me so much.

“You start the programme and some of the other lads thought it was going to be a waste of time. But going through it

teaches you so much. Basically, CALM brings to the forefront of your mind what you know but don’t always think about.

You learn to identify your triggers, and learn to recognise the signs when you are going to lose your temper. These are

arousal triggers such as sweaty palms and increased heart beats. Then you learn how to control it.

“You take time out when dealing with a confrontational situation. Sit down, now think about the short term and long

term consequences. When you have cooled off, then you are better able to handle the problem. You have to go back and

deal with the issue otherwise things don’t get resolved.

“The tutors also teach you about assertive thinking. I have learnt how to say no without being violent. One of the ways is

called ‘the broken record technique.’ For example, a mate comes to the door and wants you to go to the pub, but you

don’t want to. Don’t say, ‘No. I can’t go because I have no money.’ The mate might offer to lend you some cash. Instead,

just say ‘No’, and keep repeating it… because you mean it.

“I know there are always going to be temptations, and there are always going to be issues. But I’ve changed and the
longer I stay out of trouble, the more that people will believe me. It’s no good just saying it, I’ve got to prove it by living it.”
21 - INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

COMMENTS FROM GROUPWORK

Describing the programme : The Integrated Domestic Violence Programme (IDAP)

Tutors in conversation…

“Men who abuse women come from all walks of life and

racial groups. The majority of men attending will have a

pattern of emotional and violent behaviour.

“The research and statistics suggest that for the incident

that finally ended in a prosecution, there may have been as

many as 35 previous occasions of abuse.

“The integrated refers to the fact that our team comprises

of a Probation case manager, a Police Officer, a women’s

safety worker, and representatives from Social Services


and Health.

“Each of the nine modules in IDAP runs for three sessions,

and is a rolling programme to enable participants to be

filtered in at any stage.

“We challenge their beliefs and sometimes new entrants

will also be challenged by group members, who have


changed their views about themselves and their relationships.”
INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 22

A programme participant and his wife talk about their relationship


pre and post attendance on the Integrated Domestic Violence Programme

The programme participant said... His wife said...

“We have been married for 16 years, and I suppose - “The children had never seen him like this or been involved

in the early days - when I said something at home …. in our rows. They were not hurt. Neighbours called the

then it wasn’t challenged. In more recent times we have Police and he was taken away that night. We were apart

had rows, and sometimes we would not speak to each for three months before he came home.

other for two weeks.

“When you behave like that, nothing gets resolved. The

night I got arrested I had been drinking. I had been in a

bad mood, and my wife locked me out. I kicked in the door

and started throwing things around in the kitchen.

The children heard me and my wife got hurt when she

came into the room.

“The programme helped me to open up about myself and

what I was thinking. The tutors put up a list that described

how some people behave. I could tick nearly all the boxes.
“I guess I had a fear of arguments developing,

“One of the things was coming home and not talking but we talk much more now. I have the confidence to say

about what had upset you at work. I would return to the what I feel. I have got the husband I always wanted.”

family in the evening and say nothing to them. That was a

bad way to treat my wife.

“I was the provider for the family and I guess I thought I


didn’t have to do anything else. I didn’t have a relationship

with my children – and I didn’t realise it. I do now.”

* All photographs related to domestic


violence are enacted
23 - INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

COMMENTS FROM GROUPWORK

Describing the programme : The Community Sex Offender Groupwork Programme (C-SOGP)

Tutors in conversation…

“This is a fairly new programme but 20 to 30 years of work “The classic comment is ‘nothing much happened’.

with sex offenders has been fed into C-SOGP. Each offender must take responsibility for their actions.

They have made it happen. They made those choices and

“A group usually consists of about eight people with two decisions. Committing an offence is a matter of choice.

facilitators. That’s the ideal size. The attrition rates are low.

Most people come and stay. We work with groups that “Our skill as programme facilitators is to constantly assess

include both paedophiles and sex offenders who have the participants. We need to fill in the blanks on:

offended against adults. - the men’s grooming techniques

- extent of offending

“Sex offenders are from all walks of life. Some people - how much empathy they have for the victims, and

may not believe that. Sex offenders often look like very - what is their risk going to be in the future?

ordinary people. They can be articulate and persuasive.


“Our approach is containment. We can create motivation.

We have the skills to achieve this. There are those who

attend the group who are ‘workable’ and are ready and

prepared to engage. We can give them that insight

concerning themselves and their past behaviour.


“The course taught me an awful lot
about me and what led up to my
“The programme gives them a range of mental tools that
offending. Before, I could not
understand why I did what I did.” will help them to determine how, when and why to use them.”
Offender on the Sex Offender
Groupwork Programme
INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 24

“There was the old me and


now there is the new me.
I live at a hostel in the
community and I am on the
Sex Offender Register.“

A programme participant says …

“I completed the adapted Sex Offender Treatment Programme while I was in prison. I also finished the Better Life booster

module. I went on the adapted programme because I am dyslexic and I thought I would struggle with a lot of writing.

“The course taught me an awful lot about me and what lead up to my offending. Before, I could not understand why I did

what I did.

“I have never talked about issues from my childhood and how they impacted on the way I was living. To get something

out of this programme, you have got to want to change your life. I wanted to do that and change my outlook. I didn’t

want to make any more victims.

“The staff in the prison were brilliant. I think about all the stuff they have to listen to day after day. The programme runs

in blocks. Everybody dreads block seven. We call it the hot seat session. You sit there and talk about what you have done.

That’s difficult but each member of the group has got to do it.

“I’ve completed about 360 hours of work on the programme. I had never spoken about what happened to me as a child.

My Dad battered me ‘black and blue’.

“My brother was sexually abusing me. I never told anyone about what happened at home. If you had a problem, you dealt

with it yourself. I just left home as soon as I could.

“What I went through is no excuse for what I did to my family.

“Looking back I hid behind a mask. I never settled in one place, or managed to hold onto a job or a relationship.

“I know that things just don’t happen. I understand better what I did. I have no contact with my family and I have moved

away so they don’t bump into me when they go out.”


25 - INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES

SECTION FIVE

WHAT DOES
THE FUTURE HOLD?

The development of offending behaviour programmes is a Established offender behaviour programmes are also
continual process that is directed by international and reviewed to assess if there is a need to introduce changes.
national research - and the findings of pilot projects. Work is underway to establish a new general offending
Changes are made in response to advances in psychological behaviour programme that will eventually replace
theory and methods and changes in criminal activity. Enhanced Thinking Skills and Think First.

Pilot modules and programmes are tried and tested for ETS teaches how to improve an individual’s thinking skills to
effectiveness in real life settings. Individual Probation Areas achieve worthwhile goals, while Think First focuses more on
run the pilots as part of the accreditation process. the offence – and the thinking and assumptions that lead to

the crime.
Two new initiatives have seen the development of the Low

Intensity Alcohol Module (LIAM) and the internet Sex In the future there will be changes to the training regime
Offender Treatment Programme (i-SOTP). for tutors that will build on existing experience. The current

system operates separate training for each accredited


The issue of young people and the effects of ‘binge programme – and assumes no prior knowledge of
drinking’ have raised national public concern on how programme theory. This process is now regarded as too
excessive alcohol consumption is increasingly acting as a repetitive and over long for tutors with experience of
catalyst to criminal activity and subsequent arrest. programme delivery.

LIAM runs for 12 sessions and is aimed at offenders who The new approach is expected to include an initial core-
have a problem with their level of drinking that is affecting training module, followed by individual modules for each
their lives and leading to offending behaviour. Participants accredited programme when required by the tutor.
also keep drink diaries to help them consider how alcohol is

influencing their decision-making and problem solving skills. The integrity of the offending behaviour programmes has

now been firmly established, and the planned modifications


The internet sex offender programme has evolved as a that are being introduced will see role-play scenarios
response to this growing trend. i-SOTP aims to reduce the updated to reflect changing aspects of our lives.
risks of future internet sexual offending and of the
offender progressing to sexual offending that involves

physical contact with victims.


INWARD CHANGE FOR LASTING EFFECT - OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMMES - 26

The international development of offending behaviour

programmes has been underpinned by evaluations of

research projects and practice-based experience.

The results and feedback are encouraging and will

strengthen the argument that this type of intervention has

a growing part to play in reducing crime and enabling

offenders to reintegrate back into their communities.

Additional training packages will also be introduced as part

of the strategy to encourage tutors to be more responsive

to the different learning needs of a group’s members.

The ability to meet a range of learning styles will improve

completion rates.

The UK’s accredited range of programmes has attracted the

interest of other European countries. Netherlands, Ireland

and Norway has adopted ETS and Sweden is running two

versions of the Domestic Violence programme.

Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania and the Czech Republic have

sought UK expertise to help develop their own offending

behaviour programmes that will be based on the same

cognitive behavioural principles.