Northamptonshire Probation, Reducing Re-offending

The Trust aims to reduce reoffending by working with offenders to change their behaviour and by dealing with those things that may lead them to commit more crimes. This aim is handled under various banners and the logic behind them is pretty simple:

  • Accommodation: If you have somewhere to live and can get support, you will lead a  more stable life.
  • Education, Training and Employment: Offenders often do not have the basic skills they need to find and keep a job and the probation trust will help those people to get those basic reading, writing and maths skills. They will also help with finding a job if you need one.
  • Health: Often poor health is a result of not being able to get health and social care. Primary Care Trusts are now responsible for healthcare in most of our prisons and the trust will help you get that care.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: A high proportion of offenders have drug or alcohol problems, with about 2/3 rds of people arrested testing positive for drugs. The trust has set up  set up treatment courses to deal with alcohol and drug abuse. These make sure that there is early help and ongoing care for offenders under sentence, and support after sentence.
  • Finance, Benefits and Debt: while money may not be the root of all evil, lack of it is a real problem for many people, especially those just released from prison. Ex-offenders can face serious money problems, including getting Benefits and the trust will assess an offender’s financial problems quickly, so that they can get help and gain the skills to look after their own finances.
  • Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour: The Probation Service runs some independently accredited courses about thinking and judging decision making.  These courses include general work about offending behaviour and more specialist courses such as for sexual and violent offending, and drug or alcohol abuse.


C A L M – Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it Information for Offenders

CALM is a groupwork programme of 24 sessions each lasting 2 hours. There will usually be 2 sessions per week. There will be between 4 and 12 people in the group with 2 staff. At the start and end of the group you will complete a number of questionnaires. They are not hard and you will be given help if you need it. The questionnaires help us to see if the group is working. CALM is based on the idea that behaviour, thinking and emotions are related. It will help you understand why aggressive behaviour happens and how you can control it in future.

The group will help you to:-

  • Reduce aggression by managing your emotions better
  • Understand what triggers your anger and aggression
  • Learn how to prevent getting too worked up
  • Resolve conflict better in future
  • Manage negative emotions that are linked to aggression
  • Identify ways to stop offending in future


Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP)

The IDAP Home Office Accredited Programme for the reduction of domestic abuse was launched in Northamptonshire in June 2005. The programme is run by the Northamptonshire Probation Trust and its partners, the Sunflower Centre, who provide the Women’s Safety Worker. IDAP is a cognitive behavioural programme which tackles offender’s attitudes and beliefs in order to change their offending behaviour. It specifically targets heterosexual males who have been convicted of a domestic violence related offence with a medium to high risk of harm. The programme teaches non controlling behaviour strategies and victim empathy. During the programme, the following themes are explored: non violence; non threatening behaviour; respect; support and trust; accountability and honesty; sexual respect; partnership; responsible parenting, negotiation and fairness. The programme also incorporates inter-agency risk assessment, victim work, and core group work. The programme consists of 27 two and a half hour sessions which are delivered on a weekly basis and includes 13 individual sessions.



The C-SOGP is a programme approved as suitable for persons convicted of contact or non-contact sex offences against child or adult victims of either, or both sexes. The aim is to prevent further sexual reoffending, by looking at how thoughts, attitudes and emotional  responses are linked to abusive behaviour. For offenders  given a community sentence participation is normally a condition of a Community Order, but for someone given a custodial sentence it can be a requirement of a Licence after release. 

For anyone who has not already completed a Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) in prison there are two main ways through the C-SOGP. For most it involves attendance at 240 hours of groupwork taking more than 2 years to complete; for some the groupwork lasts for 100 hours and can be completed in about a year. It is important to recognize this will make major demands. These include:

  • Regular reporting to a Probation Officer to complete work that forms part of the Programme;
  • Daytime attendance to complete progress questionnaires;
  • Daytime attendance at meetings with the Probation Officer and NSPCC staff before, and at key stages through the programme;
  • Consistently attending and contributing usefully to the groupwork sessions.


Internet Sexual Offenders Downloading Treatment Programme (ISOTP)

The ISOPR Programme targets male offenders aged 21 and over who have been convicted of offences such as downloading, possession, making or distributing indecent images of children.

Drink Impaired Drivers Programme

Drink Impaired Drivers Programme is a group of 14 sessions each lasting 2 ½  hours.  The aim of the Drink Impaired Drivers Programme is to reduce the likelihood of committing another drink drive offence by improving your knowledge, awareness and ability to tackle problems in other ways.

By the end of the programme you will have had an opportunity to learn to:

  •  Understand how alcohol affects the body
  •  Challenge attitudes towards drinking and driving
  •  Consider the consequences to others of drinking and driving
  •  Examine the alternatives to drinking and driving
  •  Understand how alcohol affects the skills required to drive a car
  •  Monitor your own drinking patterns and to understand why you drink
  •  Recognise how emotions can affect making decisions
  •  Consider the reasons why you committed the offence


Thinking Skills Program

TSP targets male and female offenders who are medium risk of re-offending. TSP is suitable for offenders who have committed domestic, sexual or instrumental violence, subject to appropriate consideration of group membership. TSP is based on the idea that behaviour and thinking are linked. This group can help you to learn new ways of thinking about the choices you face in your everyday life and will help you stop offending.

The new skills we offer are:

  • Not being so impulsive,
  • Thinking in a creative way
  • Thinking logically
  • Finding alternative ways forward
  • Considering how your behaviour affects other people
  • Learning to listen to others
  • Learning how to convince others
  • Learning how to negotiate00
  • Making better decisions

Reach Project

REACH is an employability project which targets higher risk and high need offenders who find it harder to access mainstream services. The project includes those who are serving less than 12 months in custody who are often released without support. The project supports offenders by providing a Case Management approach. REACH case workers work closely with offenders and the Offender Manager to reduce barriers to employment. There is particular focus on engaging groups who face additional barriers to employment including, women, black and ethnic minority offenders, people with learning difficulties and other health needs, single parents, people over 50 and young people who are not in education, employment or training

The course will help you build confidence and increase engagement with individual action plans, help with conviction disclosure and CV writing and by providing short vocational skills courses and work placements to help demonstrate commitment to potential employers.


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