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Prisoners: Rehabilitation

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of offending behaviour programmes are (a) offered in each category of prison and (b) assessed as suitable for offenders with learning (i) difficulties and (ii) disabilities; and if he will make a statement. (322044)

Out of a total of 25 accredited offending behaviour and substance misuse programmes which are offered in different establishments within the prison estate:

13 (52 per cent.) are offered in the category A estate (remand and sentenced);

18 (72 per cent.) in local category B (remand and sentenced);

12 (48 per cent.) in category B (sentenced);

19 (76 per cent.) in category C (sentenced);

5 (20 per cent.) in category D open and semi open (sentenced);

11 (44 per cent. ) in YOIs;

5 (20 per cent.) in the female estate.

The security categories A, B, C, and D and local category B relate to establishments which hold adult male prisoners. Female establishments and those for young offenders are not categorised.

Prisons which have been designed and built to accommodate prisoners up to a particular security category may hold prisoners of a lower category to enable the effective management of the estate, particularly where the establishment is fulfilling a number of functions. The predominant function of each establishment has been used in producing the figures above which may be subject to changes in delivery. The programmes which are offered cover four broad areas set against levels of offender risk and need, which address substance misuse, general offending behaviour, sexual and violent offending.

In addition to accredited programmes there are a number of non accredited programmes which are approved locally to meet particular needs and other activities such as training, education, work, support and resettlement are offered to prisoners to help reduce the risk of re-offending.

Further information on the delivery of accredited programmes across the estate can be found in the National Offender Management Service annual report 2008-09

Offending behaviour programmes accommodate a broad range of offenders. Where appropriate, prisons must make reasonable adjustments to ensure programmes are accessible to all those who could potentially benefit. If there are concerns for example about mental or physical health, intellectual ability, language, literacy, dyslexia, or disability then an assessment should be undertaken or specialist advice obtained to see if the particular deficits can be worked with within the programme. Participation on a particular programme will depend on the assessment and scale of the issues in an individual case. There may be more than one factor that precludes an individual from participating in a programme.

Further work may be possible to prepare an individual, however there will be some offenders who are unable to participate due to the intensive nature and cognitive focus of the programmes. If a programme is not suitable then one to one work may be considered. If an individual is still unsuitable then other interventions or activities should be considered to meet their needs. Offending behaviour programmes are only element of National Offender Management Service work to address the risks and needs of offenders and reduce their risk of reoffending.