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Prisons: Cognitive Skills Programmes

Volume 570: debated on Tuesday 19 March 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What cognitive skills programmes are being tested in the prisons of England and Wales, and whether they will place descriptions of the programmes in the Library of the House.

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Avebury from the Director of Security and Programmes of the Prison Service, Mr. A. J. Pearson, dated 19th March 1996.

Lady Blatch has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about cognitive skills programmes run by Prison Service establishments in England and Wales.

Establishments have a choice of two cognitive behavioural skills programmes which are designed to tackle the thinking and attitudes underpinning anti-social and criminal behaviour:

  • (i) the Reasoning and Rehabilitation Programme—a Canadian package
  • (ii) the Thinking Skills course—an in-house package.
  • A comprehensive description of these programmes and operating standards is currently being prepared. The intention is to complete this work by the autumn and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.