Acknowledgement of offending behaviour and its impact
Despite a 50% increase in the budget for prisons and managing offenders in the last ten years almost half of all adult offenders released from custody reoffend within a year so effective rehabilitation is needed to enable us to break the cycle of crime and prison. This rehabilitation includes offending behaviour programmes, which make offenders, confront and acknowledge the damage their behaviour does, and then learn how to change the patterns which have often grown up over many years and have become a way of life.
Assessment of individual behaviour
A plan is drawn up for an individual depending on their offences and the analysis completed when they first arrived in custody to decide which offending behaviour programmes, education and training they will receive while in prison to prepare them for release.
Assessment of associated risks
The offender can be a risk to themselves and the public. They put themselves at risk of being back in prison if they leave and carry on the same lifestyle with the same people, surroundings and pressures. Breaking out of a cycle of crime is hard for an individual but it is possible with support from rehabilitation programmes inside and out of prison. If the cycle isn’t broken and an offender leaves prison the public are at risk of crimes by that person; damage to life, people and property can happen which could have been prevented if the correct programmes were available to them while inside.
Prisoner’s behaviour issues can lead them to reoffend because of different factors such as physical, social, psychological and emotional. People with offending behaviour are more likely to be aggressive and impulsive which can link to medical conditions such as ADHD and autism meaning they misunderstand social norms and behave in an anti-social manner. If they live in a disadvantaged society there are more negative peer groups surrounding offenders, encouraging them to be anti-social. The families in these areas won’t have appropriate role models to teach the norms of society making young people think it’s acceptable to be truant from school, meaning lack of qualification and becoming more likely to commit crime when they’re older.
Young people and adults who display serious and persistent offending behaviour usually have patterns of negative behaviour dating back to their early years. The key to prevention lies in the early years and parents having a good understanding of their role in shaping their children’s behaviour; if this isn’t done correctly the child grows up not understanding social norms and values of society so when they grow up they commit crimes thinking it’s a normal way to behave. They get punished for it, released from prison and carry on their corrupted criminal life if nothing is done to change them inside prison.
Changing behaviour positively
To help prisoners deal with their offending behaviour they are able to talk about what they think and feel about their crimes, they can then reflect and understand the harm they caused to others through their actions. Also a lot of time and resources are used teaching prisoners new techniques such as problem solving, coping mechanisms and decision making to help them think through past incidents and show how they can be changed in the future.
Impact of crime on victims
After experiencing a crime, people can be affected in different ways. Sometimes people feel quite normal for a while and then things may suddenly start to fall apart, while others can have physical symptoms such as lack of sleep or feeling sick with worry. People around you such as friends, partners and children are also likely to be affected. They may feel similar emotions to yours alongside being concerned about you but at the same time; many people find that others around them expect them to just ‘get over it.’
Current offending behaviour programmes
● Sex Offenders Treatment Programmes (SOTP)
SOPT is a range of programmes specifically for sex offenders designed according to individual needs and their risk levels in society. It helps offenders understand how and why they have committed sexual offences and also increases awareness of victim harm. The main focus is to help the offender develop meaningful life goals and practice new thinking and behavioural skills that will lead them away from reoffending.
● Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it (CALM)
CALM is an emotional management programme designed for offending behaviour stemmed from intense emotions. The goals are to help offenders understand the factors that trigger their anger and aggression and learn skills to manage their emotions.
Different things trigger people to reoffend including poor thinking, problem solving skills and little self-control when under peer pressure. People who reoffend usually can’t see the potential problems they are putting themselves in; this is usually because they are unable to disassociate with other offending peers. These groups have a tendency to be more impulsive and aggressive with hostile behaviour which results in trouble with the police.