Numbers of prisoners not completing accredited
offending behaviour programmes due to transfer
As far as accredited offending behaviour programmes
are concerned, because we routinely collect a significant amount
of data, we need to make choices as to what to collect. We base
these on whether or not doing so would serve a significant clinical
purpose, and on the ease with which data collection can be made.
We do not routinely collect data that would allow me to give comprehensive
information on the numbers that do not complete programmes by
reason of transfer and the numbers that complete programmes when
they have two or more years left to serve for all programmes.
But my staff have been able to make estimates in some cases and
to provide definite data in some others.
Question 163: Prisoners not completing programmes
by reason of transfer?
The data for the main cognitive skills offending
behaviour and CALM (for those whose inability to control anger
or emotion has led to the offence) programmes are evidenced estimates:
cognitive skills: 84 (1.7 per cent)
of 4,974 prisoners;
CALM: 4 (1.7 per cent) of 235 prisoners.
We know that 3 of the 851 prisoners (0.4 per cent)
that took the Sex Offender Treatment Programme dropped out for
reasons of transfer.
We do not have data in respect of the Cognitive Self
Change Programme. It is long and complex: some of its features
are that it allows participants to drop out and re-join, and that
its various modules, if successful, can lead to a down-grading
of security riskand therefore transferduring the
course of the programme; and some of the modules are designed
to be delivered in the community. It is therefore inappropriate
to collect data on failure to complete the programme through transfer,
and is difficult to estimate.
As I suggested when giving evidence, the numbers
not completing these programmes by reason of transfer does appear
to be small. There are good reasons for this. Prisons are strictly
audited on their implementation of accredited programmes, including
on the institutional support provided for them. The audit results
in a score that proportionately reduces the number of programme
completions the prison may count towards the achievement of its
key performance target. Under that system, transfer without good
cause will be penalised, so prisons try to avoid them.
Transfers out can be for very good reasons - for
example for reasons of good order and discipline because the prisoner
is seriously disruptive or a danger to other prisoners, or because
he is himself under some form of threat. I expect prisons to manage
such situations without transferring prisoners wherever possible,
but sometimes a transfer really is the only reasonable option.
HM Prison Service