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Offenders: Rehabilitation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the criteria used by Her Majesty's Prisons and Probation Service expert panel to assess accredited rehabilitation programmes.

Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of HMPPS accredited programmes have had impact evaluations.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The criteria used by the Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel (CSAAP) to accredit programmes for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) are being updated and prepared for publication.

There are 18 HMPPS accredited programmes, of which:

  • Two programmes have published impact studies which set out the programme’s impact on proven reoffending.
  • A further four programmes have published short-term outcomes studies which assess the programme’s effect on variables that are expected to change (such as treatment targets like problem solving) to then assess impact (reduced likelihood of reconviction).
  • In addition, seven programmes have not been in operation long enough to generate sufficient data for a reoffending impact analysis, and three have small or specialist samples that make constructing a suitable comparison group for a robust evaluation challenging at this time.
  • Impact studies to assess reoffending are currently being scoped or are underway for four HMPPS programmes. Short-term outcome studies are underway for two other programmes.

While several evaluations have been published for accredited offending behaviour programmes, are being scoped, or are underway, not all courses have had an impact evaluation. There are several reasons for this:

  • Some are relatively new and insufficient time has passed to observe outcomes – especially for programmes that target individuals likely to be on long sentences. It can take many years (sometimes upwards of eight years) to generate the data needed to evaluate proven reoffending.
  • Some programmes are delivered to a low volume of participants or are targeted at specific cohorts, which makes it difficult to construct a suitable comparison group for a robust impact evaluation to assess reoffending.
  • The Department has delivered other types of evaluations such as process studies or short-term outcome studies (for example, effects on institutional behaviour) to assess the implementation and delivery of the programmes. This is particularly valuable for new programmes, where we want to learn about how they are being received (as per Cabinet Office guidance on evaluation).

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