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Offender Behaviour Programmes

What are Offender Behaviour Programmes?

These are rehabilitation schemes intended to reduce reoffending by identifying and monitoring factors believed to lead to contribute to it. The Prison Service provides a number of Offender Behaviour Programmes (OBPs) aimed at dealing with different factors. Some are quite broad while others are focused on a particular group of convicts. A selection are described in more detail here.

Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)

This program aims to identify and alter the elements of thinking associated with criminal behaviour. Points such as flexible thinking, impulse control, social perspective, values and moral reasoning and solving inter-personal problems are all covered. This is the Prison Service’s most widely used programme as it is quite general and applicable to a large proportion of offenders.

Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it (CALM)

Aimed at inmates whose problems are related to poor emotional management. The programme tries to help people reduce the frequency, severity and length of their feelings of not just anger, but also anxiety, jealousy and other negative emotions by teaching emotional restraint techniques.

Cognitive Self Change Programme (CSCP)

Created for violent offenders classified as being high risk, this programme gives prisoners skills to control their violent impulses and avoid repeat offences. Through individual and group sessions it is aimed at aiding those with histories of reactive violence.

Sex Offender Treatment Programmes (SOTP)

This is a range of programs geared towards sexual offenders with a number of options available based upon the level of risk, needs of the offender and nature of offences.

Healthy Relationships Program

Designed for men with a prior history (whether criminally convicted or through personal admission) of violent or abusive domestic behaviour who are viewed as a risk for repeated violent behaviour within relationships.


A complex programme targeted at reducing violent behaviour in high danger offenders, whose severe and/or multi aspect psychopathic disorders inhibit the likelihood of them accepting or responding to more usual methods of treatment or change.


A cognitive-motivational programme currently being piloted. The goal being to raise motivation levels in offenders in relation to a proactive interest in their own resettlement in society and an increase in positive social outlook prior to release.

Choices, Actions, Relationships and Emotions (CARE)

Developed for female inmates who have difficulties with emotional regulation which lead to offending. Helping inmates to recognise and label their emotions and manage them through taught skill sets. Also aimed at encouraging the creation of a positive self-identity which can be adopted to help the prisoners achieve the type of life they want when they are released.

Short Motivational Package

Designed to encourage offenders to take up pro-social activities and support them in those activities to provide motivation to avoid reoffending. Piloted within a range of groups including drug users, susceptible prisoners, sex offenders and women.

JETS Living Skills

Based upon the ETS programme but redesigned with juvenile offenders in mind, JETS has been trialled and provisionally accredited for addressing the behaviour and thinking associated with criminal offending.

Substance Abuse Programmes

There are a wide range of programmes in operation for dealing with the problems of alcohol and drug abuse within the prison population.