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inspectors who monitor education and training outside prisons, as well as through routine inspections by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

In 2004, the Chief Inspector’s Report again

shortages were resulting in a patchy prisons (HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

delivery 2004a).

indicated that overcrowding of education courses in the

and staff women’s

  • Supervision and guidance





of more

than 12 months are required

to have a

‘sentence activities

plan’. Sentence planning is the key to reduce their offending. Its aim is to

process connecting a prepare the prisoner for

prisoner with a safe release:

needs should be assessed, targets set offending behaviour programmes. Plans

and plans should connect the prisoner should have contributions from probation,

with build

on pre-sentence reports and be reviewed regularly. informed by up-to-date risk assessments carried out by

The prison

sentence plan should be and probation staff. These

assessments should ensure that the interventions identified, such as employment in the community, are appropriate and will not increase The sentence plan should provide the basis for the supervision plan prisoners released on licence.

family contact or the risk of harm. that covers those

In the eight reports on the women’s prisons delivered in the 12 months prior to June 2004, the Chief Inspector reported the percentages of eligible prisoners having sentence

plans as varying between 10% and 100%








2004 b-d).

  • Offending behaviour programmes

Since 1992, most address prisoners’

prisons provide some psychology-based programmes designed to offending behaviour. The most common programmes are: cognitive

skills training; sex offender treatment; anger management; programmes are based on a North American model known as

violent offending. the ‘What Works’

The model

and are subject to Accreditation Panel,

national accreditation by a made up of experts in the

Joint field.

Prison and Probation Service Accreditation is a demanding

process covering areas such as the intensity of the programme those delivering it and the extent of monitoring and evaluation programmes have been delivered in the women’s prisons than

and training, the skills of of the programme. Fewer in the men’s, but as there

has been severe criticism of the basic principles and content of offending programmes, not all observers of the women’s prison system in England concerned that this has been so. However, some of the criticism centred on

behaviour have been the Prison

Service using this criticism

programmes for women that had been designed for the first offending behaviour programme designed

men, and in

response to


for women

was rolled out in Spring 2004. In early 2004, however, many of interviewed insisted that it was difficult to assess these programmes

the professionals we because of the chaos

in implementation being created women’s prison population, and by

by the

overcrowding accompanying

as a result of the increase in security

rapidly rising concerns.

It’s difficult to tell what provision is actually operative because programmes are undercut by prison overcrowding and security concerns – which are of course related. (A.17)

  • Drugs and alcohol treatment

In 1995, the Prison Service Drugs Strategy was launched to control both the supply and

demand for drugs in prison.

The main mechanism of control has been Mandatory Drugs

Testing which requires prisoners (who may be targeted on suspicion or randomly selected) to provide a urine sample which is used to test for all the common drugs:


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