Following on from Sunday's blog post, here we have a textbook response, so typical of Senior Management - a lot of words, but saying absolutely fuck all:-
26 June 2017
To Governing Governors/Directors of Contracted Prisons
Heads of LDUs
SEXUAL OFFENDER TREATMENT PROGRAMMES
Many of you will have seen or heard of the media reports about the Sex Offender Treatment Programme. I wanted to write to you to assure you that we are aware of the articles and are working with colleagues to provide as clear a picture as we can both to you and those in our care or under our supervision.
As you know better than most, we are absolutely committed as an organisation to reducing offending and addressing the needs of men with sexual convictions. We have been at the forefront of this area of work internationally for some 20 years. Our programmes have evolved with the developing evidence base and we have prided ourselves on our evidence based approach. All of our work has been overseen by a panel of international experts who have confirmed that our approach is in line with the latest thinking about what works with this client group. Our work has always been open to close scrutiny, and we have welcomed this even when some have been critical of our approach. That is inevitable given what we do - it is right and healthy to have debate about the best way to change complex and often entrenched behaviours. When Michael attended the Professional Practice Forum on 5 May and spoke to many of you, I know that he was struck by the commitment and enthusiasm of staff working in this area and the range of research evidence presented which we should always use to develop further our policy and practice.
As you know, we have made significant changes to our programme offer for sex offenders in prison over the past year. In developing Horizon and Kaizen we have considered all the most up to date research. Horizon and Kaizen are built on the firmest possible foundations, and we have opened them up to external scrutiny for extra assurance on this. We will also be setting up special arrangements for monitoring and are putting a rigorous evaluation plan in place so that we can review efficacy regularly.
I recognise that media reporting such as this brings with it challenges, particularly for staff working on programmes, or men attending programmes in custody or in the community. We will always seek to improve our practice and further changes will continue to be made as we carry on learning from the latest research findings, and we will continue to work together to ensure that our approach remains world leading.
Please keep up the good work. I do recognise the hard work and commitment that you have put into working with this client group.
Executive Director, Rehabilitation and Assurance
This from InsideTime:-
Death of the SOTP?
For your information, there was a document produced by the MoJ, titled ‘206’, which was based on the two-year reconviction rates for those who participated in the SOTP (Sex Offenders Treatment Programme) and non-participants. This document is hard to find, but it shows that High Risk sex-offenders who participated in the programme actually increased their risk of reoffending by 2%.
After numerous letters to the Head of the MoJ’s Justice Statistics Analytical Services, many MP’s, NOMS, MoJ and Programmes – the SOTP has finally been withdrawn nationwide. This has resulted in all offenders IEP status reverting back to Standard from Basic (due to Maintaining Innocence and non-participation in the SOTP). This has not happened a moment too soon and should have happened years ago.
Eventually there will be new programmes brought in; Horizon, for medium risk, and Kaizen for high/very high risk offenders. There seem to be no details on timeframes for these programmes, and very little detail about them (whether they are offence-related, whether they are even accredited). If you could find out more, that would be great.