September saw us returning on two separate visits to Copenhagen.
Our first trip was to continue to support the development of LS/CMI risk assessment within the Danish Prison and Probation Service in Denmark. It is perhaps worth reflecting that the re-conviction rate remains particularly low at around 26% compared with much higher rates in the UK (48% June 2018), and it always astonishes us that our policies here in the UK appear to be driven by looking at other countries such as the USA for inspiration when in fact we should perhaps be paying more attention to the Scandinavian model.
Our second trip took us back to an organisation known as Kriminalforsorgen who we have also been supporting for some years now. They are charged with working with members of gangs and individuals who are attempting to leave their gang. The gang structure in Denmark is quite different to that in the UK, and some of the most prolific gangs still include membership of Hells Angels and Banditos.
October saw us returning to Sweden where we have been working with an organisation known as Statens Institutions Styrelse (SiS) for around 5 years now. It is one of the largest organistions in Sweden charged with managing the residential and secure placements for young people. Their latest project is to look at the changes that the organisation needs to make over the next ten years. Part of the process of change includes a focus on appropriate assessment for young people who have offended or who are at risk of committing an offence. Our visit continued to develop staff resources to roll out the use of the YLS/CMI as a key part of that assessment process.
We were delighted to be asked to return to Guernsey Prison recently where Offender management staff hosted one of the most interesting and refreshing training courses. The prison has a long record of adopting effective work practice with offenders and continues to successfully run one of our most challenging cognitive behavioural programmes – Choice and Challenge – with positive results.
This time around, our latest course focused on one of the key risk factors, namely Anti-Social Attitudes. The main emphasis of the course as well as providing some theoretical background was the use of available resources which can be used with offenders to gain a greater understanding of individual attitudes.
Anti Social Attitudes assessment training will be one of the key courses we plan to roll out in 2019.