New research into completers and non-completers of offending behavior programs

September 28, 2015, University of Leicester

A University of Leicester study has highlighted the importance of ensuring high-risk and impulsive offenders complete rehabilitation programmes and that some offenders require extra support to engage with the programmes.

The study by Dr Emma Palmer, a Reader in Forensic Psychology and the Course Director of the MSc in Forensic Psychology, and Lisa Humphries, who is on the DClinPsy training course at Leicester, has been published in the Journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.

They looked at 299 male offenders serving a community order with the requirement to attend an offending behaviour programme in England and Wales and examined whether there were significant differences between those offenders who completed and those who did not complete an offending behaviour programme. The researchers used the measures of impulsivity, social problem solving, and criminal thinking.

The study results showed that offenders who did not complete the programme had significantly higher levels of non-planning impulsivity than those who did. The researchers also found out from their results that non-completers were at a higher risk of reconviction.

No significant differences were found between completers and non-completers for social problem solving and criminal thinking, as well as no significant differences between the two groups for age.

Dr Emma Palmer said: "It is a well-established research finding that those offenders who complete programmes have lower rates of reconviction than no treatment comparison groups and that non-completers have worse reconviction outcomes than both completers and those offenders who do not participate in programmes.

"Therefore, the finding that non-completers of offender rehabilitation programmes have higher levels of impulsivity than those offenders who complete has obvious implications for practice, suggesting that some offenders need extra support to engage with rehabilitation programmes.

"Although these programmes usually include impulsivity as a treatment target it is likely also to be beneficial to these high risk to receive additional pre-programme work and/or ongoing support during the programme itself."

Explore further: Alcohol treatment programmes effective in cutting reoffending

More information: Legal and Criminological Psychology, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lcrp.12089/pdf

Related Stories

Understanding impulsive behaviour

December 10, 2013

Helping offenders to control their impulses can reduce the risk of re-offending and help with anger control, according to research from Victoria University of Wellington.

Offenders turn to mental health services 

April 23, 2014

Adult criminal offenders in Western Australian are eight times more likely than non-offenders to use community-based mental health services in the year before their first sentence, a UWA study has found.

Recommended for you

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

March 19, 2019

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

Levitating objects with light

March 19, 2019

Researchers at Caltech have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects' surfaces.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BSD
not rated yet Sep 28, 2015
Why are offenders not sent back to gaol for not completing the programme?

If offenders were compelled completed it, then recidivism would be decrease.

Lobotomising before release would solve the impulse issue too.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.