Evaluation of HM Prison Service Enhanced Thinking Skills Programme-Outcomes from a Randomised Controlled Trial

Article excerpt

This study was undertaken by Cynthia McDougall, Amanda E Perry, Jane Clarbour, Roger Bowles and Gillian Worthy from the University of York and published as part of the Ministry of Justice Research Series. The research is based on a randomized controlled trial (RCT), with a sample size of 408 offenders, carried out in ten UK prisons investigating the effectiveness of the Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) programme. This is the first RCT to be conducted in a UK prison setting for several years.

The research did find a statistically significant reduction in self-reported impulsivity in the intervention group. This reduction was sustained at a 3-month follow up point. Impulsivity is associated with offending and is behaviour targeted by the ETS programme. Prisoners who participated in the ETS programme also showed a statistically significant reduction in prison security reports, showing an improvement in general behaviour.

Offenders with a range of problems, difficulties and risk issues benefited from attendance at the ETS programme. …