Inside Time Articles

Ryan Harman, PRT's advice and information service manager, writes a regular column for the prison newspaper Inside Time, you can read his articles here.

Jul1
Kaizen
01/07/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Earlier this year, the Correctional Services Accreditation and Advisory Panel (CSAAP) recommended that the prison service replace Core and Extended programmes with new offender behaviour programmes, Horizon and Kaizen. We have recently received several enquiries about the new programmes, and noticed that a number of people have been writing to Inside Time about this as well.

We therefore thought it would be helpful to share some of the information we have received from HMPPS (previously NOMS) about these programmes including who the programmes are for and course outlines. This article focusses on Kaizen, about which we have had the most enquiries recently.

Kaizen: information for participants’ includes some detail on the programme. It is an accredited offender behaviour programme for adult males who are assessed as high or very high risk. It is for people who have been convicted of violent or sexual offences. Kaizen adopts a strengths based, future focussed approach in order to raise hope for the future. It aims to strengthen and develop successes in people’s lives through participation in activities and practising new skills. It is designed to be as inclusive as possible and does not require participants to talk about their offending rather areas of their lives that have caused them problems. This means that those maintaining their innocence can take part, although participants do need to be willing to talk about those problem areas

There are three phases to Kaizen. The first phase, ‘Getting Going’, is usually seven sessions and takes place in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. It aims to prepare participants for the rest of the programme by sharing more information about the contents, what is expected by those who take part, and how the programme might help participants build on their existing strengths to make some changes.

The second phase is called ‘My Journey’. The amount of sessions attended depends on the needs of the participant but on average it will be around 68 group sessions (each 2.5 hours long), and 11 Supported Learning Sessions, which may take place on a one-to-one basis or in a smaller group. This phase covers three different modules in the following sequence;


  1. Understanding Old Me and New Me
  2. Strengthening New Me
  3. Future New Me

It will be run on a rolling basis which means that it does not start and finish like other programmes. Participants join the group at different times and then work through the three modules at their own pace. There will be no more than 8 people in the group at any one time.

The final phase is the ‘New Me MOT’. This phase provides extra support to the graduates of ‘My Journey’ to continue to strengthen their ‘New Me’ throughout the remainder of the sentence in custody and community. It is delivered by your offender supervisor/manager at different points in your sentence, such as when you move to less secure conditions or when you are released from custody. It aims to continue to build on the learning from the ‘My Journey’ phase of the course.

A notice that was circulated to prisoners in March 2017 may have answers to some of your outstanding questions. If your sentence plan includes a target to complete the Self-Change Programme (SCP), High Healthy Relationships Programme (HHRP) or the Extended SOTP (ESOTP) you can now be considered for Kaizen. If you were on the waiting list for ESOTP you will be moved to the Kaizen waiting list instead. HHRP and SCP are still currently available while Kaizen rolls out which means that you might still be able to access these as an alternative to Kaizen. If you have not accessed SCP, HHRP or ESOTP because you are maintaining innocence, you may be invited to be assessed again to see if Kaizen might be an option. If you are not sure what you should be doing or why you have been invited for assessment for a programme, speak to your offender supervisor/manager.

If you were on a course which has stopped and you are concerned that it will affect your parole, HMPPS explain that they are working with the Parole Board to make sure no-one is disadvantaged by these changes. It also confirms that other programmes for men convicted of sexual offences - Healthy Sex Programme, Becoming New Me and Living as New Me will continue as they are already in line with the latest thinking in the research.

The other course which HMPPS has been introducing, Horizon, is for men over 18 who have been assessed as medium risk and have been convicted of a sexual offence. It too takes a strengths based future focused approach and is inclusive of those who maintain their innocence. Horizon consists of 29 group sessions followed by a further 2 individual sessions.

If you would like more information on Kaizen and/or Horizon programmes please contact us and we can send you the ‘Information for Participants’ booklets from the MoJ.

You can contact the Prison Reform Trust’s advice team at FREEPOST ND6125 London EC1B 1PN. Our free information line is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30. The number is 0808 802 0060 and does not need to be put on your pin. Please note, the above article focusses on prisons in England and Wales and may not apply elsewhere.