What you might do



As part of your sentence you may be required to do a programme. These are courses that have been specially designed to help you change your attitudes, thinking and offending behaviour.

They can involve group work and one-to-one sessions. We run a number of different programmes which tackle offences relating to domestic abuse, drink-driving, violent behaviour, substance misuse, hate crime, dealing with conflict. There are also programmes specifically designed for women.

How will a programme help me?

Taking part in a programme will give you a better understanding of why you’ve committed the crime and how to prevent it happening again. A programme can:

  • make you aware of how your attitudes and beliefs can affect your behaviour help you to understand the impact of your emotions on decision making
  • show you how to see things from another person’s point of view
  • help you to develop positive relationships
  • show you how to maintain change once you’ve finished the course
  • encourage you to get involved in group sessions through a safe, respectful and  interesting environment in which you can learn

Building Better Relationships - an accredited programme

You may be required to completed an accredited programme, which has been approved by the Ministry of Justice. Building Better Relationships (BBR) is a programme for men who’ve been violent towards their partner. Using group work, it will help you to understand and manage your aggressive behaviour so that you don’t re-offend in the future.

There are 30 group sessions, with each one lasting up to 2 ½ hours. The course is split into four modules: Foundation, My Thinking, My Emotions and My Relationships. BBR will encourage you to think and behave in a more positive way so that stop causing harm to your family.

Rehabilitation Activity Requirements

A Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) forms part of a Community Order or Suspended Sentence Order. It was introduced in 2015 to help cut re-offending rates and offer more structured support (rehabilitation), suited to each person’s needs.

When you receive your sentence, the court will decide on the maximum number of activity days needed for your rehabilitation. Your probation worker will then assess your needs and, together, you’ll choose a package of activities likely to give you the best outcome. The aim is to help you get the skills and support you need to move away from crime for good.

The RAR will include a combination of activities carried out by you, as well as support provided by your probation worker, including:

Help with accommodation

Having a safe and permanent place to live can give you a more stable, independent lifestyle. We can offer advice and support to help you find a more suitable home or keep the one you already have.

  • We can help you to: find a home to rent, apply for housing benefit, manage any existing rent or mortgage arrears, get legal aid, get help furnishing your home, and lead an independent lifestyle.

Finding a job or a training course

We can show you how to improve your future job prospects through coaching, mentoring and group sessions. Looking at the skills and experience you have, we’ll work with you to develop a personal development plan.

  • We can help you to: keep an existing job, find and apply for a new job or volunteering opportunity, look for suitable education and training courses, write a CV and fill in applications, manage interviews and tell potential employers about your conviction, get funding for training and educational courses.

Managing your money

We can help you to maximise your income and manage your money so that you’re able to pay your bills and household expenses.

  • We can help you to: budget and save, apply for any benefits you might be entitled to, manage and reduce your debt, set up a basic bank account.

Support from a mentor

We can match you with a mentor who’s had similar experiences to you. A mentor can help you to develop better life skills, find job opportunities and gain more confidence.

  • A mentor can give you advice and support on: accessing healthcare, sports and social activities in your area, as well as help with practical tasks such as filling in forms, preparing for interviews, or managing your money.

Family and parenting support

Maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships with your partner and family could be one of the most important parts of your rehabilitation. We can teach you how to communicate better with those around you, improve your parenting skills and learn how to deal with conflict.

  • We can help you to: improve your relationships with close and extended family, talk about feelings and experiences through one-to-one sessions or group discussions, get specialist relationship support.

Support for women

This service offers dedicated one-to-one support in a female-only environment. We can help with complex problems such as addiction or depression, as well as healthy eating, managing a home and confidence building.

  • We can help you to: manage your money, get training in parenting and anger management, search for a job, choose and maintain fulfilling relationships, or refer you to specialist organisations to get support with addiction, domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, anxiety or depression.

Curfew Order / Home Detention Curfew

If your sentence includes a Curfew Order it means that you’ll have to stay in your home at certain times, each day.

You’ll be fitted with an electronic tag usually around your ankle and a monitoring box will be installed in your home.

The curfew could last up to twelve hours a day, and is often overnight. If you’re not at home during the curfew hours or the device is tampered with, the monitoring centre will tell us. We will investigate your absence and you might be sent back to court.

The purpose of a curfew is to help break the pattern of behaviour that could lead to crime. A curfew can run for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of six months.

If you’re assessed as suitable for a curfew while in prison, you could be released early.  This is known as a Home Detention Curfew. The length of the original sentence affects the length of the curfew period.  If the curfew is breached, you risk being returned to prison until your sentence is served.

Community Payback

Community Payback is unpaid work carried out in the community under our supervision.

Whilst it’s given as a punishment, it can also be a rewarding experience as it gives you an opportunity to work as part of a team, learn new skills, build your confidence and get job satisfaction.

Work could include: graffiti removal, street clean ups, gardening and landscaping, painting and renovation, improvements to parks and green spaces, and work for local charities.

The court will tell you how many hours of Community Payback you’ll need to do as part of your sentence. It could be anything from 40 hours to 300 hours. If you’re in full-time work, education or training, you’ll have to do at least six hours each week, which can be completed at weekends. If you’re unemployed, you might have to do a minimum of 18 hours a week, over three days.

You’ll be supervised by experienced staff who work to high health and safety standards.

You need to make sure you arrive for work on time and you must tell staff in advance if you’re unable to do any sessions.

If you don’t turn up for work without good reason, or you break the rules, we’ll give you a warning. You can only have one warning in 12 months – after that, you could go back to court and get more Community Payback hours or a different sentence.

Make a fresh start

If you’ve been given a community sentence we can help you to look for a new home, get a job, apply for benefits, sort out debts, overcome addiction and plan for your future through the Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Settling back into your community

If you are about to leave prison, our Through the Gate (TTG) service will help you settle back into the community.