1. Chair’s Foreword
I am delighted to introduce the first annual report summarising the work of the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR). This annual report covers activity undertaken in 2018/19 and in 2019/20. SAPOR’s panel members include academics and practitioners with expertise in risk assessment and management, rehabilitation and desistance, and the role of the panel is to accredit programmes and endorse interventions and initiatives which support desistance. The panel’s role is also to offer support and advice to those engaged in such efforts in Scotland and to promote best practice in rehabilitative effort and wider desistance initiatives across all professionals in Scotland. The panel is a non-core non-regulated public body in Scotland.
During the two years covered by this report, the panel has both delivered ongoing accreditation in relation to offending behaviour programmes in the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and within Criminal Justice Social Work Scotland (CJSW) and engaged in wider consultation and engagement across professional groups as we have sought to implement the broader role envisaged when Scottish Accreditation Panel for Offender Programmes (SAPOP) was replaced by SAPOR.
As a panel, we have really sought to operationalise this role. We have made good progress and will continue to work towards greater engagement with wider community justice stakeholders and to promote our developing ‘endorse’ and ‘advise’ functions as much as our ‘accredit’ function.
Additionally the panel has calibrated its own processes against international standards to ensure that the standards we set and promote in Scotland are equivalent to international best practice.
In 2018/19 we considered 4 programmes for accreditation: three in SPS - Short Term Interventions (STIP), SPS Women’s Programme, SPS Self-Change Programme (SCP) and one Criminal Justice Social Work Programme - the Caledonian System Programme.
In 2019/20, we considered 2 programmes for accreditation the SPS Women’s Programme and Short Term Interventions (STIP). In addition to this, we also considered initial submissions from 3 programmes to inform their planning as to whether they wish to submit for accreditation and we have also focused on the development of our endorse and advise functions.
Over the two years covered by this report, we have also attended various events and meetings in Scotland and beyond and meetings to promote the work of SAPOR and best practice and encourage engagement with the panel. We will continue this work going forward and will take forward a real focus in the year to come by further engaging with and supporting Justice priorities.
As Chair, I would like to thank all panel members for the hard work, tolerance and focused effort, especially when it was requested with more material and less time than we would all have liked, over the past year. I would particularly like to thank Dr Trish McCulloch for accepting the position of Vice Chair and in this role promoting links with Social Work and Community Justice which I hope she will continue this year. Also, the panel is fortunate to have a member of Justice Analytical Services (JAS) on the panel and we would all like to extend a special thanks to Catherine Bisset who patiently explains evaluation commissioning and logic modelling and data to us and our applicants on a regular basis.
Professor Liz Gilchrist
Chair of SAPOR