2. Background to Sapor
The Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR) was created in 2012, replacing the Scottish Accreditation Panel for Offender Programmes (SAPOP). While SAPOP’s work focused solely on the accreditation of offender programmes and interventions (‘kite marking’ offender rehabilitation programmes which met current professional standards), it was recognised that a wider advisory remit and broader professional membership would be far more beneficial to sponsors and the advancement of effective, evidence-based practice.
The role of the Scottish Advisory Panel for Offender Rehabilitation is to:
“Work to reduce re-offending and support desistance by providing approval and advice, setting standards and promoting excellence in programmes, interventions and processes aimed at rehabilitating people who have offended and by encouraging properly evaluated innovation.”
SAPOR’s focus is on programmes and interventions for individuals who have been convicted of an offence. Therefore, programmes and interventions targeted at those pre-conviction are no within the Panel’s current remit.
Though programme accreditation remains a key function of SAPOR, the overarching objective is much broader. SAPOR’s main aim is to support professionals to enable desistance by providing approval and advice, setting standards and promoting excellence in programmes, interventions and processes aimed at rehabilitating people who have offended, and encouraging properly evaluated innovation.
Membership 2018/19 and 2019/20
Panel members are drawn from both academic and practitioner backgrounds with inter-disciplinary expertise: social work, and forensic psychology. This is to ensure that the panel reflects the wide interest in the rehabilitation of people in contact with the justice system in both Scotland and internationally.
Panel members dedicate up to 10 working days per year to SAPOR related business. Appointments are contracted for six years, with the option of renewal for two further years. There is the option to step down from the panel before this time if panel members mutually agree to this.
SAPOR Panel Members (2018/19 and 2019/20)
SAPOR members over the past two years are as follows:
Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist
Professor of Psychological Therapies at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Trish McCulloch
Reader in Criminal Justice Social Work, and current Vice Chair of SAPOR.
Involved with a national mentoring service for women in the Criminal Justice System.
Senior Lecturer, Director of Knowledge Exchange and Impact and Research Lead in Criminal and Social Justice the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde.
Monica Wilson (member until 31 July 2018)
Had been a SAPOR panel member for six years.
Professor Erica Bowen
HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist, and BPS Chartered Psychologists and Associate Fellow.
Consultant Forensic Psychologist.
Chief Executive of the Risk Management Authority (RMA).
SAPOR Accredited Programmes
SAPOR’s Accredit function is a process that requires those delivering an offending behaviour programme to:
- evidence the need for the specific work
- describe the theoretical basis for the focus of the programme
- provide a rationale for the methods of engagement and delivery employed
- set standards for selection of attendees and programme staff
- specify training
- set out governance structures
- specify the logic model for the whole intervention and
- set out the key questions and data requirements for evaluation.
This requires professionals to produce a number of manuals which address 8 design standards (as set out in Appendix A).
Programmes that have thus far been accredited during SAPOR’s lifetime, and therefore implemented within Scotland are as follows:
The Youth Justice Programme (YJP)
Aimed at all young people aged 16-23 years of age with a history of offending. The programme was developed by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and is being initially delivered to young men in HMYOI Polmont. The YJP is designed to address underlying reasons for offending, with the overall aim to reduce recidivism by promoting pro-social life choices. Current accreditation of the YJP runs to September 2021.
Constructs: Steps towards a Positive Life
A group-based programme designed for adults and young people (18-21 years) of either gender. The programme targets those convicted of general offending – it does not target violent or sexual offending – with a specific focus on enhancing problem-solving skills. The programme was developed by SPS and was accredited in March 2017 for a period of 5 years.
The Discovery: Finding New Me
A moderate intensity intervention programme designed to reduce aggression by those who have problems in the emotional, cognitive or inter-personal domains. The programme works to assess, formulate and provide strategies to manage each participant’s aggression-related behaviour within the context of an attuned therapeutic group environment. The programme was developed by SPS and was accredited in December 2017 for a period of 5 years.
The Caledonian System
An integrated approach to address domestic abuse and improve the lives of women, children and men. This community based intervention comprises a two year programme for adult men who have committed domestic abuse offences and services to women partners/ex-partners and children of programme participants. Inter-agency protocols for joint working also form a key part of this intervention. The programme was accredited in December 2017 for a period of 5 years.
Moving Forward: Making Changes (MFMC)
Aimed at adult men who have committed sexual offences, or offences that contain a sexual element, and are deemed as presenting a medium and above risk of reoffending. The programme can be delivered by the qualified professionals in both community and custodial settings, using a modular approach tailored to individual needs (MF:MC was not put forward for continued accreditation in 2018 due to the revision of the programme).