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Changing the world of offender development and rehabilitation

David Apparicio (Managing Director of Harnessing Potential Ltd, Northampton, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to question and challenge the current punishment‐focused approach to sentencing of offenders and introduce a behavioural framework that focuses on the positive reinforcement of “good” behaviours, motivators, habits and consequences that would engage, inspire and compel change in individuals, equipping individuals with real behavioural skills through sustainable personal development


Both offenders/inmates at all levels of the probation and the criminal justice system were spoken to and a range of recently published (1997‐2007) papers that explore the causes of offending behaviour, in the UK, Europe and the USA were considered.


When researching why individuals offend/re‐offend it became apparent that there was a gap between what society saw as acceptable and the current behaviour of offenders. What was interesting was the approach in the criminal justice system is very different to that of the business world when it attempts to close the gap between actual and desired behaviours/results. In the Criminal Justice system the reason for intervention in a sentencing situation is primarily to administer punishment, whereas in the business world where there is a gap we would aim to close that gap through the provision of knowledge, skills, practice, behaviours/values that moves the individual to our desired state ‐ a more competent and capable position.


This paper challenges the current approach of continuing doing the same things that we always have done with offender management and expect different results, rehabilitated offenders with reducing levels of crime and offending.



Apparicio, D. (2008), "Changing the world of offender development and rehabilitation", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 211-215.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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