The Belief in Change Programme: leading offenders to a better life

Liz Bird (National Offender Management Service, London, UK)

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services

ISSN: 1747-9886

Publication date: 18 May 2011



This paper aims to explore recent approaches to reducing reoffending and to describe a new intervention, The Belief in Change Programme, which proposes an holistic approach to working with offenders.


Some background on the recent UK government policies and research on reducing offending is given. The Belief in Change Programme is explored in this context.


The Belief in Change Programme highlights the importance of changing the offender's view of life, cognitive skills, access to resources and the perspective of communities to which they return. It encourages offenders to take responsibility to create a vision for the future and be leaders in their own journey of change; but, it also calls on communities to inspire, support and participate in this process.


Leadership is an important dimension of The Belief in Change Programme as some of the methods mirror those used in organisational development. Offenders can also be important leaders of each other by inspiring through role modeling, directing, coaching and mentoring those in earlier stages of the change journey. To ensure the reintegration and successful change of offenders, the wider community would benefit from inspirational leadership to create a revised vision for the rehabilitation and the vital part in which we all play.



Bird, L. (2011), "The Belief in Change Programme: leading offenders to a better life", International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 119-130.

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