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The Good Thinking! course – developing a group‐based treatment for people with learning disabilities who are at risk of offending

Wendy Goodman (Forensic Senior Nurse at Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust, Bristol, UK)
Janice Leggett (Psychologist at Genie Systems Ltd, Monmouth, UK)
Emily Bladon (Consultant Psychologist at Community Therapeutic Services, Weston Super Mare, UK)
Charlotte Swift (Clinical Psychologist at Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust, Bristol, UK)
Teresa Treasure (Forensic Community Nurse at Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust, Bristol, UK)
Mike Richardson (Forensic Case Manager at Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust, Chippenham, UK)

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2042-0927

Article publication date: 15 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Mainstream offender treatment programmes are mainly inaccessible to offenders who have learning disabilities, which may mean those convicted of offences either receive inappropriate treatment or no offender treatment at all. There is developing, but patchy, provision of community‐based specialist offender treatment for people who have learning disabilities. This paper seeks to describe the evolving process of developing the Good Thinking! course, a group‐based offender treatment programme which aims to help address this need.

Design/methodology/approach

The Good Thinking! course comprises 23 two‐hour sessions run once a week in a community setting. It is based on the premise that people who commit offences are often trying to meet ordinary life goals through anti‐social means. It aims to help participants identify and understand their goals, develop the social skills necessary to attain them and teaches a problem‐solving strategy for more complex problems.

Findings

This paper describes the process of developing the course material, providing the course and adapting it in light of feedback from participants, referrers and carers. A description of the course and a case study are provided. Insufficient data have been produced to enable a formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the Good Thinking! course; as more data are generated, the team plan to achieve this.

Originality/value

The paper aims to inform and encourage clinicians and commissioners working in this field to increase the availability of specialist community‐based treatments for offenders who have learning disabilities.

Keywords

Citation

Goodman, W., Leggett, J., Bladon, E., Swift, C., Treasure, T. and Richardson, M. (2011), "The Good Thinking! course – developing a group‐based treatment for people with learning disabilities who are at risk of offending", Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 114-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/20420921111186606

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited