Skip to content Skip to main menu Skip to utility menu

Offending behaviour programmes Task

Offending behaviour programmes (OBPs) are courses to help you change how you think, feel (your attitude) and behave so you won’t re-offend in the future. The court may order you to enrol in a programme as part of your sentence. It could also be a part of your community order or a condition of your release from prison. OBPs are widely offered in prisons and are an important part of the parole process.

It is the responsibility of prison and probation staff to offer you OBPs as a part of your support and rehabilitation package. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) Interventions Services run courses in prison and in the community. Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) also offer community-based programmes.

You can attend an OBP either in prison or when you are on probation. There is a range of OBPs available which offer different levels of support. 

The most appropriate OBP for you depends on:

  • the offence you committed 
  • your pattern of offending
  • whether you need help to deal with substance misuse

A list of available OBPs can be found here.

An accreditation system for OBPs was introduced by the prison service in 1996. OBPs are accredited by a panel of independent, international experts known as the Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel (CSAAP). 


The Ministry of Justice uses the accreditation system to check that each OBP:

  • is designed using the most recent information
  • is delivered correctly
  • can show that people have been successfully prevented from reoffending

Some OBPs require you to admit to the offence before you can join the programme. However, there are programmes available that you can attend without admitting guilt. These OBPs help you develop skills in areas such as decision making, relationship building and substance misuse (if this would be helpful for you).


The Parole Board and prison report writers will take into account any OBPs you complete when they decide how your sentence will progress.


Your sentence plan may require you to attend a suitable course even if you are unwilling to do so. For example, in order to attend some Sex Offenders Treatment Programmes (SOTPs) you must admit guilt. If you are eligible but not yet ready to attend a course, this objective can stay on your sentence plan as a future target.

It is possible to attend an OBP if you are disabled or have learning difficulties. There are OBPs available in prison and in the community which have been specially designed to support people with additional psychological and emotional needs.

OBPs are delivered by a range of staff including psychologists, probation staff and prison officers. Most OBPs are offered in groups, but sometimes you can attend a one-to-one course. 

You can find information on accredited local OBPs from prisons and providers of probation services. You can find the complete list of programmes whether you are on probation or in prison here.