Addressing NOMS Pathways
Good Vibrations courses address several of the NOMS Offender Pathways:
Pathway 2: Education, Training and Employment
"Lack of employment is one of the factors associated with re-offending. There is a strong correlation between offending, poor literacy, language and numeracy skills and low achievement and truancy at school. Many offenders have very poor experience of education and no experience of stable employment." MoJ/NOMS website "Reducing Reoffending"
We engage prisoners unable or unwilling to take part in conventional education and enable them to obtain accredited key skills qualifications. For example 100% of participants at Huntercombe YOI completing our course were accredited for Communications Skills Level 1. A group of inmates from Dovegate's Reintegration Unit (ie persistent trouble-makers) not only developed impressive teamworking and listening skills, but during the week 75% of the group managed to complete the work for a Level 1 Communications Skills qualification. At Manchester Prison in March 2009, 13 of the 15 men completing the course were accredited for Teamworking Level 1.
Additionally, through boosting people's self-confidence, motivation, ability to concentrate, and communication skills, we are an effective gateway to education courses. For example, after a Good Vibrations course at Brixton Prison aimed at unemployed and low-skilled inmates, more than half enrolled in a Social & Life skills course.
An independent evaluation of Good Vibrations in 2006, Breaking Down the Walls, looked in detail at the educational benefits of Good Vibrations.
Pathway 3: Mental & Physical Health
Taking part in Good Vibrations courses can reduce levels of self-harm, boost self-esteem and feelings of well-being. Our research shows these benefits can last for some months after the project.
For example, follow-up research into a group of ACCT-book women (ie regular self-harmers) who had done a Good Vibrations course at Peterborough Prison 6 weeks previously, showed that all the women still at the prison had stopped or reduced their self-harming, all except one were off ACCT books altogether, and all were engaged in constructive activities including education.
Pathway 4: Drugs & Alcohol
Good Vibrations projects are a useful component to rehab programmes, as they calm people down, take people's minds off drink/drugs, and help people get used to the routine of taking part in a regular constructive activity.
For example, we ran a course at Peterborough Prison with 18 men from the detox wing, which saw impressive results in terms of increased co-operation with others, stress relief and concentration skills.
Pathway 7: Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour (ATB)
Good Vibrations participants develop significantly in their ability to communicate, listen and co-operate with others. They improve their ability to concentrate and apply themselves. Our courses help prepare inmates for Offending Behaviour programmes and give them the skills, confidence and motivation they need to take part successfully in such programmes.
An independent evaluation of Good Vibrations in 2007, All Together Now by Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology, contains more on this.