It's a fair COP

12th December 1997 at 00:00
Why wait until young men have landed themselves behind bars before trying to rehabilitate them through education? In Leicestershire - on the doorstep of Glen Parva - a unique programme is under way to ensure local youngsters have the option of prevention rather than cure.

The Challenging Offending Programme (COP) and Workout is an intensive, two-tier community sentence that focuses on persistent offending coupled with low achievement and unemployment. It is run by Leicestershire Probation Service in collaboration with APEX, an advisory agency on training and education for probationers. Offenders must attend 32 three-hour sessions over six weeks.

Jonathan Palmer is currently attending. He says: "COP gets you to analyse your offence, to look at how you came to offend. Then you look at strategies to avoid it, like keeping away from alcohol and drugs, and coping with finances. I was on probation and came on this course as a last resort, as an alternative to prison."

Workout helped Jonathan acquire skills. "I started out doing a responsible motor vehicle user's course then went on to driving lessons. Then I trained to be a forklift driver. I've also got a City and Guilds in photography - with distinction. I came here sceptical. But after two weeks, I wanted to come rather than thinking it was something I had to do."

As well as City and Guilds, RSA and pre-NVQ certificates, Workout provides access to college. Edward Jones, client adviser for APEX, says: "People you'd have never believed would go on to do a college course have done just that. One person, an alcoholic with multiple offences, did a catering course through Workout and went on to do catering at college. Another person was a very difficult, negative woman. But after doing a poetry course, she discovered she was good at it and her outlook has become more positive."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now