Prison & Probation Services

The Decider Skills benefit those with mental health problems, as well as the general prison population.  The skills decrease impulsivity and increase mental resilience, emotional intelligence, coping and confidence.

31,328 people in prison who report having mental health or well-being issues at any one time, based on HM Inspectorate of Prisons surveys (37% of the average monthly prison population).

The Decider Skills empower people by helping them recognise their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours, allowing them to monitor and manage their own emotional and mental health.

The correctional system ensures that an offender's sentence is carried out by time in jail or prison, probation, or community service. One goal of the correctional system is rehabilitation. There is increasing evidence that adverse childhood events (ACEs) are a problem for the criminal justice system as well as a public health problem. ACEs result in a range of behaviours punishable by the law. Many of these behaviours are impulsive behaviours. Society has a duty of care to rehabilitate offenders as a humane response to criminal justice. Emotional rehabilitation is paramount. 

Understanding how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are linked, their impact and consequences and then learning skills to monitor and manage them will help to reduce recidivism and lower incarceration costs, thus benefiting offenders themselves and our society as a whole.

The Decider Skills are a highly effective and essential set of core skills that could be of value to many prisoners.

Dr David Briggs, Forensic Clinical Psychologist

“One striking thing about The Decider Skills is that many prisoners remember the detail of sessions.  The sessions offer a psychological education that is straightforward to engage with and offering something for people with various learning styles.  As a learning tool it’s one that prisoners find credible and are comfortable using.

"I specialise with high risk offenders – clients who have difficulties with emotional regulation and problem solving – all of which is tackled in the Decider Skills sessions.  The skills taught are effectively a way of prisoners ‘arming’ themselves with the skills needed to intervene and interrupt negative behaviour – they are a gateway to impulse control and can offer an early intervention.  Importantly, once people feel in control of their own impulses and emotions they are then often more confident to move on to look at other issues – like sexuality, or violence.

"Lower risk offenders need low intensity intervention, and can even be in danger of being over treated.  With high risk offenders you need high intensity intervention.  Decider Kills could be a key component of their intervention.

"I would say that Decider Skills are a highly effective and essential set of core skills that could be of value to many prisoners.”

Dr David Briggs, Forensic Clinical Psychologist, offers consultancy, training and support to prison and probation staff across the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.  


Prison Case Study - March 2020

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Find out more about The Decider Life Skills - proactive mental health

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The Decider Skills for Self Help online course is available at bulk buy discounts for organisations


Feedback from a prison psychotherapist:

"The Decider works very well in a Forensic setting and has had excellent feedback from both male and female groups. It is fun to deliver and the materials are clear and user friendly. It compliments more focused offence related work and is a good motivational tool for more intensive work or preparation for release where having some extra skills to cope with life and relationships makes all the difference."   

The Decider in Prisons - Case Study

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