Ministry of Justice

Enhanced Thinking Skills programme: Outcomes and implementation of a randomised controlled trial

Date: 09 March 2009


Two reports on a randomised controlled trial of the Enhanced Thinking Skills programme.

Research was conducted to evaluate the short-term effectiveness of the HM Prison Service Enhanced Thinking Skills Programme, run in prisons in England and Wales with the aim of reducing reoffending. The research resulted in two reports: one discussing the results of the research and the other describing its implementation.

Evaluation of HM Prison Service Enhanced Thinking Skills Programme

This paper describes the implementation of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) conducted to evaluate the immediate impact of the Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) programme.

This evaluation, using interim psychometric measures of attitudes and thinking styles and measures of prison behaviour, is one of the few large scale RCTs to be successfully conducted in the UK criminal justice system in recent years.

The study has demonstrated positive results with regard to the (short-term) effectiveness of the ETS programme. More specifically, the study revealed that ETS programmes are effective in reducing both self-reported impulsivity and the incidence of prison security reports.