Evaluating the effectiveness of the Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside (SORI) Programme delivered in seven prisons in England and Wales



Purpose. Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside (SORI) is a programme that aims to: increase victim empathy in offenders; motivate offenders to change their offending behaviour; and to take personal responsibility for the harm that he has caused. A 5-day course based on the SORI principles has been piloted across seven prison sites in the UK. The aim of the study reported here was to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme across these sites.

Methods. Three psychometric questionnaires [Victim Concerns, Locus of Control, and Stages of Change (SoC) scales] were administered to the participants immediately before and after the programme had taken place (data were available for 131 participants for the Victim Concern Scale, 82 participants for the Locus of Control measure, and 96 participants for the SoC questionnaire). These psychometric measures were the primary research outcome. Statistical analyses were employed to assess whether any changes had been effected by the programme.

Results. The results of this study found that: participants had an enhanced victim concern for all types of victims, were more motivated to change their offending behaviours, and were more willing to take responsibility for their actions, after completion of the course. No change was found in terms of participants seeing themselves as being more in control of their actions/environment.

Conclusions. The results lend support for the notion that the 5-day SORI course is effective in increasing participants’ levels of victim concern and motivation to change, while not really impacting upon levels of ownership for one's ownership for one's actions. Suggestions for future research and limitations of the study are discussed in the paper.