A number of options are available to a court when sentencing criminals for their offences other than sending them to prison.
One such option is to make the offender go on an offending behaviour programme which is designed to change thinking, attitudes and behaviours to stop that person from re-offending long term.
These programmes are targeted and usually given in groups or one-to-one. They can be done in prison but also in the community, and address anything from general patterns of offending behaviour, to substance abuse, domestic violence or sexual violence.
One example of this is that of Michael Sirrs, 31, from Hall Road in Hull who was sentenced at court for an assault committed in September.
He wasn’t sent to jail but has been punished in a number of different ways for his offence.
Michael Sirrs is required to take an accredited offending behaviour programme for 33 days for his behaviour as well as a further 20 days rehabilitation.
On top of this he must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £90 in costs, and pay an £85 victim surcharge.
Chief Inspector Lee Edwards said: “In all cases our primary focus is always on the victim. I must make that clear.
“We provide them with the support they need, as well as working to bring an offender before the courts.
“Some individuals, and that includes youths and adults, are rightly sent to prison for their crimes which can in turn greatly improve safety, improve confidence, reduce crime and protect our communities.
“But sometimes jail isn’t always the best answer. There are interventions available that, for some, are more effective.
“Of course for the more serious crimes a custodial sentence is appropriate and we work with the CPS to bring offenders before the court and ultimately to justice.
“But it has been shown that programmes that encourage rehabilitation can work and can change a person’s behaviour for the better.
“However if an individual doesn’t engage, change their behaviour and carries on re-offending then the likelihood is that they will eventually end up behind bars.”
More information on offending behaviour programmes can be found on the Government’s website: