We are specialists in designing creative conflict management programmes for prisoners and staff and young offenders’ institutes (YOIs) that supports the prisons to create a safer environment for rehabiliation. 

Working in the criminal justice sector

Almost one third of those sentenced to prison each year are young adults aged 18 – 24. As the number of assaults increase and the ratio of prison officers to prisoners decreases many do not feel safe. Leap’s courses address those feelings of fear and conflict to enable them to engage with their own rehabilitation and future.

We have nearly 30 years of experience in designing and delivering training programmes that support those involved in the Criminal Justice System including training for both prisoners and practitioners.

The programmes that we deliver in the secure estate, in both prisons and YOIs, are designed in consultation with the prison or YOI leadership. They focus on increasing safety and prisoner engagement, reducing the number of violent incidents and improving relationships amongst prisoners and between staff and prisoners. Our programmes take account of the particular challenges that different categories and types of prison face.

Benefits for prisoners and young offenders include:

  • Reduced number of violent incidents, with prisoners feeling safer
  • Improved relationship building skills with other prisoners and staff
  • Awareness of alternative choices available to them in a conflict situation
  • Greater engagement in other prison programmes, increasing the prospect of successful rehabilitation.

Much of our work in the Criminal Justice System is in the community delivering preventative interventions as well as rehabilitative programmes post custody. A young person who commits offences often experiences conflict around their offending behaviour. Leap’s interventions help them to recognise their own role in that conflict, identify alternative choices and improve their strategies for resolving conflict through communication. We address drivers for group offending, knife carrying, harmful sexual relationships and racially motivated conflict.

These programmes can be delivered directly to young people through our pool of expert trainers or through our professional development training packages.

Quotes from former participants

People in here bottle up their feelings and arguments escalate quickly. Mediation is the opportunity to talk in a neutral environment and to come to a resolution. All joint meetings we’ve held between inmates have had a really positive effect. One guy was having such an awful time, in conflict and struggling with it, but afterwards he was chatting to the guy he had the conflict with. You only need to imagine the effect that has on those around him in the prison. I feel really proud of that. 

Tucker, Lead prison mediator

In prison it’s often the small stuff that can trigger a fight like someone playing their music too loud. I had been on good behaviour for five years but I had some news from home which put me in a really bad state of mind. I flipped out and over-reacted to something small another inmate did. I was sceptical to start with when I was referred to the mediation service but it reduced the resentment between us and it was good we could both express things from our point of view. 

William Mediation, participant

It helps us look at officers in a different way. It improves the relationships between prisoners and officers as we learn about each other’s lives.

Swinfen Hall prisoner, participant