CIAO wants to do much more than simply reduce crime – we want to create lifelong change. Whilst we absolutely do want people to stop offending – for their sakes and for the sake of others and our communities – our aim goes beyond that. We want people to reach their potential, whatever that may be. Keeping our aims separate from the criminal justice system is essential for us to maximise that change.
Coaching both frees and challenges each individual to explore and prioritise what they really want to change in their lives. Our independent approach promotes trust and that transforms how we can work with clients. It’s no accident that we do not call them ‘offenders’ (other than to explain with whom we work to others), as this promotes a radical mental shift.
Evaluation of CIAO’s impact
CIAO sought to evidence the impact of our coaching from the start. Both ‘scores’ and stories matter to our clients and our customers as numbers help them see, as well as feel and know, the difference they have made to their lives.
Social Accounts 2011
We coached Rebecca, our first client, back in 2011 and are proud to share our Social Accounts for that year. A draft of these was tested by a qualified independent social accountant and auditor and by an impartial panel from criminal justice and health agencies, who all agreed they accurately reflected our work and impact.
Manchester Metropolitan University’s independent evaluation of CIAO during 2013 established that ‘94% of those interviewed reported that coaching had a positive impact on them, in making the best of their time in prison, in planning for release and living in the community’. This corroborated our evidence by triangulating what clients and coaches said with the views of others inside and outside the prison. It also looked at our broader impact within the prison and community, as well as reductions in reoffending.
‘Ground-breaking’ and ‘outstanding’
The Centre for Social Justice’s paper on Meaningful Mentoring in the Criminal Justice system described CIAO as ‘ground-breaking’ and ‘outstanding’.