The problem of house burglary is very important and specialists work on the development of effective measures of prevention of such crimes and correction of burglars. In this respect, it is worthy of mention the program developed by Plymouth probation officers David Nation and John Arnott, who suggested an alternative approach to the treatment of burglars, the prevention of crime and their return to the normal social life. The essence of their program is the prevention of crime and the change of burglars behaviour through group work with offenders.
First of all, it should be said that the major goal of the program developed by David Nation and John Arnott is to offer non-custodial option, which could be relevant and acceptable to the judicial system and society, to change the behaviour of offenders, as well as it could potentially change the attitude of the public to offenders and contribute to reparation and crime prevention. Basically, the goals of the program are very important because the existing system does not provide effective approaches to the prevention of house burglary. As the matter of fact, the program developed by David Nation and John Arnott may be viewed as an alternative to the currently existing programs, which are punitive in their essence, while the program of David Nation and John Arnott is basically oriented on the change of the attitude of burglars to their victims and vice versa, and the integration of burglars to the normal social life.
The developers of the program have noticed the fact that burglars, as a rule, tend to deliberately shut off “thoughts of their victims as vulnerable, ordinary people”ť. In such a situation, encounters of burglars and their group work with their victims became one of the most important elements of the program. At the same time, the program also included reparation elements, namely exposing burglars to people that could be their potential victims, work related to offending committed by burglars. Moreover, the program implied to show the public that burglars can do something positive and it attempted to appeal to sentencers to change their sometimes biased attitude to burglars.
Basically, the entire program was constructed quite effectively because it involved the group work of offenders with their victims, work, and change of the public opinion, sentencers attitude and the views of burglars themselves. In such a way, it is possible to estimate that this program contributed to rehabilitation of burglars and prevention of new crimes. It is worth mentioning that the program involved the work of law enforcement agencies, the police, the prison governor and staff. Victims Support Scheme, and community associations. The developers of the program declined burglars that proved to be unable to frank exchanges without distressing victims.
The change of the public opinion was extremely important because it also affected sentencers who attempted to avoid negative public opinion and their sentence were quite strict. At the same time, in the process of group work victims and offenders change their attitude to each other and their actions. The results of the program have shown that victims can feel less fear, they may be more relaxed and open after encounters with burglars, while the latter became more conscious of the effects of their crime and felt that victims and public at large is not really hostile.