The Box evaluation report

Have you ever met someone who...                        

  • Avoids giving you eye contact?
  • Mumbles when they talk and is difficult to understand?
  • Gives one word answers to your questions?
  • Seems not to be listening to you?
  • Gets upset or aggressive when you ask too many questions?
  • Doesn’t seem to understand what you’re saying?


The RCSLT has created ‘ The Box’ a training and screening tool aimed at staff working with adults, children or young people in the criminal justice pathway. Whether they are at risk of offending, already in the criminal justice system or being supported after they have left.  

This tool would be extremely useful for Crown Prosecution Service staff, court staff, probation officers, prison officers, those working within prevention services including youth offending teams and people working within other justice services delivered by the third sector.

The Box is a blended approach to meeting professional needs: an eLearning module, a face-to-face course and a screening tool. Each element is designed to help staff:

  1. Recognise common difficulties associated with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
  2. Understand how these difficulties can make individuals more challenging.
  3. Use practical skills and awareness to overcome or improve these challenges.
  4. The package was put together and fine-tuned by speech and language therapists who have years of professional experience in the criminal justice sector.


Last year, The Box was tested in five diverse pilot sites which included:

  • An ex-offenders charity in London
  • A youth offending team in London
  • An Offender Management team in the Midlands
  • The youth conference service in Northern Ireland
  • A youth support team in Scotland

The results of the pilot scheme can be summarised as follows:

  • The Box pilot has demonstrated how effective training and screening can improve the way in which criminal justice professionals identify and support people
    with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN);
  • 96% of justice sector staff who attended the course thought the training had improved their ability to identify people with SLCN;
  • The proportion of people who felt confident about planning a suitable session for a client with a communication difficulty rose from 58% to 92%.

Download the full report evaluating the reach and effectiveness of the pilot programme.

Please email to find out more or book the course.

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