Interventions & Programmes
Interventions & Programmes

adult substance abuse

This intervention is for adults abusing or dependent on chemical substances who find themselves in conflict with the law. This intervention targets adults abusing alcohol and drugs, but not addicted. Not suitable for individuals with severe medical or psychological conditions or severe withdrawal symptoms necessitating medical detoxification.

This ten-session group intervention programme addresses the underlying factors that contribute towards substance use/abuse and facilitates personal learning and growth. Based on the Matrix Model, it incorporates evidence-based therapies such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy.

 The programme aims to:

  1. Educate and empower participants with critical knowledge, skills and attitudes to break the cycle of addiction and refrain from future anti-social and criminal behaviour
  2. Assist participants to develop practical strategies and coping mechanisms to manage their addiction and prevent relapse
  3. Develop a support system through which family members and significant others can support behaviour change and the recovery process


adult lifeskills

The Adult Life Skills programme is a comprehensive behaviour change approach that concentrates on the development of core skills needed for people to function effectively in society, establish patterns of pro-social behaviour and advance positive healthy lifestyle in general.

This programme is suited to adults (high, medium and low-risk) who find themselves in conflict with pro-societal values and laws.

The Adult Life skills programme has elements of social learning, character building, social- and personal skills training and cognitive behavioural therapy. It covers 10 topics, delivered over 1½ to 2 hours per session. Group sessions for ten to 15 participants are held twice a week and the entire programme is delivered over a period of 5 to 6 weeks.

The Adult Life Skills programme prevent the development of risky behaviours into established patterns of anti-social and offending behaviour while advancing positive healthy lifestyles, by:

  • Increased self-awareness and strength of character
  • Developing individuals’ ability to adjust and cope in changing life situations
  • Building core traits and value systems that support well-being, psychological adjustment, and good mental health


anger management

This programme addresses the social functioning skills deficit associated with anger and anger-related behaviours and empowers participants to improve their anger management skills while simultaneously acquiring the core social and cognitive skills needed to function effectively in society.

The programme is suited to low to medium risk adolescents aged 14 to 18 and adults.

The programme comprises ten psycho-social life skills building group sessions of approximately two hours each. It incorporates elements of social and personal skills training and cognitive behavioural therapy. Three sessions are specifically devoted to understanding anger and developing practical strategies to manage anger effectively.

The Anger Management Programme...

  • Improves interpersonal and social functioning skills, with a specific emphasis on anger management and self-control.
  • Reduces the likelihood that individuals will resort to anger and aggression to solve problems or as a way of dealing with anxiety and frustration.



Beyond Boundaries is a life skills programme to address the needs of teenagers who are at risk of coming into conflict with pro-social values and laws. Beyond Boundaries targets at-risk teenagers aged 15 to 18 years.

Beyond Boundaries is a skills training, character building and behaviour change intervention, which also draws on elements of experiential learning, that focuses on improving adolescent social and personal functioning skills. It comprises an introductory session followed by ten further group sessions of approximately two hours each for ten to 15 participants.

The critical life skills, attitudes and values that participants acquire prevent the advancement of at-risk behaviour into established patterns of anti-social, risky and offending behaviour, while advancing positive, healthy lifestyles.

Participants are equipped to respond positively and assertively to pressure to make dangerous / wrong choices and decisions.


Break Free

Break Free is designed for the treatment of adolescents with drug-related behaviour problems. Teenagers between the ages of 12 to 18 years who are at a low to medium risk of developing addiction disorders. This programme is not suitable for treating serious dependency and addiction.

Break Free has elements of drug education, social and personal skills training and cognitive behavioural therapy. It covers 12 topics, usually delivered over two sessions of 1½ hours per session. Group sessions for ten to 15 participants are usually held twice a week and the entire programme is delivered over a period of 6 to 8 weeks.

Break Free prevents the establishment of a pattern of drug abuse and encourages a positive, healthy, and law-abiding, lifestyle by:

  • Preventing the onset of fully-fledged drug abuse and addiction
  • Developing unfavourable attitudes towards drug use and risky, offending behaviour
  • Teaching critical social and life skills, including good decision-making, goal setting, stress management, peer resistance and assertiveness skills
  • Building a positive sense of self and the belief in one’s ability to succeed.
  • Increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors associated with risky behaviour


Child online protection

A free online educational programme for parents and guardians, explaining the esports and gaming sector, the types of risk children face online, and a review of practical strategies parents and guardians can take to keep their children safe online. This programme was developed as part of a collaborative partnership with the Africa Esport Association  (AESA) , and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP). You will need to create a free account on the platform. 

Register for the programme here.


This responsible driving initiative is an awareness and road safety education programme that aims to prevent road offences and promote road safety. License holding drivers of vehicles and individuals with a learner driver’s license. It is especially relevant to those who are employed as drivers or working in the transportation field.

The programme comprises three group sessions of one-and-a-half hours each for ten to 15 participants. It challenges negative attitudes and unsafe driving behaviour, with a particular focus on driving under the influence (DUI) and develops effective strategies to support sober, good driving habits and promote road safety.

This programme educates and empowers participants

  • To avoid drunk driving and other unsafe driving behaviours
  • To develop positive attitudes towards driving
  • With the information and skills necessary to become a safe, more responsible road user



This programme offers diverted or sentenced offenders the opportunity of serving the community they have wronged by performing a set number of hours of community service rather than appearing in court or, if convicted, serving a prison sentence. The aim is to provide a platform through which people can give back to society while learning new skills.

CSL targets adolescents aged 15 to 17 years and adult offenders with a low to medium risk offending profile.

A NICRO social worker, in consultation with the public prosecutor, determines the requisite number of hours. Depending on the offence, circumstances surrounding the offence and the offender’s current situation between 20 and 300 hours can be allocated for community service. Community service learning can be directed towards the community as a whole or a specific group within the community, such as the aged, at-risk youth or the handicapped.

Compliance is strictly monitored.

Participation in this programme empowers participants to develop

  • A personal stake in the well-being of their communities
  • Competencies and skills such as relationship building, personal growth and development and essential cognitive (thinking) skills
  • Instils a sense of the participant’s own value within a community
  • Fosters empathy and motivates the individual to become a proud, caring member of the community who helps to identify and create solutions to community social problems
  • Community service also addresses real needs in communities



The Economic Opportunities Programme provides socio-economically marginalised people with low education and skills with the necessary knowledge, competencies and tools to access the economy through informal or alternative income streams.

EOP targets adults, with a specific focus on women and those living in socio-economically marginalised communities.

This intervention comprises four programme modules that focus on the basics of small business and entrepreneurship and innovative thinking around developing new business opportunities. It equips participants with basic financial and digital literacy skills.

The programme improves the participant’s ability to generate an income and make a living by assisting them to:

  • Identify potential income streams in his/her community
  • Map out and implement a basic income generating activity
  • Use basic financial methods and tools for personal and income generating activities
  • Use basic digital technology to increase access digital to marketplaces and online income generation opportunities


Family Man

Criminality often reproduces itself within marginalised families, with violent or criminal behaviour learned from male family members. This programme seeks to improve family relationships to prevent the male children of marginalised, at-risk men and male offenders from following in their father’s footsteps.

This programme targets marginalised men, male offenders (incarcerated, released from prison or on community orders), men involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, specifically fathers.

This group-based, behavioural change intervention comprises ten two-hour sessions for ten to 15 participants.

This programme builds good relationships and improves family life. The propgramme aims to...

  • Improve participants understanding of their role as parents
  • Develop important relationship building and communication skills
  • Disrupt offending cycles that cut across generations, this programme assists male children of marginalised, at-risk men and male offenders by minimising the perpetuation of criminality and negative outcomes
  • Reduce the likelihood of emulating fathers’ criminal behaviour



This programme was designed in response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 in South Africa and the declaration of a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act. It provides information about COVID-19, develops an understanding about the effects of the pandemic, equips participants and expands the knowledge required to cope with the pandemic and related challenges. It also develops and enhances the participants’ understanding of the dangers of their choices and behaviours to themselves and others.

Flattening the Curve is a seven session group-based programme for ten to 15 participants. Each session lasts for two hours and is usually conducted twice a week.

Participants are equipped with knowledge and skills to...

  • Cope with the pandemic and future challenges in a pro-social way
  • Implement sustainable, positive behaviour change
  • Make informed decisions that promotes safety and well-being



Individual counselling is performed by a social worker (experienced in clinical work) and addresses issues specific to the individual. It involves one-on-one sessions in a safe, caring and confidential environment.

The number of sessions is specified as part of the client’s need profile or may be mandated by a court order, should this be relevant.
During sessions the client (with facilitation by the social worker)

  • Explores challenges and personal problems
  • Identifies solutions that will facilitate positive, lasting change
  • Explores, analyses and understand their feelings, beliefs, and behaviours
  • Changes patterns of thinking
  • Learns new skills
  • Changes behaviours
  • Shift the way they feel and express emotions

Individual counselling equips clients to:

  • Identify those aspects of their lives that they would like to change. have a better understanding of themselves and others
  • Develop good insight into their concerns, challenges and personal problems
  • Set achievable goals
  • Develop and implement strategies to accomplish desired change for a healthier, happier life



This therapeutic treatment programme for perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence holds perpetrators systematically accountable for their violence and abuse, while simultaneously optimising support for and ensuring the safety of their victims.

This programme targets adult male perpetrators of intimate partner violence usually referred to NICRO by the courts, and victims.

This 20-week group-based programme incorporates elements of psycho-educational and cognitive-behavioural therapy for perpetrators to educate, provide social and personal skills training and change ‘faulty’ thinking patterns, attitudes and behaviour.

Group sessions lasting 90 to 120 minutes for ten to 15 perpetrator participants are conducted weekly. Structured counselling and support groups for victims/partners of programme participants involve a minimum of eight sessions. Individual counselling (separate sessions for perpetrators and their partners/victims), couples counselling and family work are also undertaken.

This programme decreases intimate partner violence and its effects:

  • Ensuring that perpetrators understand the underlying causes and consequences of their abusive behaviour
  • Facilitating behaviour change of perpetrators by building thinking skills which equip them to develop new, healthier ways of communication and interaction
  • Ensuring the mental and emotional health, safety and well-being of partners /victims
  • Equipping victims to influence others in similar situations and to motivate them to action



This programme has been designed specifically for vulnerable families facing challenges with their children’s behaviour. The goal is to promote positive parenting to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. The programme reduces risk factors that negatively influence the development of young children and assists parents to raise children who have high self-esteem, an internal locus of control and are emotionally balanced.

The programme targets families with children aged two to nine years of age.

This group-based programme involves 12 group sessions for ten to 15 participants on parenting skills delivered either weekly or every other week.

It focuses on enhancing positive parenting behaviour and parental supervision of children by increasing parenting knowledge, skills and sense of competence and decreasing inconsistent and harsh discipline.

This programme successfully

  • Resolves conflicts in the family
  • Results in improved child behaviour, well-being and general safety. parental mental health and social support
  • Teaches parents how to seek assistance for intimate partner violence, family illness and other challenges which families may face
  • Children experience improved engagement in school and early childhood learning


Parenting teens

This programme capacitates parents and caretakers to raise well-adjusted children who have the internal defences of high self-esteem, internal locus of control and balance of emotion. The goal is to develop and strengthen positive family relationships, reduce risk factors that predispose adolescents to becoming involved in a criminal lifestyle and keep them safe.

This programme targets families with pre-teens and teenagers between the ages of ten and 17, and their caregivers (biological parents, other biological relatives and primary caregivers who are responsible for the well-being of adolescents).

This programme for parents/caregivers and teenagers is conducted over 14 group-based sessions, usually taking place weekly. There are ten joint sessions in which parents and teens meet together at the same time in the same room and four separate sessions where teens and parents separate for teen-only and parent-only sessions. Participants and facilitators work together on parent-teen interactions, managing stress, improving problem-solving skills and building good, strong relationships.

This programme successfully

  • Resolves conflicts in the family 
  • Helps families to respond better to crisis situations
  • Improves parenting skills
  • Promotes positive parenting behaviour and decreases harsh discipline.

Programme participation results in

  • Improved adolescent behaviour, well-being and general safety
  • Improved parental mental health and social support
  • Increased ability to seek assistance for intimate partner violence, family illness and challenges which families may face
  • Improved engagement in school and learning



This is a victim-centred conflict resolution process which takes place outside of the formal judicial system. The focus is on rebuilding disruptive relationships and putting things right rather than punishment. Restorative Group Conferencing includes restorative panels, victim/offender conferencing, family group conferences and victim impact panels.

This service is suited for offenders, victims, family members and friends of both parties as well as community members, if relevant.

This intervention is not advisable for serious offences like sexual offences, murder, rape, offences against children and violent offences. In exceptional circumstances it will be considered if the victim or family of the victim requests it, after thorough consultation and recommendation from the professional team at NICRO.

Participation in restorative group conferencing may be court ordered or requested by the parties involved.
The process is facilitated by a NICRO social worker. The facilitator meets with both parties to prepare them for the meeting/s to discuss what they would like to say and expect from the intervention. Participation in restorative justice processes is voluntary for all parties, including victims. Participants may withdraw from the process at any time.

This intervention has numerous positive outcomes including:

  • Empowering victims and supporting the healing process
  • Holding offenders accountable for their offences
  • Giving the community a voice in the conflict resolution process to help build a safer community
  • Promoting a sense of healing, reconciliation and social justice


Shifting Gears

This responsible driving programme focuses on changing the individual’s attitude towards alcohol use and driving under the influence, reckless driving and road safety generally.

Shifting Gears targets adult offenders arrested and diverted or convicted for driving under the influence (DUI), reckless and negligent driving, and culpable homicide resulting in a road death.

This is a court mandated six-session group-based programme for ten to 15 participants, with each session lasting two or two-and-a-half hours.

Shifting Gears allows suitable offenders to participate in this behaviour modification treatment programme and carry out their sentences in the community. Although the consequences of the driving offence will not involve going to prison, convicted offenders will have a criminal record. Diverted offenders, however, will not have a criminal record.

Shifting Gears educates and empowers participants to...

  • Reduce/eliminate drunk other unsafe driving behaviours
  • Build and apply new knowledge, skills, and strategies while cultivating insights to change bad or drunk driving behaviour
  • Improve awareness of the dangers and consequences of drunk and reckless driving
  • Explore the benefits of responsible drinking
  • Explore what it means to be a responsible driver
  • Examine the rights of other road users and pedestrians as well as the consequences of road offences

This intervention has proven that it reduces bad or drunk driving and contributes towards keeping South Africans safe on the road.



Safety Ambassadors

This crime prevention programme seeks to address and reduce anti-social behaviour in schools and the surrounding community by empowering and developing change agents or “Safety Ambassadors” to interact with and positively influence their peers in the fight against crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.

This programme is school specific. This programme targets learners (15- to 18-year-olds in senior / high schools).

This programme, grounded in the peer socialisation model, involves 12 one-hour life skills training sessions for 30 selected learners.

This group of carefully selected learners, Safety Ambassadors, are

  • Empowered with skills, knowledge, motivation and support to serve as positive role models
  • Taught how to plan and implement activities to reduce and prevent antisocial behaviour and promote positive, prosocial behaviour in their school.

Parents and educators attend a two-day behaviour management workshop to equip them to support high-risk children

This “whole school” approach supports and encourages...

  • The creation of a safe, healthy, drug and alcohol-free learning environment
  • Safer communities in which young people are encouraged and inspired to realise academic achievements and live positive, healthy lifestyles as upstanding, contributing members of the community.



The Youth Empowerment Scheme programme uses a behaviour change approach that concentrates on developing the core skills needed to function effectively in society, establish patterns of pro-social behaviour and advance positive, healthy lifestyles generally.

The YES programme targets low risk youth from 11 to 18 years of age who find themselves in conflict with pro-social values and laws. Referrals to the programme are accepted from courts, community establishments, families and schools.

YES combines elements of social learning, character building, social and personal skills training and cognitive behavioural therapy. It covers twelve topics, delivered over 1½ to two hours per session. Group sessions for ten to 15 participants are held once or twice a week and the entire programme is delivered over a period of six to 12 weeks.

YES prevents the development of risky behaviours into established patterns of anti-social and offending behaviour while advancing positive healthy lifestyles, by:

  • Building young people who are socially and emotionally competent, have strength of character and a well-developed sense of self-worth
  • Developing the individual’s ability to make good decisions; resist peer and media pressure, and adjust and cope in changing life situations
  • Building core traits and value systems that support well-being, psychological adjustment and good mental health.