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What Works Principles

Research shows programs that meet these 5 principles of effective correctional intervention have a greater likelihood of reducing recidivism.

The 5 Principles of Effective Correctional Intervention

  1. Risk Principle: Target higher risk offenders (who).
  2. Need Principle: Target criminogenic risk/need factors (what).
    • Anti social attitudes
    • Anti social peers
    • Substance abuse
    • Dysfunctional family
    • Lack of empathy
    • Impulsivity/lack of self control
  3. Treatment Principle: Use behavioral treatment approaches which involve rehearsing new skills (how).
    • Structured social learning approaches
    • Cognitive behavioral approaches
    • Family Therapy
  4. Responsivity Principle: Address barriers to treatment such as lack of motivation, anxiety, reading levels, and take into account individual differences such as age, gender etc.
  5. Fidelity Principle: Implement interventions as designed (follow the recipe)

Research indicates that programs that meet these 5 principles of effective correctional intervention have a greater likelihood of reducing recidivism. The Justice Research Center utilizes a training coach model to assist programs in implementing these principles.

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