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Even a Little Bit Helps: An Implementation and Experimental Evaluation of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for High-Risk Probationers

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 44 Issue: 4 Dated: 2017 Pages: 611-630
Date Published
20 pages

This article reports findings from a randomized field trial that evaluated "Choosing to Think, Thinking to Choose," a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program designed specifically for a community correctional setting, with attention to its impact on the recidivism of high-risk offenders.


CBT is one of the most promising and widely used therapeutic approaches for reducing recidivism among criminal populations. Although many studies have evaluated CBT for this express purpose, few have done so in a community correctional environment. In the current study, high-risk probationers were assigned to either standard, intensive probation (n = 447) or to the treatment condition (n = 457), where they received the same supervision intensity while also participating in a classroom-based, 14-week CBT program. Twelve months after random assignment, intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses indicate that the overall CBT group was significantly less likely to reoffend, although this effect was concentrated in measures of nonviolent offending. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017