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Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects Evidence-Based Practices: Prosocial Behavior Change Techniques

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2017
34 pages
Based on the nature and effectiveness of techniques used by seven grantees with adult reentry programs under the federal Second Chance Act (SCA), this report explores the use of communication techniques, sanctions, and incentives to support and reinforce positive behavioral change, cognitive behavioral interventions, and evidence-based program curricula used with offenders.
Although the seven grantees developed variations in techniques used and outcomes achieved, which are described in this report, 11 principles are outlined for effective intervention with persons reentering communities after imprisonment. The principles are as follows: 1) Effective interventions are behavioral in nature; 2) Level of service should be matched to the risk level of the individual; 3) Individuals should be referred to services designed to address their specific, assessed criminogenic needs; 4) Treatment approaches should be matched to the learning style or personality of the clients; 5) High-risk individuals receive intensive services, occupying 40-70 percent of the individual's time for 3 to 8 months; 6) Effective interventions are highly structured and contingencies are enforced in a firm, but fair manner; 7) Staff relate to clients in interpersonally sensitive and constructive ways and are trained and supervised appropriately; 8) Staff members monitor client change on intermediate targets of treatment; 9) Relapse prevention and aftercare services are used in the community to monitor and anticipate problem situations and train clients to rehearse alternative behaviors; 10) family members or significant others are trained in how to assist clients during problem situations; and 11) High levels of advocacy and brokerage occur if community services are appropriate. 3 exhibits and 43 references

Date Published: June 1, 2017