Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders
Center for Court Innovation (2014)
First page of document "Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders"

Over the last 20 years, a critical mass of social science evidence has accumulated challenging  what had previously been the prevailing notion that “nothing works” in the rehabilitation of offenders. Findings from academic and program evaluation literatures in the fields of psychology, criminal justice, sociology, and public policy suggest that evidence-based interventions, which effectively combine the core principles of rehabilitation (risk-need-responsivity), deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration, can significantly reduce recidivism. Additionally, emerging treatments for previously undertreated and underpublicized criminogenic needs (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy for criminal thinking) are proving feasible and effective with offender populations in the United States and abroad.  

This fact sheet seeks to distill a growing body of research about evidence-based strategies in five areas for reducing recidivism among criminal offenders: (1) assessment, (2) treatment, (3) deterrence, (4) procedural justice, and (5) collaboration.