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NCJ Number: 197813 Find in a Library
Title: Beyond Correctional Quackery: Professionalism and the Possibility of Effective Treatment
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:66  Issue:2  Dated:September 2002  Pages:43-49
Author(s): Edward J. Latessa; Francis T. Cullen; Paul Gendreau
Date Published: September 2002
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article identifies some of the factors that produce ineffective correctional programs that the authors characterize as "correctional quackery" and describes eight principles of effective correctional intervention.
Abstract: "Correctional quackery" is the use of treatment interventions that are based on neither existing knowledge of the causes of crime nor existing knowledge of what programs have been shown to change offender behavior. Advances in the corrections field depend on the conscious rejection of quackery in favor of an evidence-based corrections. This will involve overcoming four failures that are common in correctional treatment. These are the failure to use research in designing programs, the failure to follow appropriate assessment and classification practices, the failure to use effective treatment models, and the failure to evaluate what is being done. In combating correctional quackery, there are eight principles of effective correctional intervention. First, there must be an organizational culture based in well-defined goals, ethical principles, and a history of responding efficiently to issues that have an impact on treatment facilities. Second, programs must be based on empirically defined needs and be consistent with organizational values. Third, the program director and treatment staff must be professionally trained and have previous experience in working in offender treatment programs. Fourth, offender risk must be assessed by psychometric instruments of proven predictive validity. Fifth, programs must target for change a wide variety of criminogenic needs by using empirically valid behavioral/social learning/cognitive behavioral therapies that are directed to higher risk offenders. Sixth, program therapists should use anti-criminal modeling, effective reinforcement and disapproval, problem-solving techniques, structured learning procedures for skill-building, effective use of authority, cognitive self-change, relationship practices, and motivational interviewing. Finally, there must be interagency communication to serve the provision of high-quality services in the community and the routine performance of program audits, consumer satisfaction surveys, process evaluations, and follow-ups of recidivism rates. 2 tables and 37 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections management; Evaluative research; Program evaluation; Research uses in policymaking; Treatment effectiveness
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