skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148291 Find in a Library
Title: Reducing Reoffending: What Works Now
Author(s): K McLaren
Corporate Author: New Zealand Dept of Justice
Penal Division
New Zealand
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 110
Sponsoring Agency: New Zealand Dept of Justice
Wellington, New Zealand
Publication Number: ISBN 0-477-07631-9
Sale Source: New Zealand Dept of Justice
Penal Division
Private Box 180
New Zealand
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: This report reviews international research focusing on whether and how corrections programs can reduce recidivism.
Abstract: The review also considers public attitudes toward corrections and rehabilitation. The review concludes that a small but significant number of correctional interventions are effective in reducing recidivism. The research indicates that two main types of interventions, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral, can be effective. Effective interventions using these approaches have occurred in drug abuse treatment; education; outdoor activities; parole, probation, and temporary release; interventions with sex offenders; and vocational interventions. Interventions rarely associated with effectiveness are those based on the medical model, friendship models, nondirectional counseling, self-help groups in which offenders are in charge, interventions focusing on self-esteem, and deterrent interventions such as shock incarceration. Among the 16 principles of effective interventions are the social learning model, authority structures, modeling and reinforcement of positive alternatives, training in problem solving, community contact, empathetic relationships between staff and offenders, advocacy and referral, flexible and warm staff behavior, drug abuse treatment, offender involvement in intervention planning, strengthening of positive behaviors, treatment-offender matching, and relapse prevention. In addition, interventions must match offender risks and needs. Finally, research in New Zealand, North America, and internationally does not support the view that the public has a punitive attitude. Instead, surveys show that the public views offender rehabilitation as a legitimate function, along with punishment, protection, and deterrence. Tables, glossary, and 140 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries; New Zealand; Rehabilitation; US/foreign comparisons
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.