Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prison-based treatment can be effective in reducing recidivism

Prison-based treatment can be effective in reducing recidivism.  Research by Guy Bourgon and Barbara Arsmstrong found that effective prison treatment can reduce reoffending.

The principles of risk, need, and responsivity have been empirically linked to the effectiveness of treatment to reduce reoffending, but the transference of these principles to the inside of prison walls is difficult, according to the research.

Results from a sample of 620 incarcerated male offenders—482 who received either a 5-week, 10-week, or 15-week prison-based treatment program and 138 untreated comparison offenders—found that treatment significantly reduced recidivism and that the amount of treatment or dosage played a significant role.

These results indicate that prison-based treatment can be effective in reducing recidivism, that dosage plays a mediating role, and that there may be minimum levels of treatment required to reduce recidivism that is dependent on the level of an offender’s risk and need.

Treatment costs money.  An investment up front in treatment can save dollars down the road in terms of prosecution and reincarceration, not to mention the victims who are harmed physically, emotionally and financially.

To read the full report:  http://cjb.sagepub.com/content/32/1/3.short

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