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Expert Panel on Adult Offender Reentry and Recidivism Reduction Programs. Report to the California State Legislature: A Roadmap for Effective Offender Programming in California June 30, 2007. Introduction. Correctional programs reduce recidivism

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Expert Panel on Adult Offender Reentry and Recidivism ReductionPrograms

Report to the California State Legislature: A Roadmap for Effective Offender Programming in California

June 30, 2007


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction Reduction

  • Correctional programs reduce recidivism

  • California’s adult offender recidivism rate is one of the highest in the nation


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External Factors Preventing Programming Success Reduction

  • California’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded.

  • California treats offenders who complete rehabilitation programs the same way it treats those who do not.


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Dangerous Overcrowding Reduction

  • The CDCR houses 172,385 prisoners in facilities designed to hold 100,000.

  • The CDCR houses more than 18,000 prisoners in space designed for programming and other activities.

    Recommendation 1—Reduce overcrowding in California prison facilities and parole offices.


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Lack of Incentives to Complete Programs Reduction

  • California’s correctional culture is oriented more towards control and punishment, than rehabilitation.

  • California offenders receive few incentives to participate in rehabilitation programming.


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Lack of Incentives to Complete Programs Reduction

Recommendation 2—Enact legislation to expand California’s system of positive reinforcements for offenders who successfully complete their rehabilitation program requirements, comply with institutional rules in prison, and fulfill their parole obligations in the community.



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Internal Factors Preventing Programming Success Reduction

  • The CDCR does not assign offenders to programs based on risk-needs assessments.

  • The CDCR does not have automated behavior management (case) plans for each of its offenders.

  • The CDCR does not offer a sufficient quantity of evidence-based rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism to its adult offenders.

  • The CDCR does not always measure the quality or effectiveness of its adult offender programs.

  • The CDCR has begun to focus on offender reentry issues and initiatives, but it needs to expand those efforts.

  • The CDCR does not have a graduated parole sanctions policy to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.



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Eight Evidence-Based Principles and Practices Reduction

  • Target Highest Risk Offenders.

  • Assess Offenders Needs.

  • Design Responsivity into Programming.

  • Develop Behavior Management Plans.

  • Deliver Treatment Programs using Cognitive-Based Strategies.

  • Motivate and Shape Offender Behaviors.

  • Engender the Community as a Protective Factor Against Recidivism and Use the Community to Support Offender Reentry and Reintegration.

  • Identify Outcomes and Measure Progress.


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The CDCR does not assign offenders to programs based on risk-needs assessments.

  • The CDCR often assigns offenders to programs on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of risk level.

    Recommendation 3—Select and utilize a risk assessment tool to assess offender risk to reoffend.


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The CDCR does not assign offenders to programs based on risk-needs assessments.

  • The CDCR often assigns offenders to programs on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of needs.

    Recommendation 4—Determine offender rehabilitation treatment programming based on the results of assessment tools that identify and measure criminogenic and other needs.


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Seven Criminogenic Needs Areas risk-needs assessments.

  • Educational-vocational-financial deficits and achievement skills

  • Anti-social attitudes and beliefs

  • Anti-social and pro-criminal associates and isolation for pro-social others

  • Temperament and impulsiveness (weak self-control) factors

  • Familial-marital-dysfunctional relationship (lack of nurturance-caring and-or monitoring-supervision)

  • Alcohol and other drug disorders

  • Deviant sexual preferences and arousal patterns


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The CDCR does not have automated behavior management (case) plans for each of its offenders.

  • The behavior management plan links the assessment process to rehabilitation programming and ensures continuity of rehabilitation programs and services between the prison, parole system, and other community-based providers.

    Recommendation 5—Create and monitor a behavior management plan for each offender.


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The CDCR does not offer a sufficient quantity of evidence-based rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism to its adult offenders.


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The CDCR does not offer a sufficient quantity of evidence-based rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism to its adult offenders.

Recommendation 6—Select and deliver in prison and in the community a core set of programs that covers the six major offender programming areas—(a) Academic, Vocational, and Financial; (b) Alcohol and other Drugs; (c)Aggression, Hostility, Anger, and Violence; (d) Criminal Thinking, Behaviors, and Associations; (e) Family, Marital, and Relationships; and (f) Sex Offending.


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The CDCR does not always measure the quality or effectiveness of its adult offender programs.

  • Each program provider and offender participant should know, before the program begins, what a successful outcome from participating in the program would look like and what they need to do to achieve it.

    Recommendation 7—Develop systems and procedures to collect and utilize programming process and outcome measures.


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The CDCR has begun to focus on offender reentry issues and initiatives, but needs to expand those efforts.

  • Public safety in our communities is the responsibility of all citizens.

  • Offenders require the assistance of their family members, friends, local support systems, and broader communities to sustain the treatment gains they have achieved through their participation in correctional programming.

    Recommendation 8—Continue to develop and strengthen the CDCR’s formal partnerships with community stakeholders.


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The CDCR has begun to focus on offender reentry issues and initiatives, but needs to expand those efforts.

  • Offender programming in the community must include programs designed to continue to reduce offender risk to reoffend levels, as well as reduce offender opportunities for committing crimes.

  • Parole supervision must include a focus on those opportunities to commit crimes that exist in communities.


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The CDCR has begun to focus on offender reentry issues and initiatives, but needs to expand those efforts.

Recommendation 9—Modify programs and services delivered in the community (parole supervision and community based programs and services) to ensure that those services: (a) target the criminogenic needs areas of high and moderate risk offenders; (b) assist all returning offenders maintain their sobriety, locate housing, and obtain employment; and (c) identify and reduce the risk factors within specific neighborhoods and communities.


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The CDCR has begun to focus on offender reentry issues and initiatives, but needs to expand those efforts.

  • States needs to strengthen their communities.

  • Communities provide networks of informal social controls that can prevent offenders from repeating their criminal behaviors.

    Recommendation 10: Develop the community as a protective factor against continuing involvement in the criminal justice system for offenders reentering the community on parole and-or in other correctional statuses (e.g., probation, diversion, etc.).


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The CDCR does not have a graduated parole sanctions policy to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • The ultimate goal of parole supervision is successful completion of parole with no new crimes committed.

  • Incarceration is a destabilizing factor for the offender, family, and community, and therefore even short-term interruptions contribute to more negative behaviors in the community.

    Recommendation 11—Develop structured guidelines to respond to technical parole violations based on risk to reoffend level of the offender and the seriousness of the violation.


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Identified Barriers to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Legislative

  • Structural

  • Cultural

  • Societal (or community)


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Expected Positive Outcomes to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Could reduce the number of prison beds that California needs by 42,000 to 48,000 beds per year.

  • Could save California between $561 and $684 million a year.


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Major Implementation Tasks to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Adopt Expert Panel Plan and Recommendations

  • Craft and Pass Legislation and Change Policies to Create Access to and Incentives for Program Participation

  • Develop or Adopt and Implement Risk to Reoffend Assessment Instrument

  • Select and Implement Offender Needs Assessment Instrument

  • Begin Assigning Offenders to Appropriate Services Based on Risk and Needs

  • Pilot New Programs


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Part II—The Program Reviews to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.


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The Program Review Process to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • InventoriedALL CDCR adult offender programs and activities.

  • Nominated34 as recidivism reduction programs

  • Reviewed11 nominated recidivism reduction programs using the California Program Assessment Process (CPAP)


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11 Programs Reviewed to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.


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Effective Interventions Ratings to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.


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Research Basis Ratings to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.


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CPAP Review Findings to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Most of the programs reviewed contain program design elements that are in line with “what works” research for effective adult offender rehabilitation programming.

  • Few of the programs reviewed assigned offenders to programming based on risks or needs.


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Part III—Next Steps and Conclusion to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.


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Next Steps to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Complete CPAP Assessments.

  • Focus on Academic Programming.

  • Develop Benchmarks that Assist with the Implementation of AB 900.

  • Help CDCR Establish “High-Powered” Implementation Teams.

  • Analyze Support Infrastructure.

  • Help CDCR Develop Capacity to Perform QA and Evaluation on a Continuing Basis.

  • Assist with Outcome Evaluation of Spending of $54 Million Reentry Initiatives Budget.


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Next Steps to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Refine Population Projections and Financial Estimates.

  • Assist with the Development of RFPs for Future Research Studies.

  • Provide Additional Recommendations for Prisoners with Long Lengths of Stay.

  • Provide Additional Recommendations for Parolees Reentering their Communities.

  • Produce a Detailed Implementation Plan that Operationalizes Our Recommendations.


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Conclusion to provide community-based alternatives to incarceration for parolees who violate their parole conditions.

  • Improve California’s adult prisoner and parolee rehabilitation programming.

  • Reduce California’s recidivism rate.

  • The CDCR will be more transparent and accountable for a mission that is in line with the public’s expectations.

  • A significantly larger number of the several hundreds of thousands of prisoners who enter California prisons will return to their communities better prepared to be law abiding citizens.


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