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What Works/ What Doesn’t in Changing Behaviors
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What Works/ What Doesn’t in Changing Behaviors

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  1. What Works/ What Doesn’t in Changing Behaviors The Principles of Effective Interventions Presented by: Jennifer A. Pealer, Ph.D. Assistant Commissioner Research & Program Development Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority

  2. Levels of Research • Lowest level of evidence • Anecdotal evidence (Gut feeling) • Highest level of evidence • Empirical evidence (data based) • Need to examine a body of literature • Literature reviews • Ballot counting • Meta-analysis • Quantitative review of the research • A standardized way of examining research

  3. What Do We Know? • Not a single study has found reductions in recidivism using punish-oriented programs. • Punishment programs have actually made offenders (youth and adults) worse • Punishment does not “work” for those who have a history of being punished, are under the influence, or are psychopathic risk takers

  4. What Do We Know? • Majority of studies have shown that correctional treatment interventions have reduced recidivism rates relative to various comparison • Average reduction in recidivism is approximately 10 percent • Now looking at characteristics of stellar programs versus mediocre programs

  5. So What Works to Reduce Recidivism? • Risk principle • Need principle • Responsivity principle • Human service (treatment) principle • Program fidelity principle

  6. Risk Principle (Who to Target) • Need to identify the factors that drive risk of committing delinquency • Match the level of supervision and programming to level of risk

  7. Major Risk Factors • Antisocial attitudes • Antisocial peers • Antisocial personality • History of antisocial behavior • Family criminality and psychological problems in family origin • Low levels of education/employment achievement • Lack of participation in prosocial leisure activities • Substance abuse

  8. Antisocial Attitudes Criminal attitudes have central role in major theories of criminality Until recently, criminal attitudes have been virtually ignored in the mainstream assessment & treatment of offenders

  9. Antisocial Attitudes Attitudes, values, beliefs, rationalizations, cognitions, negative cognitive emotional states that support criminal behavior Rage Anger Defiance Criminal identity What we think and believe affects what we do

  10. Identifying Antisocial Attitudes: What to Listen For: • Procriminal attitudes are what people think (the content of the message) and not how people think • Negative expression about the law • Negative expression about conventional institutions, values, rules, & procedures; including authority • Negative expressions about self-management of behavior; including problem solving ability • Negative attitudes toward self and one’s ability to achieve through conventional means • Lack of empathy and sensitivity toward others

  11. Neutralizations and Minimizations • Sets of verbalizations that serve to make it “ok” for behavior • Denial of Responsibility: Criminal acts are due to factors beyond the control of the individual, thus, the individual is guilt free to act. • Denial of Injury: Admits responsibility for the act, but minimizes the extent of harm or denies any harm • Denial of the Victim: Reverses the role of offender & victim & blames the victim • “System Bashing”: Those who disapprove of the offender’s acts are defined as immoral, hypocritical, or criminal themselves. • Appeal to Higher Loyalties: “Live by a different code” – the demands of larger society are sacrificed for the demands of more immediate loyalties.

  12. How to Address Antisocial Attitudes? • Use programming and techniques that: • Identify antisocial thinking • Stop blockers • Changing the antisocial thinking

  13. Influence of Peers • Elevated risk • Delinquent associations • Absence of prosocial associations • Based on social learning • Learn through interaction of others • Provide reinforcements

  14. Reducing Peer Associations • Restrict associates • Set and enforce curfews • Ban hangouts • Teach youth to recognize & avoid negative influences (people, places, things) • Practice new skills (like being assertive instead of passive) • Teach how to maintain relationships w/o getting into trouble • Identify or develop positive associations: mentors, family, friends, teachers, employer, etc. • Train family and friends to assist youth • Set goal of one new friend (positive association) per month • Develop sober/prosocial leisure activities

  15. Antisocial Personality Patterns: Psychopathy Weak socialization Impulsivity Restless/aggressive energy Egocentricism Below average verbal intelligence A taste for risk Weak problem-solving Poor self regulation skills Hostile interpersonal interactions, lack of empathy 15

  16. How Do We Address Antisocial Personality • Skill based programs • Anger management • Impulse control • Decision making • Problem solving • Thinking skills

  17. History of Antisocial Behavior • The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior • Age of onset & escalation of offending • Variety of acts • Across settings • 40% of serious offenders commit their first criminal offense by age 12 • 85% of serious offenders have committed an offense by age 14

  18. Family Factors • Includes parental criminality and a variety of psychological problems in the family of origin • Low levels of affection, caring and cohesiveness • Poor parental practices • Recognition of antisocial behaviors • Parental supervision • Discipline (none or too much) • Neglect and abuse

  19. Addressing Family Factors • Family counseling to repair relationships • Teach to recognize antisocial behavior • Enhance supervision practices • Enhance disciplinary practices

  20. Education and Employment • Employment or education occupies time with a prosocial activity • Receiving rewards for participation in prosocial activity • Interacting with prosocial others • Factors include: • Low levels of personal educational/vocational achievement • Cumulative disadvantage

  21. Leisure & Recreation • Low involvement in prosocial leisure and recreational activities • “Idle hands”

  22. Substance Abuse • Activity is illegal itself • Use may lead to other criminal behaviors • Theft/robbery to get drugs • Lower inhibitions “beer muscles” • Buying drugs puts a person in contact with criminal others • Selling/buying drugs usually creates an environment that is conducive to other criminal behaviors

  23. The Risk Principle & Correctional Intervention Results from Meta Analysis Dowden & Andrews, 1999

  24. Risk Level by New Conviction: Results from 2005 Ohio Study of over 14,000 Youth

  25. Violation of the Risk Principle Low Risk Offenders Adherence to the Risk Principle High Risk Offenders

  26. Recent Study of Intensive Rehabilitation Supervision in Canada Bonta, J et al., 2000. A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of an Intensive Rehabilitation Supervision Program., Vol. 27 No 3:312-329. Criminal Justice and Behavior

  27. How Do We Determine Risk Levels? • First generation (1800s) – using unstructured interview to make recommendations based on professional experience • Considerable personal discretion • Accuracy is legally, ethically, and practically unacceptable • Second generation (1928 – 1979) – empirically based to develop estimates of re-offending • Provided little direction for treatment • Many items were historical in nature (static) • Third generation (1979 – 1990s) – empirically based for risk management and rehabilitation • Match supervision and treatment to level of risk and needs

  28. What Does the Risk Principle Look Like in Action? • High risk juveniles should receive more intensive services for a longer period of time • Intensity = more groups, services, supervision more often • Low risk juveniles have fewer problems • They do not require intensive interventions/supervision

  29. Incorporating the Risk Principle • Residential placements and juvenile correctional facilities • High risk juveniles should be separated from low risk juveniles • Living situations • Groups • High risk juveniles should receive more groups for a longer period of time • High risk juveniles should have more supervision

  30. Incorporating the Risk Principle • Community/Probation • High risk juveniles should be monitored more closely • Face to face contacts; home visits, school/work visits • More drug testing • Make referrals to programs that separate high risk juveniles • Make referrals to programs that differentiate services for high risk juveniles

  31. Violating the Risk Principle • Low risk juveniles being over supervised and over treated • At BEST no reductions in recidivism • At WORST causing harm – increase recidivism • Why? • Disrupt the very things that make the youth low risk

  32. Violating the Risk Principle • High risk juveniles being under supervised and under treated • High risk substance abuser being given AA/NA • Increased risk of recidivating • Why? • Does not provide enough supervision/control to reduce recidivism • Does not provide enough intensity of programming to disrupt risk factors

  33. What Makes Youth High Risk? • They have many risk factors • Criminogenic needs • Dynamic (Changeable) factors related to recidivism • To reduce risk have to address the criminogenic needs

  34. Need Principle: • Assess and target the needs/problems related to criminal behavior that can change • Criminogenic needs = dynamic risk factors • Attitudes, peers, substance abuse, lack of empathy, low self control, impulsivity, low educational achievement, anger, egocentric • Non-criminogenic needs = problems not related to criminal behavior • Medical issues, low self esteem, anxiety, depression, art skills, physical ability

  35. Targeting Criminogenic Need: Results from Meta-Analyses Reduction in Recidivism Increase in Recidivism Source: Gendreau, P., French, S.A., and A.Taylor (2002). What Works (What Doesn’t Work) Revised 2002. Invited Submission to the International Community Corrections Association Monograph Series Project

  36. Incorporating the Need Principle • Residential • Put juveniles into programs (not necessarily residential) that target the criminogenic needs using effective techniques • Thinking/cognitions • Substance abuse/sex offender treatment • Education/employment • Family relationships and skills

  37. Incorporating the Need Principle • Community/Probation • Make referrals to programs that target criminogenic needs using effective techniques • If you do not have these programs, train staff to administer services or work with agencies to implement • Referrals should address the criminogenic needs and not just mental health issues

  38. Responsivity Principle: • Refers to the learning/interaction styles of the juveniles which can affect their engagement/ successfulness in programming • Identify responsivity characteristics and then match the juvenile to various staff and groups to assist in removing the barriers

  39. Responsivity Factors • General – programs that are based on cognitive-behavior/social learning theories are generally responsive to offenders • Specific – offenders learn differently and have certain barriers that should be removed before programming or addressed during programming

  40. Responsivity Factors • External responsivity factors • Program characteristics • Facilitator characteristics • Program setting • Internal responsivity factors • Motivation • Mental health – anxiety, psychopathy • Maturity • Transportation • Cognitive deficiencies • Demographics

  41. Incorporating the Responsivity Principle • Residential/ juvenile correctional facility • Match the juveniles to social workers based on responsivity factors • Match the juveniles to groups based on responsivity factors • Assist in removing barriers • Community/probation • Assign caseloads based on responsivity factors • Assist in removing the barriers

  42. Risk, Need, Responsivity Risk Need Resp. 45

  43. The Treatment Principle: • Supervision alone will not be sufficient to change behaviors for certain types of juveniles • Punishment programs (criminal sanctions) do not work to change behavior • Need services that are behavioral in nature

  44. The Treatment Principle • Programs & services should be behavioral in nature • Focus on current factors that influence behavior • Action-oriented • Behavior is reinforced

  45. Behavioral Versus Nonbehavioral Reduced Recidivism Increased Recidivism

  46. Effective Programs Have Certain Program Characteristics • Are based on research & sound theory • Have leadership • Use effective treatment models • Disrupt criminal networks • Provide aftercare • Have qualified, experienced, dedicated, & educated staff • Evaluate what they do • Are stable & have sufficient resources & support

  47. Effective Programs Are Implemented as Designed • Interventions are piloted & tested before full implementation • Valued & supported by community or institution • Perceived as cost-effective • Adequate funding