Offender Rehabilitation in Practice:
Implementing and Evaluating Effective Programs

Book in the Wiley Series in Forensic Clinical Psychology

Published in Paperback: July, 2001 and in E-Book Format in December 2002

Order and book information at Wiley

 

link to Wiley Canada's website for the book!


Gary A. Bernfeld
Behavioural Psychology
Degree Program
St. Lawrence College
voice (613) 544 5400 x 1676
fax (613) 634 8458
gary@bernfeld.ca

David P. Farrington
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge
01144-1223-335384
fax: (01144-1223-335356)
dpf1@cam.ac.uk

Alan W. Leschied
Faculty of Education
University of
Western Ontario
voice (519) 661-2088, X 8628
fax (519) 661 3833
leschied@uwo.ca

  1. Short description of the topic

  2. Contents

    1. Implementation issues - Alan Leschied, Gary Bernfeld and David P. Farrington

      Key Issues

    2. What works in correctional intervention? Evidence and practical implications - James McGuire
    3. Evaluating the economic efficiency of correctional intervention programs - Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington
    4. Evaluating the effectiveness of correctional programs: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice - Friedrich Losel

      Implementing specific programs

    5. A multi-level perspective on the implementation of Multisytemic Therapy (MST): Attempting dissemination with fidelity - Daniel L. Edwards, Sonia K. Schowenwald, Scott W. Henggeler, and Keller B. Strother
    6. Aggression Replacement Training: Application and evaluation management - Arnold P. Goldstein and Barry Glick
    7. In Search of program implementation: 792 replications of the Teaching-Family Model - Dean L. Fixsen, Karen A. Blase, Gary D. Timbers and Montrose M. Wolf
    8. The struggle for treatment integrity in a "dis-integrated" service delivery system - Gary A. Bernfeld
      Now available online at Behavior Analyst Today, 7(2), 188-204, 2006
      at http://www.baojournal.com/BAT%20Journal/VOL-7/BAT-7-2.PDF
      (link opens in new window, Acrobat file - p 27-43 of pdf file)

    9. Straight Thinking On Probation: The STOP experiment in Mid Glamorgan - Peter Raynor and Maurice Vanstone
    10. Designing, implementing and managing treatment programs for violent offenders - Ralph C. Serin and Denise L. Preston

      Implementing general programs

    11. Implementing offender classification systems: Lessons learned - James Bonta, Brad Bogue, Michael Crowley and Laurence Motiuk
    12. Implementation guidelines for correctional programs in the "real world" - Paul Gendreau, Claire Goggin and Paula Smith
    13. The role of the consultant in developing effective correctional programs - Clive Hollin

 

I. Short description of the topic

Information relevant to the development of effective service in the criminal justice field has been growing at an ever-increasing rate. Meta-analyses documenting program outcomes as well as cost effectiveness have had some effect on thinking related to policy and practice. Yet, the "building boom" in criminal justice continues. At least two major international conferences were convened in the calendar year 1998 reviewing the reliance countries have developed on incarceration and incapacitation. Marc Mauer of the Sentencing project in Washington D.C. sees no end to this spiral of inflated custody rates.

This reliance on custody is juxtaposed to documented evidence in the research and evaluation fields that suggests community safety is best achieved through policies promoting human services rather than on systems predicated on sanctions and deterrence. The most recent evidence reported by scholars such as Don Andrews of Canada and Scott Henggeler of the United States suggests that promoting intervention in an individual's own environment-referred to as 'ecological integrity'-is closely associated with effective intervention.

The research literature is now consistent in documenting evidence and reporting on replication of programs that have demonstrated effectiveness. The extension of knowledge, what is popularly referred to as 'technology transfer', is the next level of systemic intervention in criminal justice. This volume would be the first to be concerned with that transfer of knowledge. Prominent researchers and practitioners in the criminal justice field will contribute their knowledge of what it takes to implement effective correctional practices--with integrity.

II. Contents

1. Implementation issues

Alan Leschied (University of Western Ontario), Gary Bernfeld (Bath Institution, Correctional Services Canada) and David P. Farrington (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)

This chapter sets the "tone" for the book and delineates its goals. It explains that because we know what works in the rehabilitation field, it is now time to turn our attention to the often-overlooked issue of implementation. The chapter first reviews the (limited) literature on implementation/ integrity. Then, it introduces a multilevel systems perspective (Bernfeld, Blase and Fixsen, 1990) as a framework common to all the program-specific case studies in the book. In this perspective, four levels of analyses are used to examine the delivery of human services: client, program, agency, and societal. As an example of the program level, each case study will also illustrate the pertinent administrative, clinical, staff training and supervision variables that affect treatment outcome.

The implementation of "best practices" in the correctional field is a function of the ability of policy makers, program administrators, and service deliverers to translate knowledge and theory into practice with integrity. A key to such an endeavour is to utilise a multilevel systems perspective [italics]. It is only through such a "broader and deeper" systems perspective that we can narrow the gap between what we desire from our correctional services and what we actually deliver.

Key issues in correctional effectiveness

2. What works in correctional intervention? Evidence and practical implications

James McGuire, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Research on the outcomes of a variety of interventions with offenders - colloquially referred to as the literature on ' what works ' - has begun to have an impact on practice and policy-making in criminal justice services. Many senior managers and others with responsibility for these services have begun to question the escalating reliance on incarceration and incapacitation (at least in anglophone countries), and evidence concerning the viability and effectiveness of alternative approaches has had a steadily spreading influence. In this chapter, that evidence will be surveyed, and the principal trends within it will be identified. The inter-relationships of a variety of factors, including characteristics of offenders, types of treatments and programs, and setting and mode of delivery will be described.

A consensus will be outlined concerning features of 'likely to succeed' interventions with adjudicated offenders (juvenile and adult), alongside others on which evidence is less consistent. The primary lessons from this research will be summarised and some major implications of them for both custodial and community-based services for offenders will be outlined. This will be followed by a brief account of some directions in which the research findings from this field are coming to be applied in a range of developments in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. The chapter will conclude with suggestions concerning a further series of research questions that these developments are likely to generate.

3. Evaluating the economic efficiency of correctional intervention programs

Brandon C. Welsh, Doctoral Researcher and David P. Farrington, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

In the wake of rising criminal justice costs and crime rates the public considers unacceptable - in most industrialised countries - issues of economic efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and accountability of crime prevention and control programs have received increased attention in policy and academic circles. Correctional intervention programs have not been immune from this attention, with administrators increasingly called upon to show that effective programs have also produced a monetary gain (e.g., for society) or cost less than other forms of intervention.

This chapter reviews the literature in the western world on correctional intervention programs that have been evaluated from an economic perspective (cost-benefit, cost-effective, cost-offset). Particular attention is paid to the cost-effectiveness of correctional programs in community versus residential settings. It also overviews the techniques and methodological issues of economic analysis, and identifies a number of relevant benefits to correctional intervention programs which should be taken into account in economic evaluations. It concludes with a discussion on implications for future research and policy development.

4. Evaluating the effectiveness of correctional programs: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice

Friedrich Losel, University of Erlangen, Germany

Knowledge on offender rehabilitation has substantially improved since Martinson's (1974) "Nothing Works summary. We now know successive pathways towards "what works". However, there are still many problems in program evaluation. This is the case at the single study level as well as the meta-analytic level. This paper at first briefly summarises the main results of the various research integrations done during the last decade. Then it discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these meta-analyses. In a second part, major approaches and methodological problems of single studies are analysed (selective samples, assessment of offenders, co-morbidity, implementation problems, lack of program integrity, deficits on outcome measures, follow-up periods, attrition, lack of context variables, etc.). The final part of the chapter will integrate the previous analyses and make proposals for a new generation of sound program evaluations.

Implementing specific programs

5. A multi-level perspective on the implementation of Multisytemic Therapy (MST): Attempting dissemination with fidelity

Daniel L. Edwards (Multisytemic Therapy Services Inc.), Sonia K. Schowenwald, Scott W. Henggeler (Family Services Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina), and Keller B. Strother (Multisytemic Therapy Services Inc.)

Outcome evaluations with respect to multisystemic therapy have been encouraging in showing reductions in antisocial behaviour in high risk, violent youth. Based on a best practice model of systemic understanding of risk with respect to adolescence, this home-based, community-based service delivery model has shown itself to be an effective and cost efficient alternative to residential care. However, recent evidence has suggested that variability in outcomes with respect to MST can be traced to variations with respect to treatment adherence of the principles of the model. Multi-determined measures of adherence from parents, adolescents and therapists are critical in insuring the fidelity of dissemination of this complex model of family-based service in community settings. This chapter will discuss the principles of MST in the context of recent evidence and experience in treatment adherence within large-scale disseminations of the model.

6. Aggression Replacement Training: Application and evaluation management

Arnold P. Goldstein, Professor of Special Education & Director of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, and Barry Glick, G & G Consultants.

This chapter examines the implementation, and dissemination of Aggression Replacement Training (ART), which has been evaluated for over 10 years in residential and community settings. Particular emphasis is given to multi-site collaboration and program maintenance issues as they impact on treatment integrity. In addition, management activities of staff training, monitoring and supervision will be detailed along with interventions designed to build staff motivation. Finally, the principles used to guide these management interventions will be delineated. The rationale for this chapter is to highlight the importance of "building in" various internal and systemic supports to programs like ART which foster quality assurance and enable replication.

7. In Search of program implementation: 792 replications of the Teaching-Family Model

Dean L. Fixsen (FYI Consulting, Ltd.), Karen A. Blase (Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter), Gary D. Timbers (BIABH Study Center) and Montrose M. Wolf (University of Kansas)

This chapter discusses a solution-oriented and incremental approach to solving major social problems. If we are to solve important social problems such as child abuse, delinquency, and illiteracy, researchers need to generate effective programs that can be replicated and social service providers need to implement those programs faithfully. The Teaching-Family Model is based on over 30 years of research, evaluation, and program experience and has been replicated across North America. We present an analysis of 792 attempted replications over a period of 15 years. The analysis reveals certain aspects of the treatment program that were found to be sufficient conditions for treatment program implementation and survival. These "Site services" are described and the implications for effective practices in services for children are presented.

8. The struggle for treatment integrity in a "dis-integrated" service delivery system

Gary A. Bernfeld, Behavioural Science Technology Program, St. Lawrence College

This chapter describes an innovative family preservation program for delinquents, which exemplifies effective correctional treatment: Community Support Services of the St. Lawrence Youth Association in Ontario Canada. Over 8 years, the program utilised the Teaching-Family Model's empirically derived clinical, administrative, evaluation and supervision systems to ensure quality assurance and treatment integrity. The challenges of implementing an integrated treatment within a fragmented service delivery system are detailed. Finally, suggestions are made for contextual supports for innovative programs, so as to foster their effectiveness, longevity and key role as catalysts for systemic change in children's services.

9. Straight Thinking On Probation: The STOP experiment in Mid Glamorgan

Peter Raynor and Maurice Vanstone, University of Wales

This chapter describes the implementation, evaluation and main results of the STOP Reasoning and Rehabilitation program in Mid Glamorgan in Wales. This was one of the earlier attempts to implement evidence-based practice in a UK probation service, and this chapter concentrates particularly on how the program was 'managed in' to the service, the role of evaluation in maintaining integrity and practitioner interest, the use of the program and associated evaluation by managers to promote a cultural change in the direction of more evidence-based practice, and the difficulties of maintaining focus and effectiveness when the experimental work had to be integrated into mainstream practice. The Home Office is currently trying to promote an evidence-based approach to the Probation Service's work throughout England and Wales and the chapter concludes with a discussion of how some of the lessons from Mid Glamorgan might be applied in this process.

10. Designing, implementing and managing treatment programs for violent offenders.

Ralph C. Serin and Denise L. Preston, Research Branch, National Headquarters, Correctional Service of Canada.

This chapter provides an overview of treatment programs for adult violent offenders in terms of the alternative conceptual models utilised to identify treatment targets, implementation issues, and the treatment outcome literature. The construct of treatment responsivity will be presented to highlight motivation and treatment engagement issues for this resistant population. In addition, treatment gain will be presented as a hierarchical construct emphasising the importance of multiple dependent measures. Suggestions for clinical staff and program administrators regarding the implementation of programs for violent offenders will be presented. Finally, experiences in issues relating to treatment intensity and managing violence in group will also be discussed.

Implementing general programs

11. Implementing offender classification systems: Lessons learned

James Bonta (Carleton University), Brad Bogue (Colorado State Judicial), Michael Crowley (National Parole Board of Canada) & Laurence Motiuk (Correctional Service of Canada)

The last twenty years has seen significant improvements in our ability to predict offender recidivism and the identification of treatment goals related to reduced recidivism. There are a number of well-validated offender risk-needs instruments that have been introduced throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Although research studies in support of the validity of these instruments are abundant, relatively little attention has been paid to how the instruments are introduced into the field and how quality control is maintained. That is, after the research, then what? This chapter describes the obstacles to successful implementation of new risk-needs technology and methods used to overcome these obstacles in a variety of settings. The settings include Canadian provincial (Bonta) and federal (Motiuk) correctional systems, a state corrections system (Bogue) and nongovernmental service agencies (Crowley). Topics include management's commitment to risk-needs technology, staff training, and on-going quality monitoring.

12. Implementation guidelines for correctional programs in the "real world"

Paul Gendreau, Claire Goggin and Paula Smith, University of New Brunswick

Unfortunately, the debate over "what works" in offender treatment has neglected an important starting point in designing effective programs, that is, proper implementation and technology transfer. This chapter outlines the criteria-ranging from the role of the program developer to systems factors-that are necessary for successful implementation. Strategies that promote transfer of knowledge to line staff and policy makers are reviewed. Program implementation and maintenance cannot be achieved, however, without having well-defined monitoring objectives put in place. A monitoring system, based on the Correctional Program Assessment Inventory, is described and the results emanating from that instrument regarding the quality of correctional interventions "in the real world" are briefly reviewed.

13. The role of the consultant in developing effective correctional programs

Clive Hollin, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

As the impact of the "What Works" research begins seriously to engage the attention of practitioners, service agencies within the criminal justice system are seeking to develop their programs to bring them into line with principles for effective practice. This chapter will consider the role of the specialist consultant in helping such service agencies to develop effective practice. In addressing this issue, the chapter will consider a range of issues in service development including developing training strategies, management of integrity, setting up process and outcome evaluation research, and broader organisational issues. Based on personal experience as a consultant, the chapter will highlight the areas that appear to cause both practitioners and organisations the greatest problems in introducing new programs. Strategies for overcoming organisational and practitioner resistance to change will be discussed.

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Revised August 7, 2001
comments to: gary@bernfeld.ca
© Copyright Gary A. Bernfeld 1996-2000. All rights reserved.