U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Forensic Therapeutic Communities: A Critique of Treatment Model and Evidence Base

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 49 Issue: 5 Dated: December 2010 Pages: 463-477
Richard Shuker
Date Published
December 2010
15 pages
This article examines the developments in theory and practice in forensic therapeutic communities.
This article will explore developments in practice within therapeutic communities (TCs) from the early ideas which informed socially-driven treatments to the more recent approaches which have emerged alongside current developments in forensic psychology and criminological research. It will focus on how the role of TCs has been forced to evolve and refine itself and explore why, despite their developing role as a forensic intervention, the potential of TCs to inform and contribute to wider forensic and penal practice has not been fully recognized. The strength of their research base will also be assessed and the accusation that a lack of quality research continues to present a significant obstacle to the wider credibility of TCs will be considered. Whilst TCs have prided themselves with protecting and preserving their origins and clinical traditions, misleading associations continue to be drawn between modern TCs and the unorthodox and maverick practices of 1960s TC approaches. Their attempts to counter these charges, which have enabled their critics to dismiss them as being unscientific, invalidated and largely irrelevant to offender risk reduction, will be explored. References (Published Abstract)


No download available