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Georgia Cognitive Skills Experiment: Process Evaluation, Phase 2

NCJ Number
Lisa M. Spruance M.S.; Patricia Van Voorhis Ph.D.; Shelley J. Listwan Ph.D.; Jennifer Pealer M.S.; Renita Seabrook M.S.
Date Published
157 pages
This report describes Phase II of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (GBPP) evaluation of their implementation of the Reasoning and Rehabilitation Program (R&R).
Since 1997, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (GBPP) has undertaken an ambitious statewide implementation and evaluation of Ross and Fabiano's (1985) Reasoning and Rehabilitation Program (R&R). The State's adoption of R&R is supported by research indicating that programs most effective in reducing offender recidivism are those that seek to change the way offenders think. Recent evaluations of R&R reveal reductions in recidivism with both a pilot group and the nation-wide application of the program. The Georgia Cognitive Skills Program is the first known statewide effort to employ cognitive skills training with parolees. Evaluation of the Georgia Cognitive Skills Program has proceeded in two phases. Phase I examined the impact of R&R on parolees' cognitive skills and attitudes, employment, technical violations, returns to prison, and re-arrests. The Phase I evaluation randomly assigned 468 parolees to either an experimental group (N = 232) or a control group (N = 236) in 16 parole districts. The first phase concluded in July of 1998. Phase II was designed to improve the understanding of the conditions under which R&R works best. Ultimately this study sought to identify individual and programmatic factors that enhance offenders' prospects for living prosocial lives. Phase II studies the impact of such offender attributes as race, sex, personality, as measured by the Jesness Inventory, and risk of reoffending. This inquiry builds on the assumption that offenders are not all alike and that different correctional methods are needed to deal effectively with different individuals. This report describes the Phase II programs according to their target population and characteristics of service delivery.