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Transforming Rehabilitation: A Summary of Evidence on Reducing Reoffending

NCJ Number
Date Published
58 pages
This is a summary of research findings on factors and treatment techniques that reduce adult offenders' reoffending, so as to provide a starting point for understanding the range of evidence available to support policy and practice in this area.
Following the introductory chapter, a chapter provides information on reoffending, including factors linked to reoffending and those associated with desisting from offending. These factors are distinguished as dynamic (subject to change, such as substance abuse and social networks) and static (fixed attributes, such as gender and other biological characteristics). Desistance factors pertain to a change in social conditions, attitudes, and behavioral controls. The third chapter identifies what treatment, services, and structures are effective in promoting desistance from criminal behavior as determined by evaluation research and analyses of behavioral change. Topics addressed include the role of skilled, trained practitioners; the value of well-sequenced, holistic approaches; the delivery of services and interventions based on assessed need and risk; and the development and maintenance of quality services. Chapter 4 summarizes evidence of the effectiveness of existing rehabilitative approaches and interventions that contribute to a reduction in reoffending. Specific types of interventions are described, and the quality of the evidence of effectiveness is assessed. Specific areas of need related to offending are identified and discussed, including drug abuse, alcohol abuse, accommodation needs, employment needs, mental health needs, family relationships, and peer relationships. 7 tables and appended information on links to reoffending and data sources/research evidence on offenders and reoffending