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Evidence-based Practices (EBP) - Principle 3. Target Interventions: Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR), Dosage, Treatment

The Risk-Need-Responsivity principle was developed by Donald Arthur Andrews and James Bonta in 1990. It integrates the psychology of criminal conduct into an understanding of how to reduce recidivism. Using this concept, they identify three principles to guide the assessment and treatment of offenders to advance rehabilitative goals as well as reduce risk to society: risk principle, need principle, and responsivity principle (RNR). 

 

The Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN) is a network comprised of the leading associations representing 90,000-plus probation, parole, pretrial, and treatment professionals around the country, including the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), the Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI), the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association (FPPOA), the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA), and the National Association of Probation Executives (NAPE).

This "Myths & Facts" package includes a one-page list of myths and facts along with a research-based supporting document to help dispel three specific myths regarding the use of risk and need assessments within the criminal justice system. A description and relevant research to dispel each myth is provided. Our network believes that risk and need assessments currently provide the most accurate, objective prediction of the risk to recidivate. While risk and need assessments do not predict with perfect accuracy, they guide practitioners in the field towards the most accurate and equitable decisions available for safely managing justice-involved individuals.

Myths & Facts Cover

The Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN) is a network comprised of the leading associations representing 90,000-plus probation, parole, pretrial, and treatment professionals around the country, including the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), the Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI), the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association (FPPOA), the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA), and the National Association of Probation Executives (NAPE). This "Myths & Facts" package includes a one-page list of myths and facts along with a research-based supporting document to show the effectiveness of community corrections. This is not to suggest that prison does not play an important role in the continuum of criminal justice, but that incarceration is not always the best way to keep communities safe, or to break the cycle of criminal behavior, reduce recidivism or to save tax payer dollars. Our network believes that each of the points in the continuum play a vital role in keeping our communities safe and that we must better understand through evidence-based research and science when to use incarceration and when community corrections might be more effective.

Myths & Facts  Cover

The evidence-based practices (EBP) framework emphasizes that justice agencies should match offenders to services and programs based on their risk and need factors (“the RNR Principles”). The effective use of the RNR principles is challenging to implement because: 1)The available services for offenders in the community are often not consistent with risk and needs of offenders; and 2) Competing issues exist that make it difficult for policy makers to consider how best to simultaneously manage the offender in the community, ensure public safety, contain or reduce costs, and reduce individual offender recidivism.

This bulletin will provide a brief introduction to the risk, need, and responsivity principles espoused in the evidenced-based principles for community supervision.

The current paper critically reviews the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) and Good Lives Model (GLM) approaches to correctional treatment.

The risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model has been widely regarded as the premier model for guiding offender assessment and treatment. The RNR model underlies some of the most widely used risk-needs offender assessment instruments, and it is the only theoretical model that has been used to interpret the offender treatment literature. Recently, the good lives model (GLM) has been promoted as an alternative and enhancement to RNR. GLM sets itself apart from RNR by its positive, strengths-based, and restorative model of rehabilitation. In addition, GLM hypothesizes that enhancing personal fulfillment will lead naturally to reductions in criminogenic needs, whereas RNR posits the reverse direction. In this article the authors respond to GLM’s criticisms of RNR and conclude that little substance is added by GLM that is not already included in RNR, although proponents of RNR may learn from the popular appeal that GLM, with its positive, strength-based focus, has garnered from clinicians over the past decade.

For people involved in the criminal justice system, evidence-based practice (EBP) and treatments emphasize that assessment and programming should target criminal justice, criminogenic need, and other behavioral issues. The notion is that individual outcomes can be improved by assessing for a number of related and often overlapping dimensions such as offending (e.g. criminal history risk), needs (e.g. antisocial peers, antisocial cognitions, antisocial values/thinking) and behavioral health factors (e.g. substance use, mental health, trauma). This evidence-based practice is referred to as the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Model (Andrews and Bonta, 2010; Caudy et al., 2013).

PPT presentation by Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) George Mason University.

The application of the risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model of offender rehabilitation to one-on-one supervision of offenders placed under probation is examined. This RNR-based training program is called the Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS). Sections of this report include: abstract; the RNR model of offender rehabilitation; the present study; method; results for the success of random assignment, length and content of session discussions, quality of probation officers’ skills and intervention techniques, recidivism, and clinical support; and discussion. “The results showed that the trained probation officers evidenced more of the RNR-based skills and that their clients had a lower recidivism rate” (p. ii).

The Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision: Risk-Need-Responsivity in the Real World Cover

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