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Student Research Series

  • What Works? Short-Term, In-Custody Treatment Programs

    "Assessing the effectiveness of in-custody treatment programs is essential in the correctional system to appropriately allocate resources and reduce offender recidivism rates. With California passing AB 109, “2011 Public Safety Realignment”, it becomes imperative to understand the characteristics and principles of effective rehabilitation programming. Treatment programs that follow the core principles of the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model are found to be effective and to significantly decrease recidivism rates ... The main question is whether jail treatment programs can be effective given the short duration of most jail terms. The transitory population in jails makes it difficult to provide continuous and effective treatment, further indicating the importance of analyzing the effectiveness of short-term, in-custody treatment programs. The authors reviewed the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy, education and vocational programs, substance and alcohol abuse treatment, faith-based, and mental illness treatment programs" (p. 3). Sections following an executive summary cover: effectiveness of in-custody treatment programs-- risk-needs-responsivity (RNR) model, and characteristics and principles of effective treatment programs; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); educational and vocational programs; substance and alcohol abuse; faith-based programs; and mental illness.