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Behavior modification

“Drug Courts improve outcomes for drug-abusing offenders by combining evidence-based substance abuse treatment with strict behavioral accountability. Participants are carefully monitored for substance use and related behaviors and receive escalating incentives for accomplishments and sanctions for infractions. The nearly unanimous perception of both participants and staff members is that the positive effects of Drug Courts are largely attributable to the application of these behavioral contingencies … Scientific research over several decades reveals the most effective ways to administer behavior modification programs. Drug Courts that learn these lessons of science reap benefits several times over through better outcomes and greater cost-effectiveness” (p. 1). This publication describes the following science-based practices (also known as evidence-based practices): the carrot and the stick; trust but verify; timing is everything; staying centered; fishing for tangible resources; do due process; whether sanctions or therapeutic consequences; first things first; and phase advancement. Practice Pointers are also provided for each behavior modification strategy.

Behavior Modification 101 for Drug Courts: Making the Most of Incentives and Sanctions Cover

"One form of psychotherapy stands out in the criminal justice system. Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces recidivism in both juveniles and adults. The therapy assumes that most people can become conscious of their own thoughts and behaviors and then make positive changes to them. A person's thoughts are often the result of experience, and behavior is often influenced and prompted by these thoughts. In addition, thoughts may sometimes become distorted and fail to reflect reality accurately. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be effective with juvenile and adult offenders; substance abusing and violent offenders; and probationers, prisoners and parolees. It is effective in various criminal justice settings, both in institutions and in the community, and addresses a host of problems associated with criminal behavior. For instance, in most cognitive behavioral therapy programs, offenders improve their social skills, means-ends problem solving, critical reasoning, moral reasoning, cognitive style, self-control, impulse management and self-efficacy" (NIJ Journal No. 265, April 2010, p. 22).

This presentation is an extended interview with Dr. William Miller regarding the utilization of motivational interviewing (MI) in correctional settings. Topics discussed include:

  • Background of MI
  • MI in corrections
  • How MI works
  • The spirit of MI
  • Implementing MI
  • MI applications and assessment
  • Brief and one-time MI
  • Essentials of MI
  • MI roll-out and training
  • The supervisor’s role
  • MI research
  • And implications for policy makers, supervisors and MI coaches.

The resources contained on the CD-ROM are transcripts of the video presentation and a copy of "Motivating Offenders to Change."

Implementing Motivational Interviewing in Correctional Settings: An Interview with Dr. William Miller Cover

“Violence, vandalism, and other unwanted inmate behaviors prevail in many jails nationwide, and they frustrate jail practitioners who must ensure the safety and security of inmates, staff and the public … Effectively managing inmate behavior creates a safer environment for the inmates and staff and allows the jail to provide a valuable service to the public. Community safety is enhanced by strong jail management and facilities should aspire to create environments where compliance, respect, and cooperation are fostered. In an attempt to create a system of strong management, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) introduced an initiative that was designed to teach administrators, managers, and corrections officers the most effective methods to control inmate behavior and optimize operational efficiency. NIC calls the initiative Inmate Behavior Management or IBM. The comprehensive management system has six identifiable elements that work together to control inmate behavior and create an efficient and effective organization” (p. 1). These are: assessing risks and needs; assigning inmates to housing; meeting inmates’ basic needs; defining and conveying expectations for inmates; supervising inmates; and keeping inmates productively occupied. This report explains how the Brazos County Jail implemented IBC. While the post-implementation study period was not very long, it appears that there is a positive trend in behavior change.

Inmate Behavior Management Cover

"Experience has shown that if a jail does not meet the basic human needs of inmates, the inmates will find a way to satisfy their needs in ways that may be unfavorable to the orderly operation of the jail. Understanding what motivates human behavior provides jail administrators with a very useful tool for managing inmates since it helps explain both good inmate behavior and bad. This document not only provides guidance to jail practitioners as they implement this element, but it also provides self-assessment checklists to determine how well the jail is doing in the delivery of basic needs and suggestions for area of improvement. It is our hope that by using these tools corrections professionals will realize the benefits of improved inmate behavior" (p. v). Chapters cover: the importance of meeting inmates' basic needs; meeting basic needs and how the concept contributes to inmate behavior management; the role of various jail divisions in meeting inmate needs—security, medical, maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, foods service, inmate programs, training, and administration; the connection between basic needs, inmate misconducts, and grievances; self-assessment of basic need; monitoring implementation; conclusion; and using the resource materials—Incident Spreadsheet, Incident Summary, Grievance Spreadsheet, Self-Assessment regarding Physical Needs, Self-Assessment regarding Safety Needs, Self-Assessment regarding Social Needs, Self-Assessment Results, Inmate Satisfaction Survey, and the Inmate Survey Results.

Inmate Behavior Management: Guide to Meeting Basic Needs Cover

“Violence, vandalism, and other unwanted inmate behaviors prevail in many jails nationwide, and they frustrate jail practitioners who must ensure the safety and security of inmates, staff and the public … Effectively managing inmate behavior creates a safer environment for the inmates and staff and allows the jail to provide a valuable service to the public. Community safety is enhanced by strong jail management and facilities should aspire to create environments where compliance, respect, and cooperation are fostered. In an attempt to create a system of strong management, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) introduced an initiative that was designed to teach administrators, managers, and corrections officers the most effective methods to control inmate behavior and optimize operational efficiency. NIC calls the initiative Inmate Behavior Management or IBM. The comprehensive management system has six identifiable elements that work together to control inmate behavior and create an efficient and effective organization” (p. 1). These are: assessing risks and needs; assigning inmates to housing; meeting inmates’ basic needs; defining and conveying expectations for inmates; supervising inmates; and keeping inmates productively occupied. This report explains how the Northampton County Jail implemented IBC. Within less than two years decreased 69%, from four formal misconducts per month to just one.

Inmate Behavior Management Cover

This guide “presents six key elements that, in combination, will help jails reduce a wide array of negative, destructive, and dangerous inmate behavior” (p. v). These elements are: assessing risk and needs; assigning inmates to housing; meeting inmates’ basic needs; defining and conveying expectations for inmate behavior; supervising inmates; and keeping inmates productively occupied.

Inmate Behavior Management Cover
The most fundamental goal of every jail and prison is to maintain a safe and secure environment for staff, inmates, and visitors. Effectively managing inmate behavior is critical to this goal. The purpose of SIM is to promote safe and secure environments by employing the best practices of direct supervision and inmate behavior management applicable to all physical plant designs in both jails and prisons.
 
Direct Supervision began in the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1973. In the early 1980s, NIC introduced podular direct-supervision to reduce the violence and vandalism prevalent in many local jails. Since then, NIC has provided a variety of assistance on direct supervision to jails, including training for administration, first-line supervisors, and housing unit officers. Recognizing that many of the principles and strategies of direct supervision are appropriate for linear and podular-indirect physical plants, NIC developed the Inmate Behavior Management (IBM) program incorporating the six elements of effective inmate management.
 
Over time, it became apparent there was a need for agencies to have a unified operating philosophy encompassing all physical plant designs while honoring the fundamental work of Direct Supervision and IBM.
 
Strategic Inmate Management (SIM) is defined as the intentional integration of the principles and strategies of Direct Supervision and the elements of Inmate Behavior Management as a unified operational philosophy. It is an evolution of the Direct Supervision and Inmate Behavior Management training and assistance NIC has previously offered.
 
With the SIM initiative, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) works with jurisdictions seeking to integrate a comprehensive approach to inmate management.
 
The goals of this initiative include:
 
• Support correctional leaders and staff in fulfilling their role in providing safe and secure facilities
• Demonstrate the importance of having a cohesive inmate management strategy to effectively manage inmate behavior
• Assist correctional agencies in integrating SIM as an operational philosophy; ingraining SIM in the organizational culture
• Build organizational capacity to sustain the integration of SIM throughout all levels of the organization

Foundation for SIM


Direct Supervision 

Direct supervision combines two key elements—the physical design of a jail and an inmate management strategy—to significantly reduce the problem inmate behavior commonly seen in jails. Direct supervision jails focus on actively managing inmate behavior to produce a jail that is safe and secure for inmates, staff, and visitors.

Staff interact continuously with inmates in the housing units, actively supervising them to identify problems in their early stages. They use basic management techniques to prevent negative behavior and encourage positive behavior. Staff assume control of the jail and establish a professional supervisory relationship with inmates. There are no barriers separating staff and inmates in the housing units.

The physical design of the jail supports the management of inmate behavior by reducing physical barriers that impede staff/inmate interaction, by insuring there are clear sight lines into all areas of the housing units, and by incorporating design elements, fixtures, and furnishings that promote positive inmate behavior.

Inmate Behavior Management

Managing inmate behavior is the core function of jails. Historically, jails have emphasized the physical containment of inmates over actively supervising them and managing their behavior. This has resulted in problems commonly associated with jails, such as violence, vandalism, and unsanitary conditions. These problems create dangerous conditions for both staff and inmates and can be costly for taxpayers. To address this issue, the National Institute of Corrections developed training programs, technical assistance, and information to help jails better manage inmates.

 


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