"Throughout the Western World, community-based sanctions have become a popular and widely used alternative to custodial sentences. There have been many comparisons of rates of reconviction among former prisoners and those who have served any kind of community sanction. So far, the comparative effects on re-offending of custodial and non-custodial sanctions are largely unknown, due to many uncontrolled variables … The objective is to assess the relative effects of custodial sanctions (imprisonment) and non-custodial ("alternative" or "community") sanctions on re-offending" (p.8). This study shows that the majority of non-custodial sanctions reduce re-offending more than custodial sanctions.
While this program takes place in Scotland, it has valuable insights that can be used in your agency. "The exit at the prison gate often appears to be a revolving door with nearly 60% of released prisoners re-offending within two years of their release. Prisons and probation departments have, almost literally, tried everything in efforts to rehabilitate offenders over the past century, but the results have been uniformly bleak leading many to conclude that “nothing works.” In the past ten years, however, a group of criminologists have hit upon what should have been an obvious source of inspiration for prisoner rehabilitation: the other 40 per cent!" Allan Weaver, an ex-offender and current probation officer, discovers how other ex-prisoners break out of revolving cycle of criminal activity and recidivism. Weaver also looks how ways of changing criminal behavior can be incorporated into criminal justice interventions.
If your agency is thinking of using the Duluth model you need to read this report. It explains why the Duluth model for domestic violence (DV) treatment does not reduce DV recidivism. Group treatment of DV offenders with the Duluth model and four other models (cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relationship enhancement, substance abuse treatment, and group couples counseling) were evaluated. “Based on six rigorous outcome evaluations of group-based DV treatment for male offenders, we conclude that the Duluth model, the most common treatment approach, appears to have no effect on recidivism … There may be other group-based treatments for male DV offenders that effectively reduce DV recidivism … Unfortunately, these interventions are so varied in their approaches that we cannot identify a particular group-based treatment approach to replace the Duluth-like model required by Washington State law” (p. 12).
"This report identifies and describes interventions that are effective in reducing recidivism and preventing crime" (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction; the evidence-based concept and its application; method; incarceration and its impact on crime; effective recidivism reduction programs -- education and vocational, substance abuse treatment, drug courts, sex offender treatment, mental health, cognitive-behavioral, and juvenile offender; effective early prevention programs; implementation issues; and summary.