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Rehabilitation programs

The Academy Division sponsors technical assistance, training, and networks around three major initiatives: Cognitive Behavioral Training, Learning and Performance, and Leadership Development.

Cognitive Behavioral Training (CBT) is designed to address thinking patterns and assist people in behavior change. NIC's CBT initiative is comprised of Thinking for a Change.

The Academy Leadership Development Partnership Initiative (LDPI) incorporates research, fosters innovation, and drives opportunities for professional growth by partnering with constituent agencies to plan, develop, implement, and measure agency-based leadership development programs: programs that are specific to the agency, implemented by the agency, and sustained by the agency.

The Learning and Performance Initiative represents NIC’s effort to help build staff training and development capacity in correctional agencies. Click here for resources for trainers and curriculum designers.

Division Chief: Jeff Hadnot

The Thinking for a Change (TFAC) program "teaches problem-solving skills, particularly when interacting with others, in order to increase rational thinking and lead to pro-social interactions and behaviors. In addition, through cognitive restructuring (aka, cognitive self-change), thought processes are modified to reduce thinking patterns that are conducive to criminal behavior, i.e., antisocial attitudes. This evaluation uses a quasi-experimental, non-random, two group pre-test post-test design, and it explores intermediate outcomes that examine whether the program has influenced participant’s self-assessment of their social problem-solving skills and approaches and their acceptance of criminal attitudes … compared to a waiting list comparison group, TFAC group completers do significantly better than their comparison group counterparts on every measure, including positive problem orientation, negative problem orientation, rational problem solving and associated subscales (problem definition and formulation, generation of alternative solutions, decision making, solution implementation and verification), impulsivity/carelessness style, and avoidance style. Moreover, the level of significance of these findings indicates that TFAC does impact participants’ understanding of social problem solving skills and approaches" (p. i). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; cognitive-behavioral programming and the TFAC program; methodological design; Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R) analysis of changes in social problem-solving; Texas Christian University Criminal Thinking Scale (TCU-CTS) analysis; and discussion.

Intermediate Outcome 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).

Thinking for a Change 4.0 (T4C) is an integrated cognitive behavioral change program authored by Jack Bush, Ph.D., Barry Glick, Ph.D., and Juliana Taymans, Ph.D., under a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). T4C incorporates research from cognitive restructuring theory, social skills development, and the learning and use of problem solving skills.

T4C is comprised of 25 lessons that build upon each other, and contains appendices that can be used to craft an aftercare program to meet ongoing cognitive behavioral needs of your group. Not all lessons can be completed in one session, so a typical delivery cycle may take 30 sessions. Sessions should last between one and two hours. Ideally, the curriculum is delivered two times per week, with a minimum recommended dosage of once per week and a maximum of three times per week. Participants must be granted time to complete mandatory homework between each lesson.

The program is designed to be provided to justice-involved adults and youth, males and females. It is intended for groups of eight to twelve and should be delivered only by trained facilitators. Due to its integrated structure, T4C is a closed group, meaning members need to start at the beginning of a cycle, and may not join the group mid-stream (lesson five is a logical cut-off point for new group members).

T4C is provided by corrections professionals in prisons, jails, detention centers, community corrections, probation, and parole settings. The National Institute of Corrections has trained more than 10,000 individuals as T4C group facilitators, and more than 500 trainers who can train additional staff to facilitate the program with justice-involved clients.

T4C 4.0 represents a significant evolution in the curriculum, both in content and use. It is the most sincere hope of NIC and the authors that the changes enable you and your agency to better serve your clients. Correctional agencies can consider Thinking for a Change as one option in a continuum of interventions to address the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of their client populations.

"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 programing. 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.

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

With increased awareness of the effects of stress, adversity, and trauma on people’s lives, criminal justice professionals are considering what this means in their correctional settings. There is growing evidence of the effects of child neglect and abuse (as well as other forms of traumatic stress) on the health, mental health, and behavior of men and women residing in jails and prisons. While research and clinical experience indicate that there is a high incidence of trauma and co-occurring problems among these groups, corrections professionals struggle to provide them with effective management and services. It is particularly challenging when many institutions have staff who are affected by trauma in their personal and work lives. Organizational stress and trauma create additional challenges in the environment and culture of the workplace. Moving from trauma informed to trauma responsive to implement trauma-informed care can be challenging. The webinar speakers have extensive experience in delivering trauma informed education and services to the men and women in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as other state and local agencies nationally. This webinar series guides administrators and correctional staff through the process and will provide updated information and research.

Webinar Objectives:
The primary goals of this three-part webinar series are to:

  •     Provide criminal justice, mental health, and substance use treatment professionals with up-to-date information regarding trauma-informed care within the criminal justice system.
  •     Provide information on the lifelong effects of trauma, recovery needs, and implementation of trauma-focused treatment interventions (including research findings).
  •     Provide an outline for the process of becoming a trauma-informed organization.

Each of the sessions includes discussion of content, polling and video clips, a question and answer period as well as a list of resources referenced during the presentations.  

Part 1: This session provides a series of definitions, a brief research overview, the implications of adverse childhood exposures (ACEs) and the potential for lifelong impact.  It further addresses the relationship between trauma and substance use disorders (SUD), the relationship between trauma and violence, and the complex needs of recovery.

Moderators/Speakers

  • Maureen Buell, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
  • Stephanie Covington, Ph.D., LCSW, Co-Director, Center for Gender and Justice
  • Nena Messina, Ph.D., Research Criminologist at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and President of Envisioning Justice Solutions, Inc.
image for webinar
The Association between ACEs and Criminal Justice Involvement [Webinar]

With increased awareness of the effects of stress, adversity, and trauma on people’s lives, criminal justice professionals are considering what this means in their correctional settings. There is growing evidence of the effects of child neglect and abuse (as well as other forms of traumatic stress) on the health, mental health, and behavior of men and women residing in jails and prisons. While research and clinical experience indicate that there is a high incidence of trauma and co-occurring problems among these groups, corrections professionals struggle to provide them with effective management and services. It is particularly challenging when many institutions have staff who are affected by trauma in their personal and work lives. Organizational stress and trauma create additional challenges in the environment and culture of the workplace. Moving from trauma informed to trauma responsive to implement trauma-informed care can be challenging. The webinar speakers have extensive experience in delivering trauma informed education and services to the men and women in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as other state and local agencies nationally. This webinar series guides administrators and correctional staff through the process and will provide updated information and research.

Webinar Objectives:
The primary goals of this three-part webinar series are to:

  •     Provide criminal justice, mental health, and substance use treatment professionals with up-to-date information regarding trauma-informed care within the criminal justice system.
  •     Provide information on the lifelong effects of trauma, recovery needs, and implementation of trauma-focused treatment interventions (including research findings).
  •     Provide an outline for the process of becoming a trauma-informed organization.

Each of the sessions includes discussion of content, polling and video clips, a question and answer period, as well as a list of resources referenced during the presentations.  

Part 2: This session discusses the rationale for trauma-informed treatment, the values and efficacy of trauma informed services, and related research findings.

Moderators/Speakers

  • Maureen Buell, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
  • Stephanie Covington, Ph.D., LCSW, Co-Director, Center for Gender and Justice
  • Nena Messina, Ph.D., Research Criminologist at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and President of Envisioning Justice Solutions, Inc.
image for webinar
Trauma-Informed Treatment and Theory, Part 2 [Webinar]

With increased awareness of the effects of stress, adversity, and trauma on people’s lives, criminal justice professionals are considering what this means in their correctional settings. There is growing evidence of the effects of child neglect and abuse (as well as other forms of traumatic stress) on the health, mental health, and behavior of men and women residing in jails and prisons. While research and clinical experience indicate that there is a high incidence of trauma and co-occurring problems among these groups, corrections professionals struggle to provide them with effective management and services. It is particularly challenging when many institutions have staff who are affected by trauma in their personal and work lives. Organizational stress and trauma create additional challenges in the environment and culture of the workplace. Moving from trauma informed to trauma responsive to implement trauma-informed care can be challenging. The webinar speakers have extensive experience in delivering trauma informed education and services to the men and women in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as other state and local agencies nationally. This webinar series guides administrators and correctional staff through the process and will provide updated information and research.

Webinar Objectives:
The primary goals of this three-part webinar series are to:

  •     Provide criminal justice, mental health, and substance use treatment professionals with up-to-date information regarding trauma-informed care within the criminal justice system.
  •     Provide information on the lifelong effects of trauma, recovery needs, and implementation of trauma-focused treatment interventions (including research findings).
  •     Provide an outline for the process of becoming a trauma-informed organization.

Part 3: Becoming Trauma Informed and Moving to Trauma Responsive 
This session discusses trauma triggers, examples of calming and grounding strategies that can be employed within correctional settings, a brief exploration of the presence of and effects of vicarious trauma with correctional staff, and suggestions regarding self-care.

Moderators/Speakers

  •     Maureen Buell, Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
  •     Stephanie Covington, Ph.D., LCSW, Co-Director, Center for Gender and Justice
  •     Nena Messina, Ph.D., Research Criminologist at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and President of Envisioning Justice Solutions, Inc.

 

Becoming Trauma Informed and Moving to Trauma Responsive, Part 3 [Webinar]
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