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Solutions in Corrections: Using Evidence-based Knowledge - Interview at the 2010 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
4 pages
This video and its transcript cover an interview with Edward Latessa on using evidence-based knowledge to improve corrections outcomes, following his presentation on this issue at the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) "Research for the Real World Seminar Series.
He first notes that a significant body of research indicates that recidivism rates can be reduced if certain principles developed from evaluation research over the past 20-25 years are followed. One of these principles is to focus on those offenders who are most likely to reoffend. A second principle is to address identified criminogenic needs, i.e., those factors that correlate with criminal conduct, such as substance abuse and antisocial peer associations. A third principle is to teach high-risk offenders new ways to behave. This is done by practicing how to deal constructively with high-risk situations and interactions likely to occur in the future. Latessa also advises that it is important to study the evaluations of programs that have not worked in reducing recidivism or have actually increased recidivism, so investments are not wasted in repeating failures. Another concern expressed is the involvement of low-risk offenders in the same programs with high-risk offenders, which can undermine factors in the low-risk offender's life that are associated with the prevention of recidivism. Other topics addressed in the interview are the basing of expertise in research-based knowledge and experience, fidelity to proven program features in making replications successful, and how correctional practitioners become agents of change in offender behavior.

Date Published: May 1, 2010