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Effective Correctional Treatment

NCJ Number
R R Ross, P Gendreau
Date Published
444 pages
This book discusses the principles, techniques, and results of 23 of the most effective correctional treatment programs conducted between 1973 and 1978.
Introductory chapters review the correctional treatment literature from 1973 to 1978, describe recent evidence of the effectiveness of correctional treatment, examine some of the fallacies inherent in the 'nothing works' doctrine, and suggest reasons for the apparent failure of some programs. Chapters on diversion programs discuss the effect of these programs on rearrests, describe an exemplary program conducted by the Dallas Police Department, and present a multifaceted program which could serve as a model for replication in other jurisdictions. Intervention with the families of delinquents is the subject of two articles: (1) a study presenting evidence on the efficacy of a behavioral approach to family intervention, with a description of the technique; and (2) a report demonstrating the value of optimal timing for treatment intervention. Among the 12 discussions of community-based programs for juvenile offenders are a review and followup of a 3-year program using the buddy system, an evaluation of a continuing counseling project in Florida (Project CREST), and descriptions of two successful juvenile employment programs. Other community-based programs employ group behavioral modification, focus on the cognitive shortcomings of juvenile offenders, carefully match offenders with probation officers in individual treatment programs, and use community intervention (through employment, education, contigency contracting, and behaviorally oriented group sessions). In addition, these community programs are evaluated in a 10-year followup study of a rehabilitation program and by a controlled study of diagnostic services. Programs for juveniles in correctional institutions are examined in four studies. Finally, three essays, which focus on programs for adult offenders, evaluate community treatment programs, assess a heroin addiction treatment program, and summarize a 3-year Canadian research project which examined the effectiveness of probation officers and volunteers in counseling adult probationers. Chapters include footnotes, tables, and references. For related documents, see NCJ 73343-54.