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WW Module 05 Addressing Responsivity NYS-Word version 1. Addressing_Responsivity_ Research 1.1 Addressing Responsivity Notes: Welcome to the e-learning training module on What Works in Changing Offender Behavior with a specific focus on addressing responsivity. Research has shown that correctional programs that assess risk, need, and responsivity factors are more effective in reducing and addressing recidivism than other programs that do not consider these factors. Of these three core factors, responsivity is the least understood. Responsivity requires that corrections professionals consider those characteristics specific to the individual under supervision and those generally true for offenders when matching him/her Published by Articulate® Storyline
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WW Module 05 Addressing Responsivity NYS-Word version

1. Addressing_Responsivity_ Research

1.1 Addressing Responsivity


Welcome to the e-learning training module on What Works in Changing Offender Behavior with a specific focus on addressing responsivity. Research has shown that correctional programs that assess risk, need, and responsivity factors are more effective in reducing and addressing recidivism than other programs that do not consider these factors. Of these three core factors, responsivity is the least understood. Responsivity requires that corrections professionals consider those characteristics specific to the individual under supervision and those generally true for offenders when matching him/her to interventions and treatment services. The process of understanding someones responsivity factors can be difficult, but when these factors are addressed, outcomes with offenders under supervision are more successful. This module addresses these responsivity factors in more detail.

1.2 How to Use This Module


Before we begin, please take a few moments to review how the presentation works. The core concepts and visuals in this module are intended for use with accompanying in-depth explanations of each slide topic. The in-depth information can be accessed in three ways, depending on learner preference: Module Notes, Audio, and Module Script. Each option contains the same information. Once the audio for each slide has ended, use the navigational buttons located at the bottom of the module presentation window to advance to the next slide.

1.3 Table of Contents


To begin, this module focuses on addressing responsivity with offenders. This is an extremely important function in corrections, since it helps improve the supervision and treatment of offenders and is closely related to our ability to manage and reduce risk. It is important to note the research surrounding these modules focuses solely on the offender population. When we present research, we will use the term offender. Throughout the rest of the module, we will use the terms participant, client, and individual interchangeably. The first section will briefly review the principles of effective intervention, followed by the second section, which will discuss general responsivity in further detail. The third section will discuss specific responsivity. The fourth section will discuss how corrections professionals can affect responsivity either positively or negatively. The fifth section will discuss offender characteristics and responsivity in more detail, particularly those responsivity factors that show up most frequently in the literature concerning offender treatment. The sixth section will discuss the application of concepts and measuring offender progress. Finally, the seventh section will summarize the learning module by reviewing each of these learning objectives.

1.4 Learning Objectives


Upon completion of this module, you will understand what responsivity is and how it impacts correctional effectiveness. We will incorporate example scenarios of both effective and ineffective responisivity practices throughout the module to aid in this understanding. You'll also be able to recognize which individual characteristics tend to be the most important responsivity factors to address; learn how correctional agencies can use the resposivity principle to improve participant outcomes; learn specific case management techniques designed to help remove barriers to correctional intervention; and finally, discuss other considerations that are associated with responsivity.

1.5 Section 1


In the What Works in Correctional Intervention module, we discussed the principles of effective intervention in extensive detail. As a quick review, the next few slides will provide a brief description of each of these principles.

1.6 Risk Principle


The risk principle tells us who to target. More specifically, interventions should be matched by risk level, reserving the most intensive treatment and programming for higher risk participants. This is the group we are most concerned about and where we should place most of our efforts. Recall, studies have shown that placing lower risk offenders into intensive programs and higher levels of supervision can actually increase their failure rates.

1.7 Major Set of Risk/Need Factors


This slide shows the eight major risk/need factors, or correlates of criminal conduct. The first risk factor is having antisocial or procriminal attitudes, values, and beliefs. This risk factor manifests itself in several ways: negative expressions about the law, about self-management of behavior, and a lack of empathy and sensitivity toward others. The second major risk factor is having antisocial friends and a lack of prosocial friends and acquaintances.

The third major risk factor is one that is often ignored in assessment; temperamental and personality factors. This includes weak socialization, impulsivity, egocentricism and having a taste for risk. The fourth major risk factor is criminal history and other antisocial behavior. Criminal history is a very strong predictor of future behavior. The fifth major risk factor involves family factors, including criminal behavior in the immediate family, and a number of other problems such as low levels of affection, poor parental supervision, and out right neglect and abuse.

The sixth major risk factor includes low levels of personal educational, vocational, and financial achievement. The seventh major risk factor is low levels of involvement in prosocial leisure activities. A participant having too much idle time can be problematic. It may lead to an increased risk of associating with antisocial peers in a similar situation. Filling that idle time may lead to them being involved in more criminal activities. Finally, the eighth risk factor is the abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs. This often allows for the interaction with antisocial peers, impacts social skills, and, in the case of illicit drugs, is illegal in and of itself. The participants social skills and thinking patterns shift focus on how they will be obtaining alcohol or other drugs.

1.8 Principles of Effective Intervention: Need


The need principle tells us what to target for change. More specifically, the need principle states that interventions and programs should target needs that are likely to get a person in to trouble again - those criminogenic factors from the previous slide. Remember that criminogenic need factors are dynamic, meaning that they can change when targeted properly through intervention and treatment.

Participants are not high risk for recidivism because they have one risk or need factor, but rather are high risk because they have multiple risk and need factors. Programs that target only one such need may not produce the desired effects.

1.9 Responsivitiy Principle


The responsivity principle tells us how to target criminogenic needs to ensure that offenders are successful on supervision or in a custodial setting. These are non-criminogenic factors or barriers that may impact the offenders response to interventions. Research has consistently shown that offenders respond differently to treatment strategies and/or to correctional environments. For example, one offender might do well in a group treatment setting, while another offender might do better in individual sessions with their counselor, case manager, or probation officer. It is important to identify key responsivity factors for each offender, as it helps to maximize the benefits of treatment. The next slide will provide an overview of different types of responsivity.

1.10 The Responsivity Principle


In brief, there are two types of responsivity; specific responsivity and general responsivity. General responsivity refers to the fact that interventions based on social learning and cognitive behavioral models are the most effective way to teach people new behaviors regardless of the type of behavior or type of offender - violent offenders, sex offenders, substance abusers, etc. Structured social learning programs teach offenders new skills to replace their antisocial behaviors with prosocial behaviors. Related, cognitive behavioral programs attempt to change offenders patterns of thinking and feeling to subsequently change their behavior and actions. Specific responsivity tells us to match the styles and mode of services to key offender characteristics and learning styles. As the term indicates, these are barriers that may impact the specific or individual offender; in other words, what might be a barrier for one offender, is not necessarily a barrier for another. Examples of specific responsivity, include, but are not limited to, gender, mental health, a lack of transportation and/or childcare, lack of motivation, race or ethnic differences between the offender and particular staff, and other factors that can affect a offenders engagement in a program. This is especially important when working with individuals involved in the criminal justice system because often times their learning styles are different from the general population.

1.11 Assessing Responsivity


Unfortunately, individual responsivity factors are often disregarded in the assessment process. For example, say you have identified the risk and need levels of an offender, but he or she is low functioning. The offender will need accommodations in a program that requires normal functioning, so this factor should be taken into consideration when matching them to a program, group, or staff person. Most general risk and need assessment tools either do not screen for responsivity factors, or do not screen for them in a standardized way. In addition to a general risk and needs assessment tool, correctional agencies and programs should also ensure they are sufficiently assessing for common responsivity concerns. Responsivity involves identifying what is acting as a specific barrier to individual offenders and working with them to remove the barriers to make success on supervision more likely. It is essential to assess for specific responsivity factors. Examples of assessments that measure specific responsivity factors include the WISC-IV (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), a cognitive ability assessment of verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed; the WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), a test designed to measure intelligence in adults and older adolescents; the MMPI-II (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), a psychological test that assesses personality traits and psychopathology; the URICA (University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale), a self reporting tool that is used to measure an individual's readiness to participate in a treatment program; and the TCU CEST (Texas Christian Univeristy Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment), an assessment administered throughout treatment to help inform planning of services and gauge participant changes over time. The TCU CEST measures treatment motiviation, psychological functioning, social functioning, therapeutic engagement and social network support.

1.12 Addressing Responsivity


When you are looking at responsivity factors, there are multiple things to consider. First, just because you have found a program that an offender might need does not mean that you have successfully addressed responsivity. For example, many offenders need to be taught skills for anger management. Even among those who might need such a program, there are some who may not be intellectually capable of understanding some of the tasks required of the program - like thinking reports or differentiating feelings from beliefs. Second, responsivity must be considered on a curriculum basis. For example, the individual who could not understand the anger management program might have less trouble with a cognitive behavioral program that does not focus as much on writing or abstract reasoning. The responsivity concerns for one type of program may not be apparent in another. Third, responsivity traits may or may not also be risk factors, but they are usually static, which either do not change or change very slowly such as age, gender, intelligence, ethnicity and personality. Fourth, failure to consider responsivity may substantially reduce program effectiveness. The next slide will further emphasize this point.

1.13 Recidivism Rates for Parolees Assigned to R&R vs. Those Not Receiving R&R


This graph is the result of an evaluation of Ross & Fabianos Reasoning & Rehabilitation, a cognitive based curriculum which targets offending behavior. The study employed an experimental design whereby 1,155 offenders were randomly assigned to either the treatment group (n = 574) or control group (n = 581). The study found that at the 30-month follow-up, the recidivism rate of parolees participating in the program was only 3% lower than those who did not. These are poor results. However, among those who were best suited to the program, treatment effects were stronger. We see on the right hand side of the slide that among parolees between the ages of 28 and 32, those who participated in the programs had a recidivism rate that was 14 percent lower than those who did not. This study concluded that age was related to dropping out of the program and to program success or failure. Regardless of their reason, program drop outs were significantly more likely to be between the ages of 23 and 27. The authors did not further explore the reason for the differences in age. However, the findings did raise questions concerning the maturity level of the material for older offenders and classroom control strategies for younger offenders. Both groups raise questions concerning motivation levels. The results of this study reflected that older and younger offenders were not as well-suited to the program.

1.14 Addressing Responsivity


Unfortunately, we dont know as much as we would like to know about offender responsivity. Most programs address offender needs in the same way. Offenders are treated as if they are all alike, and programs are implemented in a one-size-fits-all manner. Most program evaluations test whether or not one-size actually did fit-all. They dont test for whether or not the program might have worked better with some types of offenders than others.

1.15 Section 2


Section 2 of this module discusses general responsivity. General responsivity requires using evidence-based correctional and treatment programs to address the criminogenic needs of offenders. Research provides evidence of the approaches that reduce recidivism with most participants. Following the principle of general responsivity suggests that we utilize those approaches that have shown to be effective through research.

1.16 General Responsivity


The responsivity principle tells us how to deliver services. General responsivity defines the type of treatment most likely to improve outcomes. General responsivity states, the more effective approaches to changing participant behavior are behavioral interventions. The most common behavioral approaches used in corrections include: Structured social learning programs where new skills are taught, and behavior and attitudes are reinforced; Cognitive behavioral programs that target attitudes, values, peers, substance use, anger, etc.; and family-based interventions that train family on appropriate behavioral techniques.

Social learning refers to several processes through which individuals acquire attitudes, behavior, or knowledge from the persons around them. Both modeling and operant conditioning appear to play a role in such learning. The social learning approach facilitates the social, interpersonal and cognitive skill enhancements needed to affect changes in attitudes and behaviors associated with criminal behavior. General responsivity is based on the notion that the criminal or juvenile justice and treatment environment should foster trust and embrace small incremental change as a means to achieve more sustained change. A social learning environment can facilitate participant commitment to change. A social learning environment allows the participant to learn new skills, address factors that contribute to criminal behavior, ensure that treatment provides participants with skills to manage risk behaviors, and facilitates decision-making about risky people, places, and things.

It is important to note that curricula based on social learning and cognitive behavioral treatment, or CBT models can be used in almost any setting, including prisons, probation and parole visits, schools, day reporting centers, and in residential and outpatient programs. They are also able to be delivered one-on-one, in groups, or in family-based services. In addition, these programs provide structure for an agency or facility by providing the facilitators with a set format, which includes specific targets for change as well as activities that allow the participant to rehearse and practice new skills. Finally, almost any staff member can be trained to deliver the program. Ultimately, research has demonstrated that if implemented properly, these approaches can substantially reduce recidivism.

Cognitive behavioral strategies often include cognitive self-control, anger management, social perspective taking, moral reasoning, social problem solving, and attitudinal change. Cognitive behavioral programs that include multiple components appear to have the greatest potential for reducing antisocial or violent behavior. Addressing family and peer associate issues upon core treatment conclusion will extend the benefits of this intervention.

1.17 Meet Marty


Here is an example of a person you may encounter while working in corrections. Marty is a 22-year-old male who is on probation due to a drug possession charge. When he was arrested, he admitted to the police officer that he was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. Marty has been on supervision in the past for burglary and aggravated assault. He has a long history of criminal justice involvement, including being incarcerated for one year. Marty has been able to complete supervision in the past, but generally reoffends within six months of being off of supervision. For the most part, Marty does what his probation officer asks, but does not see how being on probation helps him. Marty talks about how no one understands his situation.

Marty dropped out of school in the 9th grade. He has great difficulties reading and writing, and has a history of abuse and foster care placements. The probation officer assigned to work with Marty placed him in a CBT group that will address social skills and thinking patterns. The group is co-ed and has written homework assignments every week. Marty has completed groups in the past, but cannot recall what happened during his group sessions. In addition, he never speaks in the groups because he says he feels out of place.

The probation department has a standard protocol that encourages their probation staff to refer all moderate- to high-risk individuals under supervision to attend CBT. Moreover, most individuals under supervision do quite well in the CBT group sessions. Marty begins to attend his CBT group sessions, but just as in the past, it is reported by the group facilitator that he never speaks and does not do his homework. When Marty tries to tell his probation officer about how he feels, he is told, "Everyone on probation has to participate in group. You never know what you might get out of it if you keep an open mind." Marty hesitantly agrees, leaves the office, and does not attend any future groups.

What could the person working with Marty have done to be more responsive to the specific responsivity issues Marty is presenting? As you will learn in this course, responsivity issues like the ones Marty presents may require a different approach to optimize the likelihood of success. The information in this course will teach you some of the other options you can take with participants such as Marty to address his current behavior and how doing so would have encouraged a much more appropriate match and better outcome.

1.18 Options for Marty


There are a lot factors that have impacted Martys involvement in the criminal justice system. When someone like Marty is on your caseload or in your program, we know there are several different topics that can be the focus of an individual session or contact you have with him; everything from checking in on court conditions, to focusing specifically on his behavior or specific needs he may have. During the contact with Marty, which of the following would be the best to focus on with him based on the last session where he said he feels out of place? The need for Marty to comply with his conditions so he can avoid jail? Or sympathizing with him that the program may not have much to offer, but that he needs to just put in some face time? Or discussing with Marty other options in addressing his current behavior?The need for him to comply with his conditions so that he can avoid jail is not the best option. Using fear has a short-term impact on behavior and it is not effective in the long run. Sympathizing with him that the program may not have much to offer, but that he needs to just put in some face time is also an ineffective strategy. Trying to convince someone like Marty to just go will not bring about behavior change and puts the facilitator or the group in a difficult position of how to address him. The best option is discussing with Marty the reasons why he feels out of place and then problem solving other options for how he can learn the information from the group for addressing his current behavior. By reviewing Martys responsivity factors, the probation officer could have made a more appropriate match that would ultimately help Martys current situation. Try to keep some of Martys factors in mind, as our main focus moving forward in this module will be how to identify and address responsivity factors.

1.19 Cognitive-Behavioral Model


This illustration is an example of the cognitive-behavioral model. It can be thought of as a picture of an iceberg and what we see above the water is the behavior. Behaviors are apparent and observable to others. But where is the bulk of the iceberg? As you can see, the bulk is below the surface-this is where our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes as well as our belief systems lie. Right under the surface or behavior lies our thoughts. Thoughts are the way we interpret situations or how our core beliefs are reflected in specific situations in daily life. Feelings are the emotions or sensations associated with our thoughts. However, under thoughts and feelings, lie attitudes, values, and beliefs. These make up the largest part of the iceberg and also serve as the foundation. Attitudes, values, and beliefs affect the way we think in every situation, which in turn affects our behaviors. While you cannot readily see the thoughts that go into behavioral choices, it is what drives those choices. We have to get below the surface into whats happening in someones head to change behavior.

1.20 Cognitive-Behavioral Model


Lets use Martys example of not attending group.

Not attending group is the behavior (an antisocial behavior) that is observable. However, before Marty actually engaged in this behavior, he had thoughts that supported him not attending group. Example thoughts that are specific to his situation might include: My probation officer knows this wont help me, If I dont go, nothing will happen to me, or What a waste of my time! The feelings associated with these thoughts could be, agitated, determined, and irritated. These thoughts and feelings, while specific to this situation, also reflect core values and beliefs Marty has, such as Probation Officers dont listen to me, Nothing will help me, and Groups are a waste of my time. The key is to uncover the thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs that lead to self-destructive or otherwise harmful behavior. In doing so, work in treatment supervision can center on addressing these core beliefs so that the outcome, or resulting behavior, is modified.

1.21 Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies


With over 40 years of supporting data, Cognitivebehavioral strategies have been found to be most effective when trying to change offender behavior. It is important that CBT programming is structured, that staff adhere to the model, and the model is implemented with fidelity. Structured cognitive-behavioral techniques or tools targeting criminogenic needs include cognitive restructuring through the use of behavior chains or thinking reports, cost-benefit analysis or decisional balance, structured skill building, problem solving techniques and the use of graduated practice techniques.

1.22 Martys Behavior Chain


Lets take a look at an example of cognitive restructuring through the use of a behavior chain by using Martys situation of needing to attend group. What might Marty do in this situation?First we need to look at the situation, or activating event, which is My probation officer told me I have to attend a CBT group. When working with a participant, make sure the behavior chain is in first person to make sure that the participant understands that these would be their real thoughts. Create an environment for the participant to be as honest as possible. You would not want them to make up something they think we want to hear. So based on this situation, what thoughts might Marty have?He may be thinking: I cant do this Whats the point?, Groups dont help me or I am out of place in these groups. What do you think Marty is feeling in this example? Marty might be feeling frustrated, confused, discouraged and stressed. If Marty is having these thoughts and feelings, what is he likely to do?Marty is most likely not going to go to the group. Lets look at both consequences for this choice. What do you think are the possible consequences Marty might face if he does not attend group? Some of the positive consequences could be that Marty wont be embarrassed sitting in group, he will have more free time and he doesnt have to complete homework from these groups. Some of the negative consequences could be that he wont get off probation sooner, he could receive a technical violation from his probation officer and he ultimately could end up going to jail. As you can see, the negative consequences outweigh the positive consequences. As correctional staff, we want to make sure that we are reinforcing positive behavior and providing consequences for negative behavior. The next slide will walk through the same situation, but this time, we will help Marty restructure his thinking patterns.

1.23 Martys Restructured Behavior Chain


We will not change the situation for Marty because Marty cant control that his probation officer told him that he has to attend group. Marty can only control how he will react. So, with this same situation: Marty is being told by his probation officer that he has to attend a CBT group. We have to figure out a way for Marty to recognize the risk he is taking by not attending group. What could he tell himself to at least attend the group?Marty might have thoughts like: This stinks, but it is what it is!, I cant believe hes making me go to group., I dont want to go to jail., and Even though it will be tough, I will do my best. As you see, we left an antisocial thought because while he might be thinking this-because its a realistic thought- Marty might not act on it. If Marty is having these thoughts, what do you think he is feeling in this example?Marty might be feeling accepting, shocked, nervous, and optimistic. If Marty is having these thoughts and feelings, what is he likely to do?Marty will most likely attend group and ask for individual help afterwards. Lets look at both consequences for his alternative choice. What do you think are the possible consequences Marty will have if he attends group and asks for individual help afterwards?Some of the positive consequences could be that he will show his PO that he is taking this seriously, he may learn something new, and he will not face jail time or any technical violations associated with his probation. Some of the negative consequences could be feeling scared and he may struggle and still feel embarrassed asking for help.As you can see, the positive consequences outweigh the negative consequences. With the restructured behavior chain you want to focus on the new and prosocial thoughts to help the Marty change his actions. As correctional staff, we want to make sure that we are reinforcing positive behavior and providing consequences for negative behavior.

1.24 Section 3


Section 3:

Specific ResponsivityIn this section we will discuss offender receptivity in programming and the importance of recognizing specific factors that impact their progress to succeeding while under supervision and upon return to the community.

1.25 Presence of Responsivity Factors by Supervision Level


Cohen and Whetzel completed a study that included 19,753 offenders who were placed on federal supervision. This figure shows when the offenders were separated by risk level, they found that 55% of high risk offenders, 40% of moderate risk offenders and 18% of low risk offenders had responsivity issues that needed to be addressed. Of particular importance is how frequently responsivity barriers are present for this population and what forms they take; no matter the risk level. Items identified included transportation, mental health, physical handicaps, homelessness, poor motivation, history of abuse or neglect, reading and writing limitations, low intelligence, language, interpersonal anxiety, ethnic or cultural barriers, child care, etc.

The variation in identified responsivity factors suggests the need for more training to help corrections professionals identify and respond to appropriate treatment barriers more uniformly. Though responsivity factors are non-criminogenic, they do serve as barriers in a offenders progress in reducing risk. When we properly address responsivity factors we maximize the participants ability to learn from an intervention by providing cognitive behavioral treatment and tailoring the intervention to the learning style, motivation, abilities and strengths of the participant. This figure illustrates that the higher risk a person is, the more responsivity factors they will have that will need to be addressed to help increase the likelihood that risk will be reduced.

1.26 Percent of Participants with Responsivity Issues


Similarly, the findings illustrated here show that high-risk offenders face a multitude of barriers compared to moderate-risk offenders. The concentration of responsivity factors among offenders in the high risk categories underscores the need to promptly provide multiple and tailored interventions for this subset of offenders. Effective supervision should entail a holistic approach where a offenders criminogenic needs and responsivity barriers are addressed simultaneously. Focusing on a high risk offenderss criminogenic needs while neglecting supervision barriers reduces the effectiveness of those interventions. This is because the offenders ability to participate in programs and activities meant to address those needs is compromised by various obstacles such as inadequate transportation or mental health issues.

1.27 Specific Responsivity


In general, when considering specific responsivity factors, you are looking to identify what could be a barrier to a participant and working to manage that barrier to ensure success within their treatment or supervision in general. As an overall rule, it is helpful to structure contact sessions, explain interventions in a concrete way and emphasize how skills relate to every day encounters. You must identify and remove specific barriers that could affect success and utilize cognitive and behavioral strategies to change risky behavior. The responsivity principle emphasizes that treatment programs be delivered in a manner that facilitates the learning of new pro-social skills. As such, it is necessary to match the characteristics of the participants, counselors and programs. If the responsivity principle is not adhered to, treatment programs can fail for individuals, not because they do not have the therapeutic integrity or competent therapists, but because barriers, such as cognitive or intellectual deficits, were not addressed. This prevents the individual from understanding the content of the program. Specific responsivity operates at the individual level. Programs should be tailored based on the factors embedded in the risks, needs, psychosocial functioning and the strengths and limitations of the individuals practical barriers. Tailoring is essential because the same interventions are not equally effective for all types of participants. At the individual level, the emphasis is more on how to facilitate a commitment to change, understand the steps to change, and foster the ability to integrate them into his/her daily life. This is generally measured by the likelihood that an individual will initiate, engage and complete a program.

1.28 Internal Versus External Factors


Factors that interfere with learning can be broken down into internal and external responsivity factors. Internal factors refer to individual participant characteristics like depression, self-esteem, and poor social skills; inadequate problem solving skills; or demographic variables like age and gender. Consideration of specific responsivity factors, like ethnicity, cognitive abilities, and life experiences, may prove to be important for some types of treatment. This is because they contribute to the participants engagement in treatment and the development of a collaborative alliance. For instance, female participants score significantly lower than male participants on measures of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Ignoring those issues may significantly hinder participants compliance with treatment or independent practice of concepts taught. Failure to consider these factors may contribute to inaccurate assessment of the motivation and readiness of individuals referred for treatment. External factors refer to counselor or staff characteristics or other outside elements. For example, some staff or counselors may work better with participants with some of the noted internal factors, but not all. Settings like being in an institution versus community, and individual versus a group, or treatment modality are external factors. It is important to understand that external factors may not impact responsivity, but rather those staff characteristics or setting characteristics interact with participant characteristics to affect responsivity either positively or negatively. We will discuss external factors in further detail in the next section.

1.29 Training


The responsivity principle applies to, and incorporates, issues at the management level of an organization. Agency leaders need to be dedicated to recruiting, training, and retaining skilled providers to implement supervision services and treatment programs. Agency leaders must also be committed to providing the resources and supervision needed to operate a quality agency or program. Training needs to address the inherent challenges in building relationships with high-risk and difficult individuals who are often hostile, defensive, and resistant. Another training consideration involves addressing staff burnout. Staff burnout is an issue that many workplaces are facing today. Burnout is brought on by long term workplace stressors and it can cause increased absenteeism and turnover rates, as well as, decreased productivity within your organization. Here we might see staff members just going through the motions of their job duties and they may start cutting corners in order to accomplish a task. For example, various agencies across the country have reported that staff experiencing burnout have ended group early, thus reducing dosage, have played videos and movies to teach key points versus using the structured curriculum, and have not provided detailed feedback to participants on homework or other program related tasks. Training should combine both individual- and organization-directed interventions to target burnout. Individual-directed interventions target an employee's coping skills in an effort to make them more resilient to work place stressors. Organization-directed interventions take into consideration the impact that work environment has on employees. Taking a comprehensive approach addresses the problem from all angles, which is more effective than focusing on only one aspect of the problem. If the organizational culture is modified to combat current employee burnout symptoms, you will also reduce the risk of employees burning out in the future. Thus, increased program effectiveness and lowered recidivism rates.Staff should be assigned to programming or groups based on their skills, experience, education, or training. For example, a staff member licensed in chemical dependency would be best suited to facilitate a substance abuse group. Remember from a fidelity standpoint, any intervention that has a powerful potential for growth almost always has an equal potential for damage if poorly conducted. In other words, a poorly facilitated group does more damage than not having the group at all.

1.30 Treatment Matching


Treatment matching strategies generally aim to assign individuals to program that can achieve the desired outcome through the least-restrictive setting and resource intensity. Treatment matching does not require a single-target intervention; rather it refers to placing an individual in a program consistent with his or her risk and needs factors. Attempts should be made to match staff and participants based on some responsivity factors. For example, an individual with mental health issues should be matched to staff that have credentials and the skills to appropriately manage these cases. Attempts should also be made to assign individuals to groups or services that match up best with the style of learning and other responsivity factors. For instance, a participant with identified mental health problems is matched to a specialized group, or a low functioning individual might be placed in a highly structured group. Conversely, a highly anxious person should not be placed in a highly confrontational group. It makes good sense to try to identify group facilitators who can identify and empathize with group members. Sometimes the match works, sometimes it does not. In community corrections agencies where there are multiple supervision officers, it may be possible to consider the respective characteristics of supervision staff and individuals under supervision when making caseload assignments. However, if it is a small agency with few staff, this type of matching may not be feasible. In those instances, it is important for the supervising officer to be able to recognize the responsivity factors and try to adapt their style of working with the individual to accommodate different personalities. Matching of clients to treatment counselors and counselors to groups that best match their skills, can improve the effectiveness of correctional intervention. Failure to appropriately assess and consider responsivity factors may not only undermine treatment goals and waste treatment resources, but also may decrease public safety.

1.31 Programming Intensity


A responsive system must have programming that varies along a continuum, in regards to intensity and target of programming. Program intensity refers to a combination of dosage, typically measured as total hours of programming focused on reducing criminogenic needs, frequency of program contact, program setting and the degree of intervention needed to bring about the desired change.Clients should be placed in programs based on their risk level, with programming addressing factors that contribute to criminal behavior. Treatment matching will improve system outcomes by ensuring that participants are offered services based on the criminogenic needs. Higher risk individuals should receive the highest intensity or duration of service. This includes additional groups, more targets for change, groups that meet more often, additional role-playing or therapeutic activities, and more or longer supervision or duration of programming.The system should offer a broad array of programming that targets various problem severities found in the risk-needs profile of individuals. At a minimum, programs addressing the following criminogenic needs should be provided: substance abuse, criminal thinking, criminal lifestyle, social and interpersonal skill development, and anger management. Case management services should accompany treatment programming to ensure that supervision is addressing potential factors that negatively affect responsivity and participation in treatment. Case management services are needed to address instability in housing, mental health functionality, and other factors.

1.32 Goals


Concerning responsivity, the goal is to optimize the clients learning of new thoughts and behaviors. Adherence to the responsivity principle requires the following two considerations. First, know the individuals attributes that limit and/or facilitate their learning style. Some attributes may be a mix of factors. An example of this would be a client for which English is his/her second language and they cannot read, write, or speak it very well. Second, create an optimal environment conducive to learning. Learning in this context is very broad; it is the acquisition of knowledge and skills. The person working with the participant creates the environment through his or her skills, language, and intervention activities that encourages engagement in the learning activities, promoting efficient and effective learning. The heart of the responsivity principle is in the environment created by those providing services. It is not just any environment; it is a learning environment, a place where change is promoted and initiated.

1.33 Section 4


Section 4:

Staff Responsivity. As corrections professionals, what we do can affect responsivity either positively or negatively. There are many external factors that may serve as potential barriers for clients such as being on waiting lists for programs, limited number of qualified staff necessary for one-to-one contact, and limited ability to offer an entire array of treatment programs. This section highlights the importance of environmental considerations, the alliance between staff and participant, and individual goal setting with the client.

1.34 Environment


Environment, or the program philosophy and climate, is a key factor created by the service provider. Community providers or probation departments assign services to match participant style of learning, provide for individualized attention, schedule appointments when convenient and meet other responsivity factors in an effort to increase participant engagement in services. Specific behavioral indicators of treatment engagement are evidenced by lower attrition rates, increased program attendance, participant involvement in rehabilitative activities like role-plays or homework assignments, and acknowledgement of personal benefits from the services received. A conducive learning environment begins with the engagement of the participant.Additionally, an indication of a responsive environment is the provision of opportunities to practice what is being taught to the participant. Learning may be observed by reviewing key concepts relevant to the individuals life and circumstances, utilization of the skills in role play exercises, and encouragement to use skills in real life situations outside of the treatment environment. The learning should be relevant to the negotiated treatment goals and targets. They may include skills required to address criminogenic needs, enhance strengths, and even increasing the use of community and personal resources. When we focus only on services that are designed to lower risk of recidivism, but fail to design programs with responsivity in mind we miss an opportunity to truly engage the participant. This failure to engage results in poor compliance with services, reduced comprehension and application of the concepts taught, and ultimately, missed opportunities to lower recidivism.In summary, programs are most effective when they are responsive to the individual clients, including strategies to engage the learner by the methods of delivery, availability of services, and addressing specific concerns voiced by individuals. These programs should also provide ample opportunities to practice learned skills, a task accomplished in either the group or office setting, as well as through the assignment of homework to utilize the skills in a spontaneous way.

1.35 Collaborative Alliance


As previously discussed, the learning environment assists in supporting engagement and learning. Collaboration is essential in the development of a positive working relationship between client and staff. Research continually supports the importance of this relationship, distinct from the intervention techniques. Skeem and colleagues found the alliance to have a substantial association with offender resistance, motivation, cooperation, and compliance with supervision conditions - what can be considered as primary responsivity outcomes. The focus of responsivity research can be directed to identifying the skills and activities that are required to build and strengthen alliance such as listening, empathy, and firm but fair approaches. Creating and maintaining a collaborative relationship appears to be another general practical guideline to creating responsive environments for an individual.As with any clinical intervention, therapeutic process variables, or characterizations of therapist-client interactions, influence the efficacy of outcome and are considered responsivity factors. For instance, the quality of the alliance and the personal qualities of the provider may hinder treatment progress, thereby, indirectly increasing the risk for reoffending. So what you do, or do not do, as a corrections professional has an impact on your clients future and the safety of the community.

1.36 Change Takes Time


Being responsive to criminogenic needs is an ongoing process and can never be addressed and resolved in one contact. Change takes time. It took individuals who are now under supervision years to develop the behaviors that are currently problematic, so it will take time to undo those behaviors and learn new ways of responding to various triggers. A responsivity factor that can impact motivation is the number of goals set for an individual. Think back to when you were in school and you heard about all of the projects you were required to complete. It was a bit overwhelming then, wasnt it? The same can be said for the clients we work with. Setting too many case management goals at one time may be overwhelming. Some clients may have limited ability to handle multiple goals due to a number of factors such as motivation, learning disabilities, or maturity level. If they feel like they have too much on their plate at once, their motivation level will be impacted. In reality, its the use of one approach multiple times that has the most effect.

1.37 Change is Sequential


Change is viewed as a sequential process, where a participant moves from being unaware of problematic behavior to desiring change and accepting a plan to create and maintain it. As such, interventions addressing realistic life goals and personal identity could be sequenced while addressing criminogenic needs. In order for an offender to change antisocial behavior, the goals they aim to achieve must be pro-social and unrelated to offending. With realistic life goals that can be identified, prioritized, and addressed by treatment programs, motivation levels are more likely to remain high, and treatment is more likely to be effective.

1.38 Section 5


Section 5 : Participant Characteristics and ResponsivityEveryone has variables that enhance or detract them from their focus or learning. Everyone has an element that impairs us from accomplishing a task. Think about your life for a second. How do you get your best work completed? Do you need background noise, like television or music or do you need complete silence in order to accomplish different tasks? What about your physical location? Are you able to work better in an office setting or at home? These are just a few things to consider in your professional setting. Now, think of the different things that may prohibit an individual from progress while being incarcerated, under supervision in the community, or in a treatment program.We are going to look at some of these characteristics in more detail, particularly those responsivity factors that show up most frequently in the literature on offender intervention. Keep in mind that each one of these could be an entire module, or college course! If we were to list these factors out, the list could be endless, so we will focus on key factors. The factors we will focus on include age, intelligence, gender, ethnicity, motivation, and personality. We will also discuss strategies and techniques that you can use for addressing these specific factors.

1.39 Age


The age of an individual can have an impact on his or her ability to commit and work towards changing behavior. Specific responsivity concerning age may also include developmental issues and challenges. Age is clearly linked to offending or reoffending rates with the well-recognized crime curve. The crime curve shows that crimes are most prevalent during mid to late adolescence and decline in adulthood. In fact, offending declines with age for all offenses. A challenge that exists with younger clients is their desire to fit in and to be well liked, while lacking coping skills. This can have an impact on their thought process, their selection of associates and, ultimately, their behavior. Age is complicated by emotional maturity, which plays a major role in influencing the attitudes and values of an individual. Emotional maturity refers to ones ability to understand and manage emotions. Younger clients typically have a difficult time reaching this maturity due to a lack of life experiences.

1.40 Strategies for Addressing Age Responsivity Factors


The early onset of offending behavior is based on unfavorable environmental factors. The number and degree of such factors will positively correlate with the length of the criminal career or offending trajectory. If they are a prosocial factor, include a family member during the case planning process to increase continued support and monitoring of the participant. Also, when making referrals look for opportunities to increase exposure to new age appropriate pro-social peers. These people may help reduce the clients likelihood of exposure to influential risk factors. Another strategy for addressing responsivity factors associated with age comes with appropriate program placement. Ensure that referrals to programs provide age-appropriate social skills for the participant to manage his or her own behavior without the assistance of staff. The notion of intervention is that antisocial learning or failure to learn social norms can be addressed. What is learned can be unlearned and what has never been learned can be taught.

1.41 Gender


The research has supported that risk and need assessments are gender neutral and applicable to both men and women. The same is true for treatment programming. There is a significant amount of research indicating that the pathway to criminal activity for females is different than it is for males. Women have some additional needs and responsivity factors that need to be considered. As a result of these differences, treatment programs have been developed to address the unique needs of women. For example, the curriculum Moving On is a program that provides women with alternatives to criminal activity by helping them to identify and mobilize personal and community resources. Programs that conduct co-ed groups are not conducive for change and not effective in reducing recidivism for both men and women, especially for women. Numerous studies have identified that gender specific groups are more effective. Van Voorhis and colleagues identified several additional factors that might be included in assessments to tailor them for women, including scales pertaining to relationships, depression, parental issues, self-esteem, self-efficacy, trauma and victimization. The study finds that parental stress, self-esteem and self-efficacy, family support and educational assets may be important to consider. Along with the other main criminogenic needs, women may need more services to address parental stress, family support, self-esteem and self-efficacy, substance abuse and trauma.Let's use an example of both female and male participants in a treatment class for substance abuse. Traditionally, women are more likely to use substances by self-medicating as a response to negative emotions, while men tend to use substances socially in recreational settings. As such, there are some treatment barriers that occur more frequently with women than with men; such as child care, poverty, underemployment, or low self-esteem. Accommodating such considerations is the essence of attending to responsivity. Staff should be cognizant of the particular types of responsivity factors and other such stressors associated with female clients so that supervision interventions can be tailored accordingly.

1.42 Strategies for Addressing Gender Responsivity Factors


There are many strategies available for addressing gender responsive factors. First, it is important to acknowledge that gender makes a difference when you are making referrals to different agencies. Remember, a one-size fits all approach to treatment and supervision is not an effective strategy. Second, develop policies, practices and programs that are relational and promote healthy connections to children, family, significant others and the community. The Moving On curriculum is an example of an intervention program that draws from evidence-based treatment models and provides at-risk women with alternatives to criminal activities by helping them identify and mobilize personal and community resources. Next, allocate resources within both community and institutional correction programs for comprehensive, integrated services that focus on the economic, social, and treatment needs of women. This is important in helping develop the capacity to be self-sufficient upon return to the community. Lastly, recruit and train personnel and volunteers who have both the interest and the qualifications needed for working with women under criminal justice supervision.

1.43 Ethnicity/Race/Culture


Why should programs strive to accommodate racial and ethnic diversity? There are many reasons. Race or ethnicity may affect an individuals level of acceptance from treatment providers and criminal justice officials. For instance, if there are perceptions of unfairness within the criminal justice system, or institutional racism, and an individual feels they are being targeted or discriminated against due to race this can create a major barrier. Another example that may create a barrier could be labels associated by calling someone a criminal or substance abuser. In many situations, association with a particular club or team, having a specific job title, or where you live may create labels that may be beneficial to a persons outlook on life. Conversely, in correctional settings one may grapple with the shame and stigma of being labeled a criminal and the fear of facing extensive incarceration may generate potential responsivity barriers that would need to be addressed.In some instances, families want to deal with their problems behind closed doors without involving external resources such as family assistance, parenting programs, or family therapy to address issues. For example, some families may be resistant to seeking treatment services for their youths mental health issues, including services in their own cultural community, because of associated humiliation and the fear of hurting their familys reputation.Varied styles of communication could create a barrier between client and staff. Lets consider what obstacles can stand in the way of effective communication: information overload, emotional disconnects, semantics, differences in understanding, and biased language. To enhance the probability of effective communication, staff should engage in active listening by giving ones full attention, and checking for understanding by repeating back the essence of the message.Depending on where the client resides, resources may or may not be available to support change for that person. For example, lets say we have a youth that needs to attend a group and its not accessible in their neighborhood, there is a good chance he or she may not seek out group elsewhere and choose to not attend. Finally, receptivity to therapy is another factor that should be considered. If you have a client who is not receptive to treatment techniques being offered, you will be unable to make any progress in decreasing their likelihood of future criminal behavior.

1.44 Strategies for Addressing Ethnicity/Race/Culture Responsivity Factors


An individuals race, ethnicity, and/or cultural background can also influence how responsive she or he will be to certain situations, services, and interventions. For example, if a persons culture places a strong emphasis on the importance of the opinions and perceptions of their family before making decisions, you would need to acknowledge this and encourage family members to be present and have a voice in decisions. Wanberg and Milkman found that for many African-Americans, change is strengthened and reinforced when abstinence from drug use is associated with a strong sense of cultural pride. The family plays a role of central importance to the Hispanic culture. Hispanics are more likely to seek advice from trusted family and community members than service professionals. Ignoring family as a resource limits the options available to Hispanic clients.Some individuals under supervision or in treatment may feel as if they are being singled out and picked on because of their race or ethnic background. This can also have an effect on the relationship with the supervising officer or treatment provider and the change process. Therefore, staff need to educate themselves about the population they work with, and recognize potential differences and work within them, where possible.

1.45 Intelligence/Cognitive Abilities


If you recall, Marty, has completed groups in the past, but could not retain what happened during his group sessions. Marty felt out of place and uncomfortable, therefore, this wasnt a conducive environment of change for him. Individuals with limited cognitive or interpersonal skill sets (including those with low levels of interpersonal maturity or persons with IQ scores under 80) should not be assigned to modes of service that are too complex. These deficits impact the ability of an individual to retain, let alone understand, the material accessed in treatment. An individuals ability to think and process information is a large part of changing ones behavior. Many of the behavior-changing interventions involve reflection on behavior and writing about it. However, individuals that have difficulties with self-reflection or with expressing themselves in writing may need special accommodations within the program that meets their abilities and/or learning style. For example, a lot of cognitive programs require treatment staff to teach participants to distinguish the difference between thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs. Once they have identified these, they are required to link their thought process to behaviors or real-life scenarios. This activity requires some skills related to abstract thinking and may be too advanced for lower functioning individuals. Participants may act out in group due to their frustration and embarrassment and may be kicked out of the group due to their disruptive behavior. Low functioning individuals are not appropriate for these programs. Instead, clients with these deficits should be placed in more skills based programs. Similar to mental health disorders or co-occurring disorders, awareness of intellectual deficiencies requires programming to be tailored to the population. For example, going through skill development at a slower pace and repetitive presentation of skills may be necessary, since learning new skills is a slower process that requires many reinforcements.

1.46 Strategies Addressing Intelligence/Cognitive Abilities Responsivity Factors


When working with an individual who may have limited cognitive or interpersonal skill sets there are some approaches you can take to address these barriers. For example, if the client struggles in an educational setting, place this participant on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to address education barriers. The IEP is meant to address unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. This information can be passed on to the supervising officer or treatment provider to help better understand the clients areas of strengths and weaknesses. If an activity is too complex, the individual will not retain and utilize the skill in future situations. To increase understanding, break the skill into small steps. This may require a lot of repetition and a lot more practice to commit skills to memory. Use simple words or graphics that the participant may be able to recognize and understand. For tougher situations, use multiple and relateable examples to help the client recognize the importance of the skill being taught. Make sure you teach one skill at a time to avoid overwhelming the participant with too many concepts.

1.47 Reading Comprehension


Reading comprehension and literacy is often assessed with cognitive abilities, but may be overlooked. This was another barrier Marty encountered when he was in his CBT groups. Marty has difficulties reading and writing; thus, adding to his continued reluctance of attending group to avoid potential embarrassment in front of others. Generally, individuals have found ways to try and compensate or hide her or his low literacy rate and/or poor reading comprehension skills. An individual that is struggling with worksheets may not necessarily be resistant to the exercise. It is easier for many individuals to act out and be the troublemaker or class-clown than to admit to their literacy issues. So in Martys case, he simply chose not to attend group.

1.48 Strategies Addressing Reading Comprehension Responsivity Factors


A way to assess comprehension and literacy could be done during an individual meeting by asking individuals on your caseload to read to you the directions of a case plan assignment. This isnt enough to test comprehension. To fully assess comprehension, you need to ask the individual the meaning of what she or he just read. To ease anxiety, you would not have the participant read this in front of others. Asking things like, what do you visualize yourself doing when you read this or tell me a little bit what that means to you will help you gauge comprehension level. It is important to stop people every few minutes to ask these types of questions, rather than waiting until they read the whole document. Just because someone has the capability to read something to you does not mean they are able to comprehend and internalize what is being asked of them. That would be like agreeing to the terms and conditions of a contract without fully reading through it. Without fully comprehending what is expected of you puts you at risk for breach of contract and that could lead you to a series of unfortunate events. Other ways to address this responsivity issue include not directly asking for people to read in group, but asking for volunteers to read, provide additional support on written assignments, and limit assignments to spoken ones.

1.49 Motivation


Often, one approaches their work with individuals in the juvenile or criminal justice system as if they have accepted that they have a problem and are ready to change their behavior. In reality, in our professional experience, this is extremely rare. How many times have you heard a client say, Im here, I dont want to be here, they are making me? When we hear statements like this, it is imperative that you consider the individuals motivation level before you begin assigning him or her to interventions or developing a case plan. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include: does the client have any self-awareness that he or she has a problem that needs to be treated or do they recognize that negative consequences are likely if they continue without change? What resources are available to support whatever motivation might be present?Responsivity helps staff promote participant engagement and learning more efficiently and effectively. One often associates someones willingness to change as a fixed trait; they are either motivated or unmotivated, when in reality, motivation is related to the task at hand. For example, you may have an individual motivated to find a job but not motivated to attend anger management. As a corrections professional there are strategies you can use in order to increase motivation. One technique is through the use of motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a style of interaction that utilizes specific skills and strategies designed to create an environment that has been shown to increase motivation. Motivational interviewing provides guidance on some ways to help create an optimal learning environment. It specifies the correctional professionals stance and role while interacting with a client. The main goals of a provider using motivational interviewing are to establish rapport, elicit change talk and to establish commitment language. By accomplishing these goals, we are able to continue building a collaborative relationship with our clients that is supportive and conducive to change. For further information about motivational interviewing, a list of resources, training offerings, and materials are available at

1.50 Strategies for Addressing Motivation Responsivity Factors


When a client first enters a treatment program or are placed on supervision, they have different motivation and readiness levels. We know some participants want to change, and some have no interest at all in changing. In fact, an individual can literally talk themselves in and out of change; hence, supervising officers and treatment providers can learn to recognize the kind of talk that leads to change. Effective treatment programs need to identify and account for individual differences in motivational and readiness levels. Programs should create and develop front-end, pre-treatment programs to address motivation factors within the population. Corrections professionals can help increase motivation to make positive changes that will reduce the likelihood of reoffending. A technique that could be used is the Cost-Benefit Analysis; which will be demonstrated on the next slide.

1.51 Martys Cost Benefit Analysis


Lets revisit Martys situation with regard to his motivation to not only attend a CBT group, but also, participate. As you recall, he is very apprehensive about attending and participating while in group. Lets complete a Cost Benefit Analysis together so you can see how it works with Marty. Starting with the first quadrant, what are the short-term positive consequences of Marty participating in treatment? Some benefits include: I am on a good path to a healthy lifestyle; I wont get in trouble; my probation officer gets off my back.Now lets look at the short term negative consequences of deciding not to participate in treatment. Potential answers could be: I have to do homework; It takes up part of my day; I have to deal with other people.Next, what are the long-term negative consequences of participating in treatment? Responses could include: I am away from my family and friends, I cant do what I want, Change is hard and I might fail.Moving on to the last empty box. What are the long-term positive consequences of participating in treatment? Answers may include: I could get off probation/parole sooner, my family will finally be proud of me, I will learn skills that keep me out of jailAs you can see, the long-term positive consequences outweigh the short-term negative consequences. We want to assist Marty in seeing the long-term benefits for him and others by continuing to participate in treatment.

1.52 Stages of Change


Prochaska and DiClementes work on Stages of Change provides a framework for understanding how to recognize and respond appropriately based on an individuals motivation or readiness to change. Individuals in the precontemplation stage do not recognize their behavior as problematic. This means that the individual is not thinking about changing a specific behavior like drinking. More often than not, this is the stage when an individual is first placed under supervision. These substance abusers do not know they have a problem or they may blame their problem on others. They are not ready to begin treatment and they present treatment professionals with the task of raising awareness of how their behavior is putting them at risk for additional unwanted consequences.When someone enters the contemplation stage, they begin to recognize the existence of a problem, maybe after some sort of crisis, and are attempting to fathom the difficulties of change. Ambivalence is the best word to describe how someone reacts in the contemplation stage. The individual can think about changing, but has many reasons to maintain the status quo. In other words, the individual feels two ways about it. When someone is in the contemplation stage, if you side too much with his/her expressed desire to change like cutting down on drinking, you may inadvertently push the individual to argue the other side like I like to have fun with my buddies. It is important to stay in the middle of the ambivalence by reflecting that you hear both sides of what the individual is feeling. That is how you increase the ambivalence. The individual cannot hold onto two contradictory thoughts at the same time. As discrepancy increases between the targeted behavior and other more important values or goals, they are moving towards resolving the ambivalence. The third stage is preparation. Here, individuals have resigned to the need to change and have decided to proceed with treatment, abstinence, and other aspects of the change process. The individual shows commitment to change and has taken action to change. In this stage, the scales have tipped. You will hear comments that show commitment to change. There is a window of opportunity because if the person takes some action to change, the process continues. If not, the person slips back into contemplation. It might sound something like this: I've got to do something about this problem. This is getting serious. Something has got to change. But how can I change?The fourth stage is action. Here the individual has been involved in the change process long enough to notice benefits and commits to a continuation of the process. This stage is what most people think of as treatment. During this stage the person engages in specific actions to bring about a change. With an individual in the action stage, setting short-term goals and tasks toward reaching the overall goals is important. Short-term accomplishments help to shore up the individuals belief in his ability to live a healthy life. The fifth stage is maintenance, where the change process has proceeded for a sufficient amount of time so that lifestyle changes have been made. The individual is committed to change. Maintaining change over the long haul is different than the initial phases of abstinence. Just the same, participants do not want to return to the prior behavior, and some never do. During the maintenance stage, the main objective is to help the individual maintain their new behavior and prevent relapse. It generally takes about six months for behavior change to take hold. Keep in mind: no matter how long someone has remained stable in his or her new behavior pattern, there is always the chance that he or she may relapse.This brings us to relapse stage. If a relapse occurs, the task of treatment is to get the individual back to the change process as soon as possible. Otherwise confidence and commitment begins to diminish. Relapse is the stage of change that takes into account that there might be times when old behaviors emerge. The important response when someone relapses is to avoid demoralization. Often, the individual feels bad about the relapse and may feel like they are starting all over again. It is important to note that in relapse, people do not necessarily go back to precontemplation. Generally, they return to the contemplation, preparation, or action stage.

1.53 Mental Health


Many of the individuals under supervision struggle with mental health issues. You may remember that mental health concerns are not listed among the eight criminogenic needs discussed earlier in this module. Clients in the justice system suffer from mental health disorders at rates at least two times greater than the general population; however, having a mental illness does not place these individuals at a higher risk of recidivism. The presence of a mental health condition is not a direct predictor of criminal conduct, but mental health functioning does impact increases in technical violations. Mental health functioning may negatively impact the performance of a participant in programs and can increase risk for technical violations due to failure to complete conditions and mandated treatments. Just as female participants have unique characteristics relevant to the responsivity principal, so too, mentally ill participants have unique characteristics.Mentally ill persons are overrepresented in jails and prisons and commonly have multiple diagnoses. The mentally ill are likely to be referred for treatment, yet significant issues, such as mental impairment and personal distress, may interfere with the efficacy of treatment. Stabilization of mental health symptoms is something to consider when developing supervision strategies with individuals to increase their chance of success. The degree of mental illness severity and symptom management will inform the appropriateness of a referral for a typical service in the community or specialized services designed for the mentally ill client. In either case, it is important that the provider understand both the principles of effective intervention and the treatment of mental illness.

1.54 Strategies for Addressing Mental Health Responsivity Factors


The risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model has relevance to offenders with mental illness given that the major risk factors for general and violent recidivism are typically the same for offenders with or without mental illness. Assessment of clients with mental illness should be done at each point of contact. From a responsivity perspective, addressing mental health issues within the context of supervision is important to the adherence to conditions like stable living arrangements, employment or structured free time, regular attendance at required appointments and reductions of emotional symptoms. Screening clients for mental health concerns identifies those who are at risk for injuring themselves or others, determines whether a client is capable of functioning in a correctional setting or if the client should be transferred to a mental health facility, and whether the individual can benefit from treatment.Another strategy involves making referrals for a mental health evaluation to obtain proper medication to stabilize a participant. Medication compliance is a relevant goal in working with a mentally ill client. Medication alone will not lower recidivism, but without a reduction in mental illness symptoms, theres limited capacity to live prosocially. The degree of mental illness severity and symptom management will inform the appropriateness of a referral for a typical service in the community or specialized services designed for the mentally ill client. It has been further recommended staff be trained on recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness as mental health screenings are not always available. In either case, it is important that the provider understand both the principles of effective intervention and the treatment of mental illness. When the majority of interventions are dedicated to addressing mental health and you neglect to address criminogenic factors, you limit the ability of the program to reduce the risk of future criminal behavior in individuals with mental illness.

1.55 Homeless or Unstable Housing


Housing status does not directly predict recidivism, but instability in housing makes it more difficult to comply with conditions and attend programming. Focusing on finding housing may affect other daily decisions and serves as a higher priority for the homeless person than community supervision conditions. A study by Hipp and colleagues determined that parolees who live within two miles of treatment agencies are less likely to recidivate than those who do not have easy access to treatment services. Addressing housing needs may improve an individuals performance in community supervision and within community-based treatment. Studies find a reduction in alcohol consumption and other negative behaviors to be associated with having a stable place to live. This could be related to the individual not being stressed to find housing. However, living in certain areas increases the likelihood of recidivism due to the concentration of antisocial others and antisocial activities in certain communities. Protective factors related to community are the ease of access to treatment services, prosocial support and leisure resources, and employment opportunities. The ease of access varies to some extent, depending on the region where the persons live, the supervision they receive, and their income.

1.56 Strategies for Addressing Homelessness or Unstable Housing Responsivity Factors


Treatment providers or supervising officers can take different approaches to address homelessness or unstable housing prior to a participant leaving a treatment program. A treatment provider or supervising officer should make a referral for housing services. This can be done by researching various group homes or transitional living locations in the area that may be able to provide additional assistance to a client. If an individual is required to attend continuing care or to attend various appointments, finding treatment close to where they live will benefit that person because they will be more likely to attend. They will also be able to save money if they are able to walk to these appointments, rather than paying for public transportation or a friend or family member to get them there. If an individual resides in an area that is not safe, traveling and meeting in a safe setting could be another option. This will allow the service provider and supervising officer to continue to provide services while relieving the anxiety for the individual. In some instances, the use of a phone, Skype, or FaceTime can serve as an alternative to face-to-face meetings. This technology can be used as needed and allows continued contact between client and staff.

1.57 Other Responsivity Considerations


At this point, we have focused on what research has consistently found to be the recurring specific responsivity factors with offenders. By now you have probably gathered that there are many responsivity factors other than the ones we have discussed. It's likely you could come up with hundreds of responsivity factors you have encountered with your clients. Factors like transportation issues, history of abuse and neglect, child care, physical health problems, no formal identification or license, gang affiliation and language comprehension, ability to pay for services, and so on can be a little overwhelming, but responsivity factors are just barriers or things that slow us down from achieving our goal. Once we address these factors and overcome these responsivity barriers with our clients, they are more likely to be successful on supervision or in treatment.

1.58 Offense Specific Responsivity


It is not uncommon for individuals to be placed in correctional treatment programs based on their criminal charge, which does not necessarily speak to the extent or severity of their personal involvement in the crime. For instance, if a drug-related charge is the only criterion for admission to a substance abuse treatment program, there will be no differentiation between a drug addict and a drug dealer or between a first-time user and a long-term addict. However, these distinctions have ramifications for the responsivity principle, by virtue of motivation for and receptivity to treatment. Certain offenses have behaviors that require inclusion as part of specific responsivity guidelines. When an individuals criminal behavior is largely related to their use of substances, the type of drug an individual uses should be considered during the placement process. The intermediate goals for this participant might include quitting that substance, decreasing frequency of use, attending the next meeting, or doing the next homework assignment. Those participants who are mainly involved in drug-trafficking activities should be placed in programs that address thought or lifestyle patterns that evolve to selling drugs.Many sex offenders must be registered by law, which should be incorporated into programming. In sex offender treatment programs, shame and embarrassment of the crime are examples of responsivity factors that are likely to impact the degree to which offenders are engaged in and responsive to treatment. Shame and embarrassment of the sex offense crime reduces the likelihood for them to benefit from a typical treatment group with a variety of offender types.For violent offenders, aggression and callousness may need to be addressed in specialized programming that deals with control-related issues. For domestic violence offenders, intimate partner violence programs may need to incorporate restraining orders or programming for either perpetrators or victims. Drunk drivers may need attention to responsible driving, use of restraints such as interlock systems, and emphasis on responsibility as well as alcohol treatment. Adding offense-specific factors into programming will enhance the tailoring by making it consistent with the law and known offense-specific behaviors.

1.59 Section 5


Section 6: Applying and measuring ConceptsThus far, we have thoroughly discussed responsivity factors and strategies to consider while addressing internal and external factors individuals encounter. Section 6 of this module focuses on applying and measuring these concepts in everyday use.

1.60 Measuring Participant Responsivity


Simply relying on a clients report of how much he or she benefited from treatment is insufficient. You may hear things like Ive made it this far or Ive got this under control. In a similar manner, program completion may not provide us with any additional information in terms of how likely the individual is to effectively manage their risk. Upon completion of a program, our goal is for our client to be competent and feel confident with the acquisition of the various tools we have taught them. Staff should be watchful when individuals appear to be overconfident in their abilities with basic concepts; this is where we want to incorporate graduated practice. Graduated practice allows the facilitator to gradually raise the level of difficulty with an individual in the group or appointment as their skills improve. For example, a group member who is confident and competent in their use of skills in core programming then would be given an opportunity for increased challenge. This would be done through the selection of more challenging scenarios and increasing the degree of difficulty in the role play. The responsivity principle should be a component of the quality assurance measures gathered by an agency. Some possible measures could be participant knowledge of program content; skill acquisition; individual and group disclosure; confidence in their ability to apply what they have learned; transfer and generalization of the skills to real life situations learned through discussion with collateral contact; attendance; individual performance during services; and their view of the staff and services provided through client satisfaction surveys. These measures would provide an indicate of the degree of success in delivering services in a responsive manner.

1.61 Reexamining Marty


Now that we have addressed, in great detail, the numerous aspects related to the principles of effective intervention; lets reexamine Martys situation. Marty is a 22-year-old male who is on probation due to a drug possession charge. At the time of his arrest he was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. He has a long history of criminal justice involvement. Marty has been able to complete supervision in the past, but generally reoffends within six months of being off of supervision. Marty does not see how probation helps him and feels no one understands his situations.He dropped out of school in the 9th grade. Marty has difficulties reading and writing, and has a history of abuse and foster care placements. Martys probation officer made a referral for Marty to attend a co-ed CBT group that will address social skills and thinking patterns. This particular group has written homework assignments every week. Marty has completed groups in the past, but cannot recall what happened during sessions. In his file, the group facilitator reports Marty never speaks in group and when he is addressed about this, he states he feels out of place.Marty begins to attend his CBT group sessions, but just as in the past, it is reported by the group facilitator that he never speaks and does not do his homework. Once the probation officer received this information, he confronted Marty during their bi-weekly session. Marty tries to tell his probation officer about how he feels, but is told, Just go; it cant hurt. You never know what you might get out of it. Marty hesitantly agrees, leaves the office, and does not attend any future groups.

1.62 Planning for Marty


Throughout this module, we have identified the eight major risk factors that are correlates of criminal conduct and also specific responsivity factors that could serve as barriers to an individual. Based off of the information we have on Marty, lets identify his risk factors.Marty has various antisocial attitudes that are associated with his offending patterns. His attitudes and beliefs include probation does not help him and no one understands his situation. Upon review of his official record, Marty has a long history of criminal justice involvement and he dropped out of school in the 9th grade. At the time of his arrest, Marty was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. When we develop a case plan for Marty, we need to target his attitu