Evidence-Based Practices Currently In Use



The ten Adult Redeploy Illinois pilot sites employ a variety of evidence-based and promising practices, from assessment through the community reintegration component of restorative justice. Although some sites use the same general methods and specific tools, much variation exists due to the local control component outlined in the Crime Reduction Act of 2009. "By providing financial incentives to counties or judicial circuits to create effective local-level evidence-based services, it is possible to reduce crime and recidivism at a lower cost to taxpayers." (Public Act 96-0761)

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Assessment:
Level of Service Inventory-Revised SI Assessment (LSI-R)
This 54 item assessment tool measures static and dynamic risk factors of adult offenders, predicting recidivism and yielding important information on offender needs. One of the most commonly used classification tools in the United States across a range of correctional settings, the tool shows consistent validity for a variety of offender outcomes. Information on the LSI-R tool can be found within this National Institute of Corrections document prepared by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics.


Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)
The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory is a brief psychological questionnaire to screen adults for substance dependence and abuse. Many organizations currently use the tool including hospitals, addiction treatment centers, and criminal justice programs, and research shows the SASSI-3 as reliable, valid, and effective as a clinical tool.


TCU Assessment
The TCU assessment consists of interrelated assessments and manual-guided interventions for specific client needs at different stages of change within substance abuse treatment. Developed by Texas Christian University, the assessment offers tools to measure client needs and functioning to assist in evidence-based care planning.



 

 
General Models and Methods:
Probation Caseload Standards
Smaller probation caseloads allow for a better detection of violations and subsequent intervention via a hybrid approach utilizing both surveillance and therapeutic techniques. Research shows that reducing probation officer caseloads to allow for a balance between punishment and casework-oriented probation styles, in partnership with evidence-based practices and services, reduces recidivism.


Intensive Probation with Services
Intensive probation, partnered with evidence-based services, includes a higher degree of surveillance than traditional probation and may include increased urinalysis/drug testing, increased face-to-face and collateral contacts, and mandated treatment participation. Intensive probation officers carry smaller caseloads allowing for more frequent contacts, quicker identification of rule violations, and a therapeutic approach. Research indicates reduced recidivism for offenders receiving treatment and services with intensive supervision.


Drug Court
Although localities can implement drug courts slightly differently, all drug courts seek to reduce substance abuse and criminal recidivism. Techniques used in lieu of immediate incarceration for a drug-related charge may include drug treatment, drug testing, comprehensive supervision, and clear sanctions and incentives. Drug courts are a kind of problem-solving court which, in contrast to traditional courts, attempts to get at the root of criminogenic behaviors. Extensive research on drug courts indicates improved outcomes when there is a full integration of treatment and court processes.


Restorative Justice
Restorative justice is an approach to justice that collectively identifies and addresses harms involving all those who may have a stake in the offense, while simultaneously holding the offender responsible for actions. A restorative justice process allows for everyone affected by a crime (victim, offender, community) to address their needs and find a resolution for healing, reparation and reintegration, with the goal to prevent future harm. Restorative justice practices might include victim-offender mediation, group conferencing circles, and peace circles, all of which include some form of offender-victim dialogue about an offense or infraction.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches individuals that thinking impacts behavior. In criminal justice settings, CBT teaches offenders that cognitive deficits, distortions and flawed thinking patterns can cause negative or criminal behavior. CBT relies on the notion that changing thoughts can change behavior. Much research exists on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral programs with justice-involved populations and the therapy's success in reducing recidivism. Many trademarked therapies and curricula rely on a cognitive-behavioral framework.


Trauma-Informed Therapy
Trauma-informed therapy exists to first address the consequences of trauma to be able to facilitate healing. Many people using public behavioral health services or in the criminal justice system have histories of various traumas leading to unhealthy and criminal behavior. Trauma-informed therapy recognizes the connection between trauma and substance abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. (often symptoms of trauma), and the need to work collaboratively with clients and their support networks to facilitate healing.


Mental Health Court
Mental health courts, a kind of problem-solving court, divert offenders with mental health issues to community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration. Mental health courts serve individuals who can consent to the court's plan and utilize mental health assessments, individualized treatment plans, and judicial monitoring to address both mental health needs and community safety.




 
Specific Programs or Curricula:
Thinking for a Change Curriculum
The cognitive behavioral curriculum, Thinking for a Change: an Integrated Approach to Changing Offender Behavior, seeks to increase awareness of self and others through cognitive restructuring, social skill building and problem solving. Participants examine their ways of thinking, along with feelings, beliefs and attitudes, leading to increased problem-solving abilities to refrain from criminal behavior.


Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS)
EPIC is a newer program focusing on the relationship between the probation/parole officer and the offender. The program enacts an infrastructure different than typical probation and parole, allowing for a maximum of face time. Supervision is change-based, in contrast to compliance-based. Action plans are developed that addresses the criminal thought behaviors of high risk offenders. Meetings between probationary parole officers and offenders follow a pattern of check-in, review, intervention, and homework/rehearsal.


Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
A treatment that seeks to increase moral reasoning in adult and juvenile criminal offenders to reduce recidivism, this cognitive behavioral approach addresses ego, social, moral and positive behavioral growth through both group and individual counseling. Counseling may include structured group exercises and homework assignments in the larger program which lasts between 3 to 6 months and consists of 16 steps.


Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) refers to a wrap-around case management intervention for persons with serious mental illness and usually consists of a team of nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, vocational counselors and substance abuse specialists. ACT teams strive to comprehensively address a participant's needs while addressing symptoms of mental illness to improve the overall quality of life.


Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational Interviewing is a brief counseling technique aiming to assist a client to recognize and accept a problem behavior, resolve any ambivalence to change the behavior, emphasize the benefits of behavior change, and support the client as he/she makes a commitment to change and maintenance. Therapists utilize persuasion and support rather than authority to increase a client's motivation to change.


Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Solution-focused brief therapy is strengths-based therapy relying on the idea that clients have the solution to solve their problems without an examination of the psychological origins of problems. Solutions are co-constructed by the therapist and client, often consisting of changes in perception and interactions and drawing on where solutions or healthy behavior already exist in the client's life.


Seeking Safety Seeking Safety is a trademarked present-focused therapy for people with histories of trauma/post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. The therapy is flexible and can be used for women, men, mixed-gender, outpatient, inpatient, and group or individual settings. The therapy focuses on multiple aspects of safety, integrates both mental health and substance abuse treatment, and consists of four content areas (cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, and case management).


Illness Self-Management and Recovery This evidence-based practice provides information about mental illness directly to consumers who build skills to manage their illness, develop goals, and make informed decisions about treatment. Based on the idea that information empowers consumers who can partner with mental health practitioners, the practice involves creating a plan to manage mental illness and avoid relapse.


Family Psychoeducation Family psychoeducation provides education on mental illness to consumers and their families or support network, as defined by the consumer. This practice aims to increase social supports, problem-solving abilities, communication skills and coping skills. Consisting of collaboration between a practitioner, the consumer, and their family or support network, the practice also includes ongoing training on mental health, structured problem-solving and multi-family group interaction for mutual aid. Research shows the power of family psychoeducation to reduce relapse and facilitate recovery of individuals dealing with a mental illness.


SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) This trademarked program helps individuals recover from a variety of addictive behaviors including drugs, alcohol and gambling. The program relies on four key tools including (1) building and maintaining motivation; (2) coping with urges; (3) managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and (4) living a balanced life. The meetings within the program are educational open discussions and are both face-to- face and online.


Recovery Coaching Recovery coaching is a form of intensive strengths-based case management for use with resistant adults. Consisting of frequent home and community-based contacts with participants, recovery coaching aims to engage clients and promote retention in treatment and aftercare.


HOPE Program Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Program consists of swift, predictable, and immediate sanctions for drug offender probationers. The four key program components are: (1) judicious use of treatment; (2) focus on high risk probationers; (3) certain, swift, consistent and parsimonious sanctions; and (4) proper training for probation officers. The program has shown positive results in Hawaii, resulting in fewer rearrests, probation revocations, and days of incarceration. and needs further research.