Evidence Based Practices
Established per Executive Order 27 signed by Governor Carney in December of 2018, the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission (DCRC) oversees a continuum of reentry services for justice involved men and women as they transition from prison to our community. The DCRC promotes the use of evidenced-based practices across all phases of Delaware’s correctional system: institutional phase, reentry phase, and the community phase. The Commission seeks to encourage fundamental system changes across corrections and community partner agencies. Through strategic public safety practices, ongoing research, application of the eight principles of evidence-based practices for corrections, and the planning for each returning citizen’s release, the DCRC strives to improve public safety, reduce the number of crimes and victims, reduce costs associated with crime, and reduce the rate of those returning to prisons. The DCRC shall work in conjunction and be consistent with the policies and procedures of the Department of Correction and applicable sections of the Delaware Code.
Evidence based practices (EBP’s) are scientific techniques used to reduce risk and recidivism. EBP’s within this context are defined as the conscientious use of the best evidence currently available, to inform decisions about the supervision of individual returning citizens, as well as the design and delivery of policies and practices, to achieve the maximum, measurable reduction in recidivism.
Evidence-based practices include:
Assess actuarial risk/needs of reentrants
- Actuarial tools that guide case decisions that describe the who, what and how of the prescribed intervention.
- Measures risk factors; static and dynamic
- Focus is on criminogenic needs and factors associated with criminal activity.
Enhance intrinsic motivation of reentrants
- Humans respond better when motivated – rather than persuaded or coerced to change their behavior.
- Get participants “treatment ready” and keep them engaged through use of motivational enhancement, rewards and incentives.
- Motivational interviewing as a framework for interaction proven to enhance engagement and maintain interest in change.
Target Interventions to match the right program to the right reentrant
- Risk Principle: Prioritize supervision/treatment for higher risk returning citizens
- Need Principle: Target interventions to criminogenic needs
- Responsivity Principle: Be responsive to temperament, learning style, motivation, culture, and gender
- Dosage: Structure 40-70% of high-risk returning citizens’ time for 3-9 months
- Treatment: Integrate treatment into sentence/sanction requirements
Skill train reentrants with directed practice using cognitive behavioral treatment methods
- Cognitive restructuring and skills acquisition
- Staff continually and consistently reinforce positive behavioral change
- Well trained staff coach participants to rehearse and learn new behavioral responses and thinking patterns
Increase positive reinforcement with reentrants
- Increases awareness and understanding of how anti-social and pro-criminal thinking patterns influence feelings and behavior
- Focus first on present circumstances and risk factors responsible for offender’s behavior
- Ensure that training is action oriented rather than talk oriented – offenders need to do something about their difficulties rather than just talk about them
- Teach, model & reinforce new, pro-social skills to replace the anti-social ones through role modeling, practice and reinforcement.
Engage ongoing support for reentrants in natural communities
- Realign and actively engage ongoing pro-social support in communities
- Strengthening the influence of a pro-social community in the offender’s life serves to positively reinforce positive behavior
- Disrupt criminal associations
- People with lived experience serving as agents of change and as bridge to professional service providers
Measure relevant processes/practices of programs serving reentrants
- Ensure those providing direct service are delivering the service in a manner true to the model
- Formal and valid measures of outputs and outcomes is the foundation of evidenced based practice
- Quality control and program fidelity are central to program integrity
Provide measurement feedback to programs and to reentrants
- Provide measurement feedback to programs and to reentrant
- Builds accountability, maintains integrity and improve outcomes.
- Participants need feedback on their behavior changes, and program staff need feedback on program integrity.