Cognitive behavioral therapy for offenders
Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
- Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique that helps clients understand and change the thought patterns that lead to negative behavior
- Seeks to advance behavior change and understanding of criminal activity among incarcerated individuals and those on probation through development of healthier thought processes
- May include programming focused on interpersonal skills, anger management, and related topics
- Can be offered to juveniles and adults in institutional or community settings
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps; the second-highest level of evidence by the National Institute of Justice
- Reduces recidivism in adults and juveniles
- Has particularly strong impact on high-risk offenders and violent or chronically offending juvenile men
- Participants increase their social skills, problem solving abilities, critical and moral reasoning, self-control, and impulse management and self-efficacy
Best practices in implementation
- Note: This section is under review
- Successful programs often focus treatment on personal accountability, anger management, and interpersonal skills
- Program should be delivered by well-trained providers and staff, and monitored closely
- When planning the programming, intensive thought into logistics of service provision, quality assurance, and evaluation of effectiveness is imperative
- For juvenile offenders, effective programs often include a parent education and treatment component