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date: 01 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This essay summarizes the literature regarding the principles of effective correctional programming-offender risk, needs, and responsivity (RNR)-and the contribution of these principles to establishing “what works” in correctional rehabilitation. Origins of the rehabilitative ideal are reviewed, followed by its progress through the 1960s and 1970s, including the near-fatal blow dealt by Martinson in the mid-1970s. The research response to Martinson is discussed in conjunction with the role of meta-analyses in resuscitating the rehabilitative ideal and developing the RNR principles. Issues surrounding effective prison treatment programs are presented followed by descriptions of several exemplary institutional treatment programs currently in use. Next steps for research and practice in the area are also reviewed.

Keywords: principles of effective intervention, correctional programming, offender risk, needs, responsivity, correctional rehabilitation, rehabilitative ideal, meta-analysis, institutional treatment programs, RNR

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