Effective intervention can be described as multiple strategies that are typically the most effective in producing desired and lasting change, in this case specifically criminal offenders. The four principles of intervention are, the risk principle, need principle, treatment principle, and fidelity principle. Each principle carries its own specific intentions with a shared goal of dealing with offenders. The risk principle is used for high-risk offenders, while the need principle directs to repeating offenders or know criminals. The treatment principle appeals to the behavior of offenders and lastly the fidelity principle appeals to program integrity. Throughout this paper, you will find the in-depth meanings of each principle along with examples. These factors will help determine whether these principles are effective.
The first principle we will explore is the risk principle. The risk principle states that offenders should receive supervision and treatment levels that are equal to their risk levels. Risk meaning how serious the crime committed may be or the chances of an offender re-offending. Deciding the level of risk an offender has is the most complex part of this principle. Reason being is that a person of a more serious crime versus a white-collar crime cannot fully determine if either person would re-offend it is solely based on the individual.
However, a very close conclusion can be drawn through studies. In one study done by Andrews Zinger, Hoge, et al. (1990). In which he studied a mixed group of juvenile offenders. He found that correctional program was much more effective when the correctional program took in mostly higher risk offenders. Reoffending rate was reduced by 11% versus taking in low-risk and high-risk offenders with a 2% reoffending rate. Proving that programs with a greater percentage of higher-risk offenders were more effective. This concludes that the majority of services and supervision should be given to higher-risk offenders. This is due to interventions which are proven to be most effective.
The second principle to be explored is the need principle. This can be defined as the type of intervention a person receives. It is the duty of corrections to target a person’s greatest criminogenic needs to prevent re-offending. The needs of offenders include but not limited to, to the specific problems or issues that contribute to an offender’s criminally deviant behavior. Through corrections, needs should be assessed through treatment programs. By assessing these needs correctional facilities can devote the correct amount of staff, money and time to criminals producing the best outcomes possible. Need assessments allow the proper approach to a criminal’s intervention.
For example, if an offender is prone to violence would need a program that aids them in their interactions with how to interact with police, Corrections Officers and other authoritative members of correction facilities. In one case specifically, a man molesting a younger female relative and denying committing the offense would suggest that he has a problem with blame shifting, justification and minimization. His Treatment would focus on “attitudes about appropriate sexual relationships, decision making appropriate sexual relationships, decision making in response to sexual triggers and cognitive in response to sexual triggers and cognitive distortions about responsibility for his actions.” (Principles of intervention 36). In this way, his needs are accessed effectively.
The next principle to address is the treatment principle which appeals to the behavior of offenders. This principle is used with a mix of cognitive and behavioral strategies. When focusing on the specific needs of criminal programs that allow the offenders to learn and practice pro-social skills is more beneficial for behavioral interventions, reinforcement techniques are also helpful to provide opportunities for offenders. This principle is effective in that if reserved treatment can make a difference treatment can make a difference for offenders
Lastly, the fidelity principle appeals to program integrity. This principle holds the previous principle to certain standards. These standards allow for continuous progress to be made and holing the intervention process accountable to prove that it works. This makes sure that people working with offenders are qualified and reliable to ensure the best results. If the people working with offenders are not qualified or held to certain standards how can they assure success in the intervention. With the fidelity principle is proven effective.
In conclusion, all three principles go hand in hand with effective intervention and are used in the rehabilitation of criminals in correctional facilities. These principles provide a rational blueprint for offender treatment. Through many studies, these principles promote the safety of the overall public and reduce the chances of offenders re-offending. Some principles may be easier to apply than others but at the end of the day they are a part of a working system and are very effective in offender intervention.


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