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Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is often facilitated by trained corrections professionals, is provided in the jail and community. CBT is designed to solve problems resulting from dysfunctional thoughts, moods, or behavior through brief, direct, and time-limited structured counseling. Specific approaches such as these can target a person’s criminogenic risk factors, therefore decreasing their likelihood of recidivating.

For examples of this intervention, see these resources:
Local Examples

Hancock County, OH Hancock County Sheriff's Department

  • CBT programming is offered to people incarcerated in the Hancock County jail based on risk and need assessment results.
  • Through the Hancock County Common Pleas Court, the Hancock County Adult Probation Department offers CBT to adults convicted of felonies.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Franklin County, MA Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO)

  • FCSO implemented an integrated substance addiction and mental illness treatment program that is designed to address criminogenic risk factors based on two core frameworks: the risk-need-responsivity principles and a behaviorist approach to trauma-informed dual-diagnosis treatment and reentry case management.
  • Program participants typically include those that have been assessed as having high- to very high-criminogenic risk.
  • FCSO assesses program participants using a criminogenic risk and needs assessment, a comprehensive clinical assessment, and a reentry assessment.
  • The clinical model is transdiagnostic and aims to increase psychological flexibility, emotional regulation, behavioral inhibition, empathy, distress tolerance, and interpersonal skills.
  • Treatment is organized around the eight criminogenic risk factors using clinical modalities such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Thinking for a Change, Helping Women Recover, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, individual therapy, and vocational, educational, family, and prosocial leisure programming.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Essex County, MA

  • Community-based providers Roca and UTEC work with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy to young adults in correctional facilities and in the community.
  • As part of the intensive case management and wraparound services Roca and UTEC provide, individuals receive cognitive behavioral skills training, substance use treatment, and parenting and education supports.
  • Trained Roca and UTEC staff facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy in group settings.



3 - Increase connection to treatment
4 - Reduce recidivism

Last updated: May 16, 2024