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Motivational Enhancement Therapy (Motivational interviewing)

Motivational interviewing is a participant-centric, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence. It is an evidence-based practice that has been identified by researchers, experts, and practitioners as being effective for adults involved in the criminal justice system.

Local Examples

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

  • FCSO offers multiple treatment modalities based on Motivational Interviewing for program participants including Stages of Change and individual therapy for wellness recovery action planning.
  • FCSO uses the principles of motivation to design their system to encourage engagement in treatment and reinforce effective individual and community behavior through incentive-based strategies such as linking earned good time and classification in lower levels of security to participation in treatment.
  • FCSO incentivizes living in therapeutic community housing units that operate as "phase-up systems" or "token economies", which emphasize a motivational approach, incentivize community engagement, and incorporate practices such as a lights out regime for adequate sleep, nutritional diets, and community-building activities.
  • The accountability system focuses on engagement, and the response strategy for ineffective behavior is to motivate, correct the behavior, and return to treatment.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Policy & Practice


3 - Increase connection to treatment
4 - Reduce recidivism

Last updated: April 21, 2019