D. A. Andrews is a professor of psychology at Carleton University and co-director of the Laboratory for Research on Assessment and Evaluation in the Human Services. His research interests include the assessment of risk, need, and responsivity factors among clients of correctional, youth, family, and mental health agencies, as well as the analysis and evaluation of effective treatment services. Additionally, he is interested in the social psychology of criminological knowledge.
DOES CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT WORK? A CLINICALLY RELEVANT AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY INFORMED META-ANALYSIS *
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 369–404, August 1990
How to Cite
ANDREWS, D.A., ZINGER, I., HOGE, R. D., BONTA, J., GENDREAU, P. and CULLEN, F. T. (1990), DOES CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT WORK? A CLINICALLY RELEVANT AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY INFORMED META-ANALYSIS . Criminology, 28: 369–404. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1990.tb01330.x
This paper is dedicated to Daniel Glaser, Ted Palmer, and Marguerite Q. Warren.
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2006
Careful reading of the literature on the psychology of criminal conduct and of prior reviews of studies of treatment effects suggests that neither criminal sanctioning without provision of rehabilitative service nor servicing without reference to clinical principles of rehabilitation will succeed in reducing recidivism. What works, in our view, is the delivery of appropriate correctional service, and appropriate service reflects three psychological principles: (1) delivery of service to higher risk cases, (2) targeting of criminogenic needs, and (3) use of styles and modes of treatment (e.g., cognitive and behavioral) that are matched with client need and learning styles. These principles were applied to studies of juvenile and adult correctional treatment, which yielded 154 phi coefficients that summarized the magnitude and direction of the impact of treatment on recidivism. The effect of appropriate correctional service (mean phi = .30) was significantly (p <.05) greater than that of unspecified correctional service (.13), and both were more effective than inappropriate service (−.06) and non-service criminal sanctioning (−.07). Service was effective within juvenile and adult corrections, in studies published before and after 1980, in randomized and nonrandomized designs, and in diversionary, community, and residential programs (albeit, attenuated in residential settings). Clinical sensitivity and a psychologically informed perspective on crime may assist in the renewed service, research, and conceptual efforts that are strongly indicated by our review.