Report: Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work in Criminal Justice?
Date:  09-28-2016

Juveniles seem to respond better to CBT
From National Institute of Justice

An analysis of programs and practices in CrimeSolutions.gov finds that cognitive behavioral therapy can deter crime, assist victims and prevent recidivism.

Perhaps no other intervention has attracted more attention across the criminal justice system than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). First widely used in the latter half of the 20th century, as large numbers of people with mental illness were deinstitutionalized and treated in community settings, CBT has since found its way into nearly every aspect of the justice system, often supplementing or displacing other programs and interventions. Practitioners today use CBT to reduce recidivism among adults and juveniles; help victims deal with the aftermath of crimes; and address substance abuse, depression, violence and other problematic behavior.

So what is CBT? And more importantly, does it work?

CBT is a class of therapeutic interventions based on a common theory about the connection between our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs — cognitions — and our behavior. The core premise of CBT is simple: The way we think about situations shapes our choices, behavior and actions. If flawed or maladaptive thoughts, attitudes and beliefs lead to inappropriate and even destructive behavior, then changing those thoughts, attitudes and beliefs can lead to more appropriate, pro-social behavior. That is the therapeutic promise of CBT.

Download the pdf here.