CorrectTech Community Corrections Blog

The T's and C's : No Longer the ABC's in Community Corrections

Posted by Lisa Sayler on 4/26/18 2:21 PM

Community Corrections is Changing...Are You?

Change is hard.  We expect our clients to change but when faced with change ourselves, we can often resist.  We expect someone who has lived a certain way for 20, 30, 40+ years to make abrupt changes but when we give up sweets and our colleague brings donuts in, we gobble them down and vow that was the last time.  We get a speeding ticket and vow to not speed anymore but once the initial sting has worn off, we look down and notice we are going 40 in a 30 and didn’t even realize it.  It’s so much easier for people to change when it’s not us.  It takes a lot of practice, new habits and even failure, to change.  Sure, there is a valid difference, if an offender doesn’t change criminal behavior, there are serious consequences to their freedom, not just to their waistline or pocket book.  But if those consequences were all it took; community corrections might not exist.

Community Corrections is changing. The change has been in the works ever since the early “what works” and “EBP” research pointed us to new approaches.  What is different now is the change is hitting closer to home to the daily routines, decision making and programming.  We know this through our conversations with practitioners all around the country and many in some of the most progressive states in community corrections, who are looking for support in meeting new and existing requirements from oversight agencies.  While many in the field are excited about the changes, others are left feeling anxious, frustrated and resistant to change.  Just like many of our clients feel upon entering a program.  While it is easier not to change our own practices, we must continue to try new approaches and work to improve long term results.  It doesn’t mean we don’t hold our clients accountable, it means we expand and adapt our approach and learn we have other tools in our toolbelt.  People, even community correction professionals, must be held accountable to change in ways that move towards improved results.

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Topics: Community Corrections, Evidence Based Practices, Motivational Interviewing, Community Corrections Professional, Change, what works, responsivity, impact sessions, intrinsic motivation, client development

Developing a Practice Model

Posted by Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. on 12/28/16 5:02 PM

This blog is a continuation of the EBP Practice Models blog series started by this blog’s author Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. and other industry leading authorities on practice models, Brad Bogue, Matt Moore and Tom O’Connor.

When Brad Bogue first suggested we work on a “practice model” I was embarrassed to admit I had no idea what he was talking about. After a bit of research I realized that, while the term was foreign to me, the concept was not that complicated and was a logical extension of our agency’s evidence-based practices (EBP) training. I learned that practice models structure the use of various EBPs into a logical, coherent process to help practitioners identify the next necessary step in the intervention sequence.

Armed with lots of knowledge about EBP, but without a framework to identify and organize what techniques to use when, we recognized we did, indeed, need a practice model. Since I am writing this blog during the Christmas season, it seemed that we had lots of ornaments and tinsel but no tree on which to hang them. It became clear that without a practice model we would remain knowledgeable about EBP but unskilled in their delivery.

I looked at several of the prepackaged practice models available but found all of them lacking. They were either incongruous with my clinical experience (e.g., the importance of building motivation was essentially ignored) or contradicted my philosophy of the change process (e.g., they followed a manual but left little room for situational flexibility). With Brad at my side challenging my assumptions every step of the way, we decided to develop a practice model in house. We facilitated the process while our capable staff of case managers merged research with their experience and theory with reality.

It was a vital learning experience for me. I thought I needed to teach the case managers to think; turns out, I simply needed to create the space and let them think.

We started with the necessary requirements for the practice model:

  1. It must include a variety of interventions.
  2. It must include evidence-based, evidence-informed or promising practices.
  3. It must be coherent.
  4. It must be simple but powerful.
  5. It must include situational flexibility.
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Topics: Policy, Practices, Change, Community Corrections Client Services, Developing a practice model, Evan C. Crist

Why Practice Models are the Next Big Thing in Community Corrections

Posted by Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. on 12/15/16 3:44 PM

 

Note from the editor: This blog is a continuation of the EBP Practice Models blog series started by this blog’s author Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. and other industry leading authorities on practice models, Brad Bogue, Matt Moore and Tom O’Connor.

This blog has two parts.

Part I, The Changing Function of a Case Manager, paints a picture of how the role of community corrections practitioners is constantly changing as the field and its stakeholder’s expectations evolve and expand.

Part II, More Effective Treatment, explains the need for a coherent intervention strategy based on logic and research to help case managers do the treatment oriented work we are expecting more and more from them. We suggest Practice Models are the answer to our need for this intervention strategy. Although EBP has been viewed by some as a nuisance, adding more work to already overloaded case managers, read below to see how we think differently.


PART I – The Changing Function of a Case Manager

Case Manager or Psychologist? Or both?

As a participant of community corrections for the better part of two decades, I’ve noticed an interesting and predictable shift in the industry. Yes, it is becoming more treatment oriented, but the change that I find more interesting is the shift to teaching paraprofessionals to deliver specialized services generally allotted for master’s level or doctoral level therapists.

I’ve seen this happen throughout my psychologist career and I don’t think it is good or bad, rather a normal progression of a maturing industry that needs to provide more services to a larger population without the benefit of a significant increase in government funded resources.

But why?

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Topics: Evidence Based Practices, Change, Practice Models, Treatment

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Posted by Eric Tumperi on 12/1/16 2:36 PM

Get Them out of Prison Beds and into Reetry 

When our CorrectTech team meets with community corrections agencies across the country, we see an increasing number of criminal justice stakeholders looking at the efficiency and effectiveness of community corrections.

With the movement of all-but-the-highest-risk offenders away from prison beds, community corrections programs are receiving more clients and focus and, therefore, higher expectations.

There is an international effort to integrate a wide range of programming, interventions, education, and treatment. Gone are the days of “one size fits all” interventions. Case plans must be specific and individualized, all while demonstrating fidelity to evidence based practices (EBP) and state and federal mandates.

More than Cookie Cutter Treatment

While there are many exceptional automation systems centered on courts and jail processes, traditional case management systems (CMS) were not conceptualized with this type of client-centered treatment or EBP implementation and tracking.

Historically, community corrections has been under-utilized and underfunded.

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Topics: Community Corrections, Change, Software

Time to Change Community Corrections Program Evaluations - What is Working and What Isn't

Posted by Lisa Sayler on 6/30/16 3:00 PM

As part of a mission to improve success rates and decrease technical violations and escapes, Time to Change Community Corrections (TTC) has turned its treatment team meetings into training and growth development meetings under the guidance of Evan Crist, Psy.D., founder of CorrectTech. Dr. Crist is leading a shift in culture and organizational change by educating his staff members using TTC’s own data to help equip them on this mission.

Want to know how this recent initiative started? Check out Adventures in Implementation.

I attend these meetings and am happy to be included in this exciting culture change! My goal, as CorrectTech’s customer development specialist, is to reinforce TTC’s goals for using agency data to drive decision-making in my individual community corrections staff coachings and group trainings.

I am thrilled to see the data management system in CorrectTech’s case management software being put to use in this exciting journey!

A case manager supervisor was recently assigned two projects that incorporate collecting data out of CorrectTech.

Assignment 1: What are the success rates for clients with a specific drug of choice?

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Topics: Community Corrections, Management, Change, Software

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