Motivational Interviewing enhances reentry programs

When individuals are released from prison, jail or are referred to community correctional programs, research states that positive reinforcement and positive role modeling is effective at beginning the change process to pro-social behavior. To that end, GEO Reentry uses evidence-based practices to ensure effective intervention for probationers and parolees transitioning back to their communities. To enhance intrinsic motivation for program participants, GEO Reentry staff employ an evidence-based approach called Motivational Interviewing.

Motivational Interviewing uses communication techniques geared towards avoiding confrontation and arguing by using open-ended questions, affirmations and reflective listening, encouraging participants to explore solutions and establish rapport with staff. GEO Reentry staff use Motivational Interviewing in every phase of programming, helping participants stay on track and work toward their personal goals. And in many situations, the GEO Reentry staff is instrumental in helping the local pretrial, probation and parole officers use Motivational Interviewing techniques for a comprehensive approach.

In Phase One, participants go through a program intake and admissions process. GEO Reentry staff use Motivational Interviewing during this phase to assess the motivations behind each participant’s behaviors and determine the specific type of treatment each participant needs.

In Phase Two, treatment begins and Motivational Interviewing is used to help participants continually reevaluate their progress and take steps to improve as needed. Participants will meet with their case manager or assigned counselor on a regular basis during this phase to determine how and if the program is meeting their needs as previously determined in Phase One. These meetings also serve as a positive reminder for participants who may find themselves lacking motivation midway through the program.

In Phase Three, the program’s final phase, participants prepare to transition back to the community. GEO Reentry staff work with each participant during this phase to create a Discharge Plan, using Motivational Interviewing during the planning and exit interview to further support community reintegration.

Evidence-based practices like Motivational Interviewing have recently been credited for reducing recidivism in 11 states.

Learn more about GEO Reentry’s evidence-based approach to reentry programming and keep up with GEO Reentry on our blog.