What Works

Is Your Reentry Program Making a Difference?

GEO Reentry Services uses evidence-based practices developed through decades of research into what works to lower the recidivism rates of offenders. As a result, our programs address criminal thinking at the most fundamental level, helping people successfully return to their communities for good.

Helping at-risk offenders become self-motivated for change

Behavior change is only possible when an individual understands the personal and environmental factors that led them to criminal behavior in the first place. By addressing criminogenic risks and needs, reentry participants learn personal responsibility and accountability.

GEO Reentry uses cognitive-behavioral treatment on the premise, “If thoughts cause feelings and behaviors, then it is possible to change the way we behave by changing the way we think.” Multiple studies and analyses have concluded that programs using cognitive-behavioral strategies effectively reduce recidivism rates.

Targeting treatment to those who need it

Targeted intervention

Time and time again, research shows that allocating reentry services to individuals who are less likely to recidivate does not have a significant impact on recidivism overall—in fact, providing too much programming can increase the likelihood of reoffending.

Obtaining ROI

In contrast, shifting available resources to those with a greater need for intervention brings a meaningful return on investment in terms of increased public safety and a reduced burden on criminal justice agencies.

An effective approach to reducing crime

Supporting a successful transition to society

Reinforcing prosocial behaviors

By actively working to improve offenders’ bonds and ties to prosocial community members, programs provide an environment that supports and positively reinforces desired new behaviors. Community members can include family members, spouses, supportive others, religious groups, 12-step programs, and other community organizations.

These bonds and ties also continue to support offenders as they complete their supervision and treatment requirements and reintegrate more and more into the community. Successful interventions improve bonds and ties to prosocial community members, providing offenders a self-sustaining social structure.

GEO Reentry Services in action

Established in 2010, the Kern County Day Reporting Center currently serves approximately 200 - 250 high and medium-risk offenders each day. The Center provides substance abuse and cognitive behavioral interventions, employment training, and educational services. In 2013, Kern County Probation assessed the Center’s recidivism impact with a study comparing individuals who completed all phases of the program to 1) a group who received at least 90 days of treatment, and 2) another group of offenders who received no treatment. Findings of the research showed that:

  • 7 out of 10 Day Reporting Center graduates who successfully exited the program did not recidivate.)
  • Participation in the program reduced recidivism: participants had lower recidivism rates (47%) compared to non-client group (51%).)
  • Graduates had fewer recidivistic activities (0.43 cases) compared to participants (0.79) and non- participants (1.07).)
  • The DRC appropriately provided the majority of services to and is most effective with high-risk offenders.)

See the research: ‘What Works to Reduce Recidivism?’

Evidence-based practices

“The principal significance of this body of research is threefold: first, we now know that treatment and rehabilitation can ‘work’ to reduce recidivism; second, for appropriate offenders alternatives to imprisonment can be both less expensive and more effective in reducing crime; and, third, even where alternatives to incarceration do not decrease recidivism, they often do not increase it either.”

– Roger K. Warren, National Center for State Courts

Complimentary white paper

Download your complimentary copy of “What Works to Reduce Recidivism” to read the full study on evidence-based practices in corrections.