Introduction

In response to the challenges outlined in the preceding sections of this Guide, the National Institute of Corrections and the Bureau of Justice Assistance—both agencies of the U.S. Department of Justice—convened national experts from a wide variety of professional associations, researchers, state agency directors in substance abuse, mental health, and corrections.  This convening of leaders in the field assisted in the development of a planning tool to assist stakeholders to work together to assure that resources are used to their best effect.  The product of these endeavors provided the basis for the Justice Center's Criminogenic Risk and Behavioral Health Needs Framework.  As an expression of shared values, and building upon the latest research regarding these issues, the Framework also provides a sound frame of reference for paroling authorities as they carry out their decisionmaking responsibilities.

Foundations

Framework development drew heavily from at least two areas of research and professional expertise.  The first was a risk/need/responsivity (RNR) (Andrews & Bonta, 2007) perspective drawn from the research on proven approaches to reducing the risk of recidivism among justice involved individuals.  That research has found that by focusing effective interventions on medium and high risk offenders (the risk principle), targeting to their criminogenic needs (the need principle), and delivering those services in ways that take into account the learning styles of offenders (the responsivity principle), we can have maximum impact in terms of recidivism reduction.  A second foundational aspect of the framework builds on the work of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors in building a model to guide the targeting of interventions in the population experiencing co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders.  This model created a common language to categorize and communicate about the needs of individuals with such disorders, and to prioritize individuals' needs for services. 


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