Changing Criminal Thinking: A Treatment Program.
Changing Criminal Thinking: A Treatment Program, by Boyd D. Sharp, M.S., L.P.C., American Correctional Association The American Correctional Association is an association of providers of services to prisons in the United States. It holds an annual trade show where products used in prisons are shown to prospective purchasers.
It was formerly known as the American Prison Association. , 2000, 156 pp.
Boyd Sharp has extensive wisdom from his 30 years of experience in programs for substance abuse and offender rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. . In this practical guide, his wisdom and experience are shared in a manner that not only is consistent with research, but informative and interesting to read as well.
One of the most difficult tasks for a treatment professional in an offender treatment program is to maintain a positive pro-treatment attitude, which includes modeling pro-social behavior, demonstrating respect, expressing empathy and reflecting understanding. This is especially difficult in a treatment environment with clients who manipulate treatment professionals with distractions, such as using charm to compromise treatment standards, avoid treatment questions by providing evasive e·va·sive
1. Inclined or intended to evade: took evasive action.
2. Intentionally vague or ambiguous; equivocal: an evasive statement. or confusing answers, and are tardy tar·dy
adj. tar·di·er, tar·di·est
1. Occurring, arriving, acting, or done after the scheduled, expected, or usual time; late.
2. Moving slowly; sluggish. to or miss sessions. This is the treatment environment of high-risk offenders that is explained in Changing Criminal Thinking: A Treatment Program.
The practical discussion in Chapter 3 of how offenders think differently from pro-social people is especially useful. Based on research from Samuel Yochelson and Stanton Samenow, basic differences are outlined. Offenders differ from pro-social people in many ways, including their response to punishment. Presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. , because of the absence of the ability to experience guilt, fear and remorse, punishment does not work to change an offender. Other differences are revealed through behavior, which stems from thinking errors. Offenders view themselves as good people, even victims, who minimize criminal behavior through a variety of rationalizations, including an inherent need for excitement, failure to distinguish between thinking and deeds, and avoidance of responsibility. Behaviors associated with these thinking errors inevitably lead to conflicts with the law and a reinforcement of an offender's tendency to keep secrets as the standard of the "criminal code."
Inevitably, thinking errors are employed as resistance during treatment. In Chapter 4, "Thinking Errors, Tactics and Masks," tactics are described as "behaviors and responses criminals use to avoid responsibility and accountability for their behavior. These are used to "defocus de·fo·cus
tr.v. de·fo·cused or de·fo·cussed, de·fo·cus·ing or de·fo·cus·sing, de·fo·cus·es or de·fo·cus·ses
To cause (a beam or a lens) to deviate from accurate focus.
n. ," to get attention off themselves and place it on others." These include "putdowns, telling staff what they want to hear, selective disclosure, lying, vagueness, minimizing, selective attention, anger and attack, and silence."
In Chapter 7, "Survival Skills for the Change Agent," three zones of interaction between a treatment provider and client are described. While in the white zone, an open, caring, but gullible gul·li·ble
Easily deceived or duped.
gul professional is vulnerable to charm and manipulation commonly used by offenders to avoid the work involved with growth. The white zone is contrasted with the red zone, in which the treatment provider becomes cynical, overly suspicious and dismisses the client as subhuman sub·hu·man
1. Below the human race in evolutionary development.
2. Regarded as not being fully human.
sub·hu . Between these perspectives, is the yellow zone, in which the treatment provider accepts clients as they are, avoids susceptibility by reducing expectations and engages with clients in a consistent, firm, yet friendly manner, which emphasizes pro-social behavior and thinking.
Despite well-conceived and strategically implemented treatment described in Changing Criminal Thinking, treatment providers struggle with a proportion of offender-clients whose behavior has baffling baf·fle
tr.v. baf·fled, baf·fling, baf·fles
1. To frustrate or check (a person) as by confusing or perplexing; stymie.
2. To impede the force or movement of.
1. persistence and resistance to treatment. Sharp's book would have been more helpful if information related to other sources of treatment resistance had been included. These include research about genetic determinants of criminal behavior, as well as information regarding how behavior-based programs use medications to reduce cravings for alcohol or drugs, stabilize moods, reduce distraction and manage sex drive.
Overall, this is an excellent book for treatment professionals, as well as administrators (Appendix A provides program rules and guidelines and Appendix B outlines the daily schedule), in planning and implementing programs, and is a recommended text for criminal justice courses.
Kip kip 1
n. pl. kip
See Table at currency.
1. Hillman Hillman was a famous British automobile marque, manufactured by the Rootes Group. It was based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, England, from 1907 to 1976. Before 1907 the company had built bicycles. , Psy.D., psychology administrator for the Illinois Department of Corrections Juvenile Division in Chicago.