Correctional professionals' self-reported adherence and attitudes toward the risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model of offender case management

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University of New Brunswick


In Canada, the number of offenders on community supervision is high, with probation being one of the most common types of supervision. To properly manage these offenders in the community, it is important that correctional policies use evidence-based practices for crime prevention and reduction. In Canada, the Risk-Need-Responsivity model (RNR; Andrews, Bonta, & Hoge, 1990) forms the foundation of these evidence-based practices and treatment interventions. However, research suggests that “what works” does not always translate into practice (Bonta & Andrews, 2017). The goal of the current thesis was to examine attitudes and barriers that might influence the implementation of the RNR model among a sample of probation officers, parole officers, forensic/correctional psychologists, and correctional case managers recruited throughout North America. A sample of 99 professionals completed an online survey via email invites sent to criminal justice and professional organizations. Overall, the current study found that professionals have positive attitudes and a high level of knowledge about the principles of effective offender rehabilitation. Furthermore, both job satisfaction and RNR training were significant predictors of these positive attitudes. Professionals with positive attitudes were also more likely to adhere to the RNR principles in a high risk case vignette. Further research is needed on the factors that affect RNR adherence in practice. These findings are important because they will identify areas of need for training in best practices for effective offender rehabilitation. These findings inform RNR application procedures and training development for correctional staff.