ACTT and What Works


What Works?

Through involvement with the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA) and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), ACTT is a leading partner in advocating the What Works agenda in offender treatment. Commonly used by correctional agencies, the term What Works refers to research principles and practices common to evidence-based offender programming. In a meta-analysis of correctional of correctional treatment programs, Gendreau and Andrews (1990) showed that offenders, especially substance abusers, share many of the following risk factors.

• Anti-social attitudes, values and beliefs (criminal thinking)
• Pro-criminal associations and isolation from pro-social associates
• Particular temperament and behavioral characteristics (egocentrism)
• Weak social and problem-solving skills
• Criminal history
• Negative family factors
• Criminality/substance abuse in the family
• Low levels of vocational and educational skills
• Substance abuse

ACTT Principles

Effective treatment should be guided by the principles that are known to maximize their effectiveness (Gendreau & Andrews):

• Target the criminogenic risk and need, emphasizing a clear understanding of criminal logic
• Incorporate the principle of responsivity (matching the treatment and learning style of the offender)
• Be cognitive-behavioral in nature and incorporate social learning practices
• Incorporate a balanced, integrated approach to sanctions and interventions
• Have therapeutic fidelity

The Advocate Program is not only a treatment provider, but a correctional treatment agency. Thirty years of experience have demonstrated the importance of communication between correctional agencies and treatment providers. The Program understands the need to partner and share information with other correctional agencies. Also understood is corrections officers are partners in the treatment process. As treatment providers, ACTT must be their partners in the supervision process. The partnership with correctional agencies leads to better treatment and outcomes for the clients served.