A quantitative review of structured, group-oriented, cognitive-behavioral programs for offenders

David B. Wilson, Leana Allen Bouffard, Doris L. Mackenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

310 Scopus citations


Prior reviews and meta-analyses have supported the hypothesis that offender rehabilitation programs based on cognitive-behavioral principles reduce recidivism. This article quantitatively synthesizes the extant empirical evidence on the effectiveness of structured cognitive-behavioral programs delivered to groups of offenders. The evidence summarized supports the claim that these treatments are effective at reducing criminal behavior among convicted offenders. All higher quality studies reported positive effects favoring the cognitive-behavioral treatment program. Specifically, positive reductions in recidivism were observed for moral reconation therapy, reasoning and rehabilitation, and various cognitive-restructuring programs. The evidence suggests the effectiveness of cognitive skills and cognitive restructuring approaches as well as programs that emphasize moral teachings and reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-204
Number of pages33
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'A quantitative review of structured, group-oriented, cognitive-behavioral programs for offenders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this