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Principles of Effective Offender Intervention

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 1548 words Published: 18th Jul 2018

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From way back in history, the process of correcting those who were believed to be wrong in a way or another was practiced. Communities are guided by certain morals, and whenever one goes against the morals, it is believed that the person might have a problem and it is only good to deal with the problem before it escalates. People are different; whereas there are people who can change by just being advised to do so, there are some who need intense programs to change. Correcting young ones so that they can be part and parcel of the bigger community is a process that must be guided by principles. The four principles are meant to intervene and help the targeted persons to be better people in the society.

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The four principles of intervention

There are four different principles of intervention that are used in making sure that some of the young law offenders are helped to become better people in the society (Guevara, 2009). The four principles are more in a sequence because one must follow the other if good results are to be achieved. Effecting one principle in the absence of the previous might produce different results which might be opposite of the expectations of the community or the program. For a lot of years, the four principles have been used in many correction facilities, and they have produced tremendous results.

Risk principle

Offenders are divided into different groups as far as risk is concerned; low-risk and high-risk offenders. Low-risk offenders are offenders who do not pose a great threat to the community as well as to themselves. When it comes to such offenders, all that is needed is minimal coaching or minimal intervention for them to fit back into the community. For example, an offender who has been involved in a quarreling that resulted in violence is not a high-risk offender. The reason for stating so is because the offender might have acted out of frustration but not under motivation or passion. Therefore, the attention and resources needed to bring back such a person on the track are minimal. At the same time, the person is not a threat to him or her life.

The second group consists of high-risk offenders. These types of offenders are not only a risk to the community but themselves. When it comes to attending to them, a lot of resources are required. The interventions used must also be in line with their needs. Risk principle calls for prioritization of resources in line with the risk of the offender. For example, a person who possesses a risk to a larger community cannot be treated like a person who possesses lesser risk. The methods of intervention used on a riskier person also differ in some ways (TJRC, 2016). The principle helps in addressing cases with all the seriousness they deserve.

The principle is effective and reasonable. For example, a person who is used to involving him or herself in criminal activities needs a more effective intervention method. The reason for doing so is because a lesser effective method cannot help him or her. The intervention methods are not meant to punish but to change. Allowing continuous offenders back to the community with the expectations that he or she will change is not helping him or her in any way. Since he or she has proven to be risky, it is only good to make sure that more resources are used so as to make the intervention effective.

Need principle

Need principle states that the needs of the offenders should be considered in any given intervention process. The need might be direct or indirect. Some people are forced by circumstances to engage in criminal activities. In most cases, they lack a thing or two, and that is why they end up doing what they do. What they lack is what is referred to as a need. The principle states that for a person not to go back to his or her old ways, the need must be satisfied. A person might end up being a criminal for lack of education and knowledge on certain issues. Taking that person through a correctional facility and bringing him or her back to the society only solves part of the problem. Therefore, it is important to enlighten that person on the issues that he or she might not be familiar with so that he or she cannot go back to his or her old ways.

The environment, on the other hand, can influence one towards committing a crime. When the environment of the offender is not looked into, the offender is taken back to the same risks after corrections, and that might not bear the expected results. For example, if a person lives in an environment where people live by the gun and earn from illegal activities, taking him or her back to such an environment is exposing him or her to risks (Edward & Jennifer, 2004). The principle is effective because it tries to look for a lasting solution in the process of making sure that an offender gains from an intervention program. Helping people and not looking at what they lacked for them to commit a crime is dealing with the problem partially. The best way to make sure that criminals do not get back to their old ways is dealing with the causes, and that means looking at the needs and satisfying them.

Treatment principle

The treatment principle emphasizes the need to look for the most effective treatment strategy. The principle concentrates much on the high-risk offenders. An offender must go through some effective treatments for him or her to be accepted back in the community. Factors to consider when it comes to treatment are the type of treatment, the interval of treatment, and the length of the treatment. A person who is of great danger to the community must be treated in a different way. Though the main reason why the offender is taken in a correctional facility is not to be punished, a high-risk offender must be treated in a way that he or she will never admire hurting himself or others. The treatment must be intense and if the need calls it must take a longer period so that he or she can be ready to fit in the community after the treatment.

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There are different offenders, and they are motivated to engaging in criminal activities by different reasons. Some are criminals because they are failed by their brain. In such cases, the treatment must be special and different from others. Regardless of him being a high-risk offender, the person also has a mental health condition. In such a case, double care is required (Guevara, 2009). The facility or the parties involved might choose to provide both psychiatric help and at the same time correctional help. By so doing, the offender gets his or her sanity back and is helped to avoid getting into trouble shortly. The principle is effective because it considers the nature of the offender. By considering the nature of the offender, it becomes easy to help a person with a series of problems by knowing the best way to treat him or her.

Fidelity principle

Fidelity principle states that the program must be run by people who follow the rule of law and whose integrity cannot be compromised (Edward & Jennifer, 2004). It is important to know that the offenders need help and there is no way of doing it better than taking them through a program. The person running the program should leave the responsibility of correcting to the service providers, and he or she should not be bribed to grant favors to some of the law offenders. The principle is effective because it makes sure that any offender goes through the program and benefits from it without any shortcut.


The four principles guide offenders towards using the most effective ways in gaining help. At the same time, they guide the service providers towards being effective and taking care of the offenders on humane ways of doing things. Though the four principles have dwelt so much on programs and services, their main aim is to help the law offenders so that they can be people who can be accepted back into the community. They are in place to make sure that most humane means are used to correct the offenders. At the same time, they make sure that each offender is provided with help that is suitable to his or her behaviors.


Edward, J. & Jennifer, A. (2004). Applying the principles of effective intervention to juvenilecorrectional programs. Retrieved from http://cjonline.uc.edu/resources/criminal-justice Research/applying-the-principles-of-effective-intervention-to-juvenile-correctional programs/

Guevara, M. (2009). Implementing Evidence-Based Policy and Practice in Community Corrections, 2 Nd Edition. Retrieved from http://b.3cdn.net/crjustice/92d6c98633d1448ff0_cfm6iiq27.pdf

The Justice Research Center. (2016). What Works Principles. Retrieved fromhttp://thejrc.com/wwi-principles.asp


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