... we work to ... end repeated violence. Towards this end we offer evidence based programs in three correctional facilities aimed at reducing offender recidivism.
The Impact of Crime on Victims Program, helps decrease the likelihood that offenders of violent crime will repeat their offenses, thereby reducing the number of crime victims in our state. This cognitive behavioral therapy model is evidence based program aimed to teach empathy to offenders and encourages them to accept responsibility for their actions.
The Courage to Change Program addresses the "Big Six" criminogenic needs of offenders, including Antisocial Values, Criminal Personality, Low Self-Control, Criminal Peers, Dysfunctional Family Ties, and Substance Use. By coupling this program wiht the Impact of Crime, we are motivating offenders to change, then showing them how to make changes in these areas.
These 13-week training courses, led by senior Victims' Voices Heard facilitators, are currently being conducted in 3 correctional facilities in Delaware; Sussex Correctional Institution, Howard R Young Correctional Institution, and Hazel Plant Women's Treatment Facility.
We are reaching as many as 56 residents each year, in each institution. Participants must be within 48 months from release in order to be accepted into the program. All participants volunteer to be a part of the program.
By enabling offenders to accept responsibility, achieve empathy with victims and understand why they committed their crimes, Victim Impact training results in less disruptive behavior among inmates, greater participation in self-improvement programs and a decreased likelihood of further violence after they return to society. We have the research to prove it! The evaluation done on our program received national attention and is included on the website of National Institute of Corrections! (http://nicic.gov/library/031312)
The Impact of Crime on Victims Program includes the following components:
- Approximately 14 participants complete 13 week session
- Focus on victim empathy
- Hear from various survivors of crime; Murder, Domestic Violence, Vehicular Homicide, Rape, Assault, Child Sexual Assault
- Agency presentations: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Victims' Advocates
- Group discussions and exercises
- Pre/Post testing
- Tracking after release
- Three year recidivism study
The Courage to Change Program includes the following components: Family Ties, Peer Relationships, Responsible Thinking, Self-control, Skills for Successful Living, Social Values, Strategies for Success, and Substance Abuse.
Photos provided courtesy of the Delaware State News / Journalist Ashley Dawson