Treatment of Offenders Philosophy
At Reality House Programs, Inc. our core philosophy is that thoughts, feelings and behaviors combine to influence a offender’s quality of life. One of our treatment goals is to help offenders to change unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habits, feelings and behaviors. We strive to teach them that it is possible to have control over their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, to help the person to challenge and overcome automatic beliefs and use practical strategies to change or modify their behavior. The result is more positive feelings, which in turn leads to more positive thoughts and behaviors.
We believe all behaviors are learned and/or maintained by a combination of past experience, thoughts and beliefs, and social and environmental interactions. These factors comprise an individual’s value system, which determines actions and reactions in various situations. At times, this value system is manifested by criminal behavior. From this perspective, alcohol and drug dependence is a learned coping behavior that is acquired through experience. In addition, there are specific factors related to and predictive of crime that have been identified by Andrews and Bonta (1994) as criminogenic needs. These needs encompass an entire sphere of influence, from past criminal behavior, to financial and living circumstances, to personality and attitudes. Understanding an offender’s criminogenic needs is critical in their treatment.
Treatment models utilized by Reality House treatment staff are a unique combination of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (‘cognitive therapy’ and ‘behavior therapy’), Motivational Interviewing, Reality Therapy, and Moral Reconation Therapy. This combined treatment modality is individualized to each offender in order to develop an approach best suited to their way of thinking about the issues that are causing concern.
A positive outcome for our offenders also involves the use of practical self-help strategies, which are designed to bring about positive and immediate changes in the offender’s quality of life, as well as providing the lifelong skills that will enable them to live a productive, healthy, and meaningful life.