Treating criminal behavior: Is the bang worth the buck?

Christopher Jon Romani, Robert D. Morgan, Nicole R. Gross, Brendan R. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Andrews and colleagues showed that the principles of Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) effectively reduced recidivism. The purpose of this study was to advance Andrews and colleagues' work by examining whether correctional services that adhered to RNR were more expensive than services that did not adhere to RNR. Articles included in the Andrews et al. (1990) meta-analysis of correctional services were gathered and reevaluated based upon a coding process which emphasized the maximum cost of service provision. Results indicated that appropriate correctional services (services that adhered to RNR) were not significantly more expensive than inappropriate correctional services (services that did not adhere to RNR) or traditional criminal sanctions. Also indicated was a practical cost difference between appropriate and inappropriate correctional services, where inappropriate correctional services had increased costs, possibly because of increased time of service provision. The implications of these findings for policy and correctional administrative decision making with regard to offender treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-165
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Corrections
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Recidivism
  • Rehabilitation
  • Risk-Need-Responsivity


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