What Works in Corrections

Reducing the Criminal Activities of Offenders and Deliquents

by Doris Layton MacKenzie

Series: Cambridge Studies in Criminology

What Works in Corrections, first published in 2006, examines the impact of correctional interventions, management policies, treatment and rehabilitation programs on the recidivism of offenders and delinquents. The book reviews different strategies for reducing recidivism and describes how the evidence for effectiveness is assessed. Thousands of studies were examined in order to identify those of sufficient scientific rigor to enable conclusions to be drawn about the impact of various interventions, policies and programs on recidivism. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were performed to further examine these results. This book assesses the relative effectiveness of rehabilitation programs (e.g., education, life skills, employment, cognitive behavioral), treatment for different types of offenders (e.g. sex offenders, batterers, juveniles), management and treatment of drug-involved offenders (e.g., drug courts, therapeutic communities, outpatient drug treatment) and punishment, control and surveillance interventions (boot camps, intensive supervision, electronic monitoring). Through her extensive research, MacKenzie illustrates which of these programs are most effective and why.


In The Press

"In an area that often embraces ideology and custom, Doris MacKenzie shows the wisdom of an evidence-based corrections. Through a definitive yet accessible analysis of the lengthy roster of existing offender interventions, she teaches us what programs do and do not hold promise for reducing criminal activity. Indeed, if the sage advice between its covers is followed, this volume offers the important opportunity to avoid harmful treatments and to develop interventions that enhance both the lives of offenders and the public's safety. Simply put, What Works in Corrections is a must read for any serious student of the correctional enterprise." -Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati