Urban Institute Evaluation of the Criminon Program

The Urban Institute, a well-respected Washington D.C.-based think tank that carries out independent social policy and other research, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Criminon program.

In March 2005, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), the nonprofit organization that administers Criminon and other social betterment programs, contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct a process and impact evaluation of the on-site version of the Criminon program. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which the Criminon curriculum is consistent with research literature regarding “best practices” in prisoner rehabilitative programming.

Some key findings from the Urban Institute independent evaluation conclude that Criminon:

  • Is implemented in such a manner as to complement pre-existing correctional and reentry programming
  • Is highly adaptive depending on the characteristics of the population being targeted and the existing programs that are concurrently offered to its participants
  • Contains many elements of and is consistent with effective, best-practice cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) rehabilitative approaches
  • As with CBT, it places a strong emphasis on positive behavior change through changes in the way one thinks about his or her own behavior and relationships and how those factors influence one’s own life and the lives of those around him/her
  • Helps to increase the participant’s ability to behave in a pro-social manner, thus avoiding relapse into criminal behavior, substance abusing behavior, and other antisocial behavior patterns
  • Is consistent with elements of rehabilitative programs that focus on enhancing self-esteem, anger management, and non-violent conflict resolution, as well as limiting contact with those who engage in antisocial behaviors
  • It addresses elements of treatment associated with Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
  • Provides participants with an understanding of how the learning process works and what tools they need to engage in the processes of learning, studying, and applying any subject matter

A copy of the full Urban Institute report may be obtained upon request.