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Risk Principle

Robert Martinson wrote an article in 1974 which led to a nothing works doctrine with regard to offender rehabilitation. Since this time, a large body of literature has accrued aimed at discovering what does work in reducing the likelihood of recidivism among a criminal justice population. Much from this body of research can be synthesized into three core principles—the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) principles. This entry focuses on the risk principle. The risk principle helps correctional entities to decipher how to match offenders to the appropriate level of correctional intervention, suggesting that intensive correctional supervision and treatment services be reserved for those offenders who are at higher risk of recidivism. This entry provides an explanation of the risk principle, examines how correctional programs have applied and implemented ...

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