Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Motivational interviewing with offenders: A systematic review Mary McMurran* Division of Psychiatry, Section of Forensic Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham UK Purpose. Offender motivation is one specific responsivity variable in offender treatment and motivational interviewing (MI) is commonly used by corrections personnel. Although evidence for the effectiveness of motivational interviewing is accruing overall, a review of MI specifically with offender populations is required. Method. Relevant databases and websites were searched using terms relating to MI with offenders. Results. In total, 13 published studies and 6 dissertation abstracts were identified. MI is most evaluated in relation to substance misusing offenders ( N ¼ 10). Other applications are with domestic violence offenders ( N ¼ 3), drink-drivers ( N ¼ 5), and general offending ( N ¼ 1). In these populations, MI is used to enhance retention and engagement in treatment, improve motivation for change, and change behaviour. Conclusions. MI can lead to improved retention in treatment, enhanced motivation to change, and reduced offending, although there are variations across studies. To advance the study of MI with offenders, a theory of change needs to be articulated on which testable hypotheses may be based. The integrity of treatment in its application needs to be assured. Based on these foundations, more outcome research is needed to examine who responds to what type of MI in relation to treatment retention, readiness to change, and reconviction. Over the past two decades, the three main principles of effective practice in offender rehabilitation, derived from the ‘What Works?’ literature, have become embodied in the Risk–Needs–Responsivity (R-N-R) model of offender assessment and treatment (Andrews & Bonta, 2003). Put simply, these principles are that, for maximum effect, treatment should be directed at high-risk offenders, focus on needs that relate to criminal behaviour, and be responsive to offenders’ characteristics, abilities, and circumstances. Treatments that abide by the risk, needs, and general responsivity * Correspondence should be addressed to Professor Mary McMurran, Division of Psychiatry, Section of Forensic Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Gateway Building, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK (e-mail: [email protected]). The British Psychological Society 83 Legal and Criminological Psychology (2009), 14, 83–100 q 2009 The British Psychological Society DOI:10.1348/135532508X278326
Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society principles are more effective than those that do not (Andrews & Dowden, 2005). The focus here is on responsivity.
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