Decision Points Logic Model

The Decision Points Theory of Action and Decision Points Logic Model, shown below, are intended to describe explicitly how the Decision Points intervention can lead to pro-social change for individuals involved with the justice system.

Problem Statement

Decision Points is designed for the range of individuals (both youth and adult) who become involved with the justice system. For the purposes of this document, these individuals will be referred to as clients.

Decision Points is a cognitive-behavioral intervention based on principles with broad based research support in reducing problematic behavior and recidivism. Decision Points addresses the risk-need-responsivity model of correctional interventions.

  • Risk – The program is developed for medium to high-risk justice-involved individuals. The open-group format combined with individual assessments allow participants to engage in variable amounts of group time (dosage) based on need. this allows the program to match dosage to level of risk.
  • Need – Decision Points targets dynamic risk factors that are amenable to intervention. Decision Points teaches how to recognize antisocial cognition (risky thinking), and develops ways to engage in alternative, less risky thoughts and feelings. In addition, the four Decision Points thinking steps address impulsivity issues to enable clients to ‘slow down’ their thinking processes before taking action.
  • Responsivity – Decision Points is a multi-modal program which incorporates a range of learning styles. Progress through the program requires mastery of the four thinking steps as demonstrated during in-group role playing activities. This approach accommodates individuals who are challenged with reading and writing, and simulates using Decision Points in real-life situations.

Theory of Action

Cognitive-Behavorial Targets

  • Recognition of personally relevant ‘risk’ situations that can lead to trouble/offending
  • Identification of thoughts and feelings that lead to offending (Step 1)
  • Recognition of how actions can positively and negatively affect others (Step 2)
  • Identification of a range of non-offending actions possible in risk situations (Step 3)
  • Identification of thoughts and attitudes that can support pro-social behavior (Step 4)
  • Use of pro-social thoughts and actions in ‘risk’ situations (Step 4)


To address targets

Program is structured in an individualized, open-group format. A set of five lessons: an initial base lesson and four recurring lessons use role play, group engagement and homework activities to support client mastery of:

  • Using the Trouble Cycle to identify relevant risk situations and how they can lead to trouble/offending
  • Applying the four Decision Points Steps to address personally relevant situations.

Proximal Outcomes

While in group

  • Increased awareness of situations that can lead to trouble/offending
  • Report/demonstrate using Decision Points Steps in in-group role play and homework reports

Distal Outcomes

After group completion

  • For those in supervision or custody – reduction in supervision reports of ‘problematic’ or offending behavior
  • Reported use of Decision Points Steps to avoid trouble/offending

Logic Model

Inputs are the resources needed to operate a program and conduct intervention activities
Activities are the actions conducted to implement an intervention.
Outputs are the deliverables or products that result when activities are conducted. Outputs provide evidence of service delivery.
Clients assessed for level of risk – admit medium to high risk clients to groupUse validated Risk-Needs Assessent to determine who should be referred to Decision PointsAll clients admitted to Decision Points groups are assessed as medium to high risk
Group offered by two trained facilitatorsEnsure that all facilitators have successfully completed Decision Points Facilitator trainingAll facilitators have earned a Decision Points Facilitator certificate
Clients screened by facilitator(s) with Decision Points pre-group interview Use pre-group interview to:
  • build initial rapport
  • informally assess literacy and cognitive challenges
  • get commitment for adherence to group rules
Facilitator interview document records potential challenges client may face in group
Private space provided appropriate for an interactive groupGroup room set up so that facilitators and group members face each other.Agency monitors room set up – using Quality Assurance Observation Form
Group size allows for clients to have the opportunity to demonstrate homework at least every other sessionGroup sessions should be comprised of six to eight clientsDecision Points Tracking Sheet documents that clients are demonstrating homework at least every other session.
Group scheduled for 1 to 2 hours at least once a weekGroup should meet regularly to allow for skill developmentDecision Points Tracking Sheet record dates and time of sessions
Decision Points materials incorporated in group sessionsProgram visuals (either presentation slides or posters) are displayed throughout the session Program handouts are used throughout the session.Agency monitors use of Decision Points materials in group – using Quality Assurance Observation Form
Client progress is assessed and tracked
  • Homework Step Reports are collected and assessed each session
  • Clients receive individual feedback on homework during group
  • Clients demonstrate homework in order to progress through the Decision Points steps
  • Decision Points Tracking Sheets document individual client progress in each session
  • Feedback Sheets provided to clients accurately identify parts of each Step completed successfully
  • Agency monitors clients successfully demonstrating homework – using Quality Assurance Observation Form
Agency defines clients’ successful completion of Decision Points programAgency determines the purpose of Decision Points in relation to its other interventions. Examples include:
  • Short-term intervention prior to entry into other programs
  • Reinforcement after completion of other cognitive-behavioral interventions
  • Stand-alone intervention – main cognitive-behavioral intervention offered
Agency provided facilitators definition of successful program completion.
Agency monitors groups for quality assurance and provides coaching as neededAgency provides regular observation and follow-up coaching of groups based on Decision Points Quality Assurance observation form by trained observers/coaches
  • Facilitators are observed within two months of initial implementation
  • Observations are used to plan coaching sessions
  • Observations identify personnel who have the potential to be agency-based Decision Points trainers

See a program sample

If you are interested in experiencing a snapshot of the program content, click to see a brief tutorial that gives an interactive “peek” at Decision Points from a participant’s perspective.