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.
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
- 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.
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
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
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 group
|Use validated Risk-Needs Assessent to determine who should be referred to Decision Points
|All clients admitted to Decision Points groups are assessed as medium to high risk
|Group offered by two trained facilitators
|Ensure that all facilitators have successfully completed Decision Points Facilitator training
|All facilitators have earned a Decision Points Facilitator certificate
|Clients screened by facilitator(s) with Decision Points pre-group interview
Use pre-group interview to:
|Facilitator interview document records potential challenges client may face in group
|Private space provided appropriate for an interactive group
|Group 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 session
|Group sessions should be comprised of six to eight clients
|Decision 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 week
|Group should meet regularly to allow for skill development
|Decision Points Tracking Sheet record dates and time of sessions
|Decision Points materials incorporated in group sessions
|Program 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
|Agency defines clients’ successful completion of Decision Points program
|Agency determines the purpose of Decision Points in relation to its other interventions. Examples include:
|Agency provided facilitators definition of successful program completion.
|Agency monitors groups for quality assurance and provides coaching as needed
|Agency provides regular observation and follow-up coaching of groups based on Decision Points Quality Assurance observation form by trained observers/coaches
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.