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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT of Interventions – a cognitive behavioral treatment program for justice-involved individuals with mental illness

This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Interventions, a non-proprietary manualized cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) program for justice-involved individuals with mental illness.

Grant recipient: Regents of the University of California

Term: 2016 – 2022

Principal Investigators: Jennifer Skeem, Ph. D., School of Social Welfare & Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley
Susan Turner, Ph. D., School of Social Ecology, University of California Irvine

Funding: $1,689,181

Summary: This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Interventions, a non-proprietary manualized cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) program for justice-involved individuals with mental illness. With U.S. Department of Justice funding, Interventions was recently implemented and refined in four sites (located in California, Ohio, and Texas). In this RCT, researchers will partner with two community-based sites (both in California) to test the impact of the program on recidivism. Prior evidence supporting a CBT approach includes a Campbell Collaboration meta-analytic review of high-quality studies, which found that CBT programs for general offenders (not necessarily offenders with mental illness) reduce recidivism by 25% on average.

In this study, a total of 720 individuals at two sites – a mental health court and an adult probation program – will be randomly assigned to either Interventions or to treatment as usual, which typically includes psychiatric treatment. The primary outcome in this RCT is recidivism, as measured with arrest records over a minimum period of 1 year. The study will also assess whether Interventions works by reducing criminal thinking and other general risk factors for recidivism.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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