The Nebraska Center for Justice Research recently published a report on a program evaluation of the Moral Reconation Therapy program used by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. One goal of the evaluation project was to determine whether participation in MRT reduced institutional rule violations and recidivism once released on parole.
The primary goal of MRT is the moral development of the client. MRT was developed by Drs. Gregory Little and Kenneth Robinson in 1985 using research from psychology on moral and personality development. The therapy identifies 13 stages of moral development that exist on a continuum. A series of treatment steps parallels these stages. It is anticipated that as individuals progress through the treatment steps, they begin to act in a manner consistent with more sophisticated levels of moral reasoning, ultimately, lowering recidivism and other negative outcomes.
The evaluation examined quantitative data provided by the NDCS and included inmates who participated in an MRT program in any of the 10 facilities under NDCS supervision from October 2015 through February 2017. A comparison group, composed of inmates who did not participate in MRT programming, was also used to help determine the effect of treatment.
Generally, results suggest that MRT can be useful in reducing rule violations and recidivism while in prison and on parole, respectively.
To read about the other goals and findings of the evaluation, read the report: Evaluation of the Moral Reconation Therapy Program at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
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