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Criminogenic Risk and Reducing Recidivism

By | Blog, Day Reporting Center, Reentry, Uncategorized | No Comments

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)  recently posted a description of recidivism. This included recidivism rates. The update summarizes statistics and provides useful insight. According to the report, 68% of offenders return to prison within three years. Within nine years, over 80% return to prison.

 According to Pew, twice as many people are in community corrections -4.5 million- as are in prisons and jails. Most of these folks will soon be part of the “rest” of society, about 9 out of 10 of them.  This general population of probation and parole is a revolving door of offenders going in and out of jail.  The recidivism rate is essentially flat over time, but many offenders go back to jail multiple times. This is happening while the number of people in community corrections programs has grown significantly.  The overall trend is going no where but slowly down.

Corrections agencies recognize that simply tracking and trying to keep probationers out of trouble is not enough. It is critical to help increase the chances that they will stay out of jail once they return to society.

Criminogenic Needs and Programs that Address Them

Beginning in the 1980s, research was done on how best to help offenders avoid returning to prison. Out of this research, a set of Criminogenic Needs emerged. These are risk factors or problem areas that can negatively impact the chance of reoffending.

According to several authorities in this field, including the National Institute of Health and National Council on Crime and Delinquency, there are an established “Big 8” criminogenic needs or factors:

  1. Antisocial beliefs; criminal orientation and thinking
  2. Antisocial associates or peer relationships
  3. Antisocial personality disorders and anger management
  4. Conviction history
  5. Family dysfunction, parenting and family relationships
  6. Education and employment
  7. Leisure and recreation
  8. Substance and alcohol abuse

Many organizations have successfully implemented evidence-based programs that address these risk factors head-on.  The objective of these programs is to reduce recidivism, improve reentry rates, and lower the cost of offender program management.

Sentinel Offender Services offers cognitive skills programs based on methodology proven to reduce recidivism. We have assisted several community corrections agencies in this effort. Together, we develop a custom curriculum designed to meet the needs of their specific offender population. Sentinel employees deliver end-to-end in-community programs.  Each course we deliver is built with evidence-based practices. Courses include anger management, thinking for good, parenting skills and similar.


NIJ Update 

Download the document or read it online below

NIJ Recidivism update.2018



The Risk:


Criminogenic Needs: The Risk of Returning to Prison

Getting Closer to Customers in 2019: Here we grow Again

By | Blog, Day Reporting Center, ELECTRONIC MONITORING, Reentry, Uncategorized | No Comments

Getting closer to customers is a strategic initiative for Sentinel Offender Services. We are doing this by opening new branch offices in communities across the country.  Since January we have opened three new offices. Each location allows us to deliver products, services. and community-based programs and get to know our customers on a more personalized basis.

Every Sentinel office is both identical and unique.
  • Identical because of our commitment to quality management processes that are ISO 9001:2015 Certified. Following this global standard ensures that customers will receive consistent service quality no matter where they do business with us.
  • Unique because the products, services, and programs that are delivered at each location are customized to meet the needs of the local population. Some offices only offer GPS, others installation and retrieval services, while some operate full-service Day Reporting Centers. Whatever the requirement, Sentinel customizes the offering to meet the needs of our customer.

The Riverside County office opened its doors this January in the heart of downtown Riverside, California. From this location, we serve the courts, adult probation, and the Sheriff’s Department with alcohol monitoring, GPS, RF and case management services.  The staff makes weekly visits to local county probation offices to help with any front-line issues.

In April, Fairfield, Ohio office went live! As is often the case at our customer’s request, we are co-located with our customer at the county jail. Supporting Municipal Court, Juvenile Probation and the Court of Common Pleas the Sentinel team delivers GPS tracking, installation and removal and alcohol monitoring services.

Monday, May 6, 2019 marked the grand opening of the Meriden, Connecticut office. Working with several departments in the judicial branch of the state, the office provides dispatch, inventory control services and coordinates the field service team.

Sentinel has had a business relationship with the state of Connecticut for more than 20 years. Investing in a local office allows us to build on that solid foundation. Meriden was the perfect fit, as it is centrally located with easy access to the entire state and has a good business environment.

The Sentinel team welcomed staff from several groups within the judicial branch.  At the ribbon cutting commemorating the occasion, the program director expressed his appreciation for the long-standing relationship with Sentinel and the new investment in a Connecticut office. He stated that this will help Sentinel to better understand nuances associated with traffic and locations that are likely to experience more crime.


Many thanks to all who attended this special event. Below are a few candid snapshots of the reception.

Sentinel Celebrates Second Chance Month 2019

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The US SenateHouse of Representatives, and the White House have all officially proclaimed April 2019 as Second Chance Month in the US.  From the White House proclamation:

“…(we call on) all Americans to commemorate this month with events and activities that raise public awareness about preventing crime and providing those who have completed their sentences an opportunity for an honest second chance.”

Partnering with the National Reentry Resource Center * and other like-minded national organizations, Sentinel Offender Services is helping to bring awareness to the importance of successful offender reentry. Second Chance Month is a time when organizations and individuals focus on the importance of helping convicted criminals to successfully reenter society. This was first observed in the United States in 2017.


The world of offender management has changed since we began this business over 25 years ago. Sentinel Offender Services has changed and evolved as well.  We continue to help court systems, law enforcement, and corrections agencies to serve and protect local communities and help offenders get on the path to a better life.


Many of our most effective programs and tools are delivered every day through local offices, Day Reporting Centers (DRC) and Community Based programs across the US.

Throughout the month of April we look forward to celebrating Second Chance Month. We will share personal successes and new tools and technologies that help offenders stay on a path to a better life.


Research on Offender Programs and Promising Practices

By | Blog, Day Reporting Center, Reentry, Uncategorized | No Comments

In case you missed it,  the story linked below includes excellent data on the importance of investing in community-based programs for offenders.

In remarks from June 2018, NIJ Director David B. Muhlhausen emphasizes both the importance of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) and continuing to improve results. He references several studies from the past 10 years or so.

Here is the link to the article.

Three useful takeaways:

  1. Reentry programs that reduce recidivism are more important than ever.  The federal government has invested more than $1 billion in these over the past ten years and has committed another billion over the next ten years.
  2. Program content and delivery should continually improve.  Early programs that support this initiative show some positive results, but not enough.
  3. Programs must track and report results as objectively and scientifically as possible.  This takes time but is essential to have the greatest long-term positive impact on the professional community.

Read about a current Randomized Control Trial for a Day Reporting Center program designed to reduce recidivism in this research brief completed by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in February 2019.