Thinking for a Change, also known as T4C, improves public safety by helping offenders change their thinking patterns and develop social and problem-solving skills.
It is one of the cognitive behavioral interventions offered to offenders in prisons and in communities. The Washington State Department of Corrections joined other corrections agencies throughout the nation in using this program, building on DOC’s goal to improve public safety by changing offender behavior.
About Thinking for a Change
Small groups of offenders participate in guided discussions and activities in a classroom. The program is based on the principle that thinking controls how people act, and that to change the way people act, they have to take control of their thinking.
Developed by Barry Glick, Ph.D.; Jack Bush, Ph.D.; and Juliana Taymans, Ph.D. in cooperation with the National Institute of Corrections, the curriculum helps participants systematically build skills to recognize their own and others’ thinking patterns, recognize the risks associated with those thoughts and how to make better choices.
Instructors demonstrate the skills being taught and ask participants to relate them to situations in their own lives as well as practice their new skills after class and discuss that practice in subsequent classes.
Why we use Thinking for a Change
Offenders who participated in Thinking for a Change were far less likely to relapse into criminal behavior than those who didn’t according to a 2009 evaluation of the program.
Researchers studied groups of offenders under community supervision and found that the recidivism rate of those who participated in the treatment was 15 percent lower than those in a comparison group.