Within-treatment change in dynamic risk factors among offenders with shorter prison sentences

Dr Yatin Mahajan1, Mr Jude Lobo1, Dr Mark Howard1

1Corrections Research Evaluation & Statistics, Department of Communities and Justice, Sydney, Australia

High Intensity Program Units (HIPUs) located in correctional centres across New South Wales provide specialised treatment and reintegration support for offenders serving shorter sentences of less than two years. This study examined whether participating in HIPUs was associated with a measurable change in a range of dynamic risk factors that were the targets of intervention. A battery of self-reported psychometric measures assessed various dynamic risk factors for HIPU participants (n = 448) before and after treatment, including antisocial attitudes, anger, impulsivity, and substance dependence. Within-treatment change was calculated at a group level and at an individual level using categorisations of clinically significant change. Results indicated that patterns of within-treatment change differed across dynamic risk factors. There was modest evidence of clinically significant improvement among HIPU participants. We also report on additional analyses that examine whether self-reported change in dynamic risk factors among HIPU participants is predictive of reoffending outcomes.


Yatin Mahajan is a senior research analyst at the Corrections Research, Evaluation and Statistics (CRES) unit of Corrective Services NSW. He is an experienced corrections researcher, contributing to projects on short-sentenced offender cohort, offender assessments, mechanism of change in offender treatment and custody-based interventions.


Dec 09 2021