Do intervention plans meet criteria for effective practice to reduce recidivism? How probation officers forget about social capital and basic needs

  • Jacqueline Bosker (Researcher at the University Applied Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jacqueline Bosker, Research Centre for Social Innovation, University of Applied Sciences, Heidelberglaan 7, 3584 CS Utre)
  • Cilia Witteman (Professor at the department of Clinical Psychology of the Behavioural Science Institute at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • Jo Hermanns (Hogeschool Utrecht (University of Applied Science), Heidelberglaan 7, P.O. Box 85397, 2508 AJ Utrecht, The Netherlands, email:

The increased use of instruments for assessing risks and needs in probation should lead to intervention plans that meet the criteria for effective practice. An analysis of 300 intervention plans from the Dutch probation service showed that the match between the assessed criminogenic needs and the goals and interventions in the intervention plan is fairly low. It was also found that the so-called risk principle is not fully applied by probation officers. In addition, personal goals that the offender values are often not taken fully into account. Finally, the intervention plans have a strong focus on improving human capital, while improving social capital and basic needs often is not part of the intervention plans, even if they were assessed as dynamic criminogenic needs.

Keywords: Intervention plan, Probation, Decision making, Human capital, Social capital, R-N-R model

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