Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following are common questions pertaining to CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP):

Recidivism is when people habitually relapse into crime resulting in a return to prison. Example: an offender who is released and does not end up back in prison has avoided recidivism, while a former offender who commits another crime and returns to prison has recidivated.

Criminogenic is a factor or set of factors that influence an individual’s tendency toward criminal behavior. The greater the criminogenic rating, the more likely an individual is to commit crimes.

As defined by, rehabilitation means “to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work, or the like.” As applied to offenders and parolees, this definition fits the mission of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs of using evidence-based rehabilitative programming to change the criminal mindset, so offender leave prison prepared to be healthy, productive members of society.

At CDCR, the term “offender” refers to a person who has broken the law and is now serving time in prison as an offender. While technically the term offender can also apply to people on parole, DRP uses it for offenders in prison.

As part of their duties, Correctional Counselors work inside prisons to assist in the assessment, development, and recommended correctional programming for their assigned offenders.

DRP provides evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (CBI) programs that address negative patterns of thought, including: substance use disorder, anger management, family relationships and criminal thinking. This is accomplished through assessments, treatment plans, individual and group therapy, counseling, motivational interviewing, role-playing, and other methods. The women’s CBI also offers programming that is gender-responsive and trauma-informed.

The needs of offenders vary greatly. To provide more targeted rehabilitation, CDCR uses an evidence-based tool called the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS), to assess an offenders needs and target those needs. If an offender has not had a COMPAS assessment, they should speak with their Correctional Counselor.

IMPORTANT: The COMPAS assessment is one of the most influential tools CDCR uses to determine an offenders rehabilitative needs and will be administered repeatedly throughout the offenders stay in prison. Because of this, it is vital that an offender take the proper time to understand and be absolutely truthful in their COMPAS assessment; if they are not, it is unlikely their needs will be met due to a lack of facts.

The California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA) uses an offenders past criminal history and characteristics to predict their risk to reoffend. If an offender is unsure if they have had a CSRA assessment, they should speak with their Correctional Counselor.

To have access to Academic Basic Education in prison, an offender needs to take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Testing yields a TABE grade-point level (GPL) score which determines the offenders educational level. If the offender does not have a TABE GPL score on file, can submit a form to the Testing Coordinator requesting TABE testing.

Adopted by CDCR in 2007, the California Logic Model (CLM) is California’s 8-step model for delivering effective rehabilitation.