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 incarcerated individual who is released and does not end up back in prison has avoided recidivism, while a former incarcerated individual 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 incarcerated individuals and parolees, this definition fits the mission of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs by using evidence-based rehabilitative programming to change the criminal mindset, so that incarcerated individuals can leave prison prepared to be healthy, productive members of society.

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

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 incarcerated individuals 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 incarcerated individuals needs and target those needs. If an incarcerated individual 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 incarcerated individuals rehabilitative needs and will be administered repeatedly throughout the incarcerated individuals stay in prison. Because of this, it is vital that an incarcerated individual 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 incarcerated individuals past criminal history and characteristics to predict their risk to reoffend. If an incarcerated individual is unsure if they have had a CSRA assessment, they should speak with their Correctional Counselor.

Incarcerated persons who are assigned to Adult Basic Education or Adult Secondary Education are required to be regularly assessed in reading and mathematics via the CASAS test series. These measure workplace skills and performance gains of the College and Career Readiness academic standards. Test takers are asked questions that cover everyday situations that relate to their lives, goals, and employment.   

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