• IBIS TRaining
  • Basic Skills
  • Intro to CBT
  • Case Planning

Effective Practices in Correctional Settings II

 The EPICS-II training is based on an emerging body of literature in the field of corrections and the voluminous body of research on correctional treatment.  The extant research on traditional community supervision indicates supervision has minimal impact on offender outcomes.  However, research on modified approaches to supervision, indicates that with some adjustments to our practices in community supervision the experience of supervision can have an independent impact on recidivism rates.  More specifically, the works of Trotter (1993 & 2009); Paparozzi and Gendreau (2005) , Skeem et al., (2007); Bonta, Rugge, Scott, Bourgon, and Yessine (2008); Taxman, 2008; Bonta, Bourgon, Rugge, Scott, Yessine, Guitierrez, and Li (2010), Taxman (2008), Robinson et al., 2012; and Lowenkamp et al., 2013 all suggest that what officers discuss with offenders and how they “supervise” have impacts on offender outcomes.  These findings, coupled with the findings of research on correctional interventions (see for example Andrews, Bonta, Zinger et al., 1990; Andrews, Bonta, and Hoge, 1993; Lipsey and Lipsey, 2007; and Lipsey, Chapman and Landenberger 2001), shaped the theoretical and practical development of EPICS II. 


Click here to learn more about the Epics II Training.


Training length: 2 or 3 days


IBIS (Integrated Behavioral Intervention Strategies)

IBIS is a set of behavioral interventions aimed at producing change in offenders.  The IBIS program was developed by Dr. Christopher Lowenkamp, Dr. Igor Koutsenok, Charles Robinson, & Melanie Lowenkamp.  The program consists of three main components: motivational interviewing, EPICS-II, and incentives and sanctions. While each individual component is heavily based on the research IBIS represents a novel approach by integrating all three into a comprehensive set of practices.  The training is designed to train all correctional staff, from investigation to supervision, juvenile to adult, institution to community, as one large group creating a consistent approach in interacting with offenders, while at the same time appreciating the unique nature of each individual officer’s role.

 Training length: 3 days


Steps logo

STEPS (Strategies for Effective Pretrial Supervision)

The STEPS program is a modified version of EPICS-II specifically tailored to the Pretrial context.  In the STEPS curriculum participants learn specific strategies to accomplish pre-trial goals.  The training helps professionals increase the defendants’ appearances in court, compliance with release conditions and abstinence from other criminal behaviors. The training teaches skills to assist staff in developing a supervision alliance, uncover potential barriers to appearing in court, increase motivation to comply, target thinking errors leading to re-arrest, and mitigate risks during pre-trial supervision.

Training length: 2 or 3 days



Before agencies can begin to implement a large scale evidence-based program it is important that staff posses the basic skills to interact with defendants or offenders.  Within any correctional system it is the professional’s ability to build rapport and communicate effectively with the client that determines the effectiveness of the outcomes obtained.  Building a solid working relationship with the clients is an important concept in promoting behavioral change that is supported by the research. Researchers have identified relationship (Skeem et al., 2007; Andrews et al., 1990; Palmer, 1965; Palmer, 1973) and coaching skills (Trotter, 1996; Andrews et al., 1990) of staff as important factors associated with effective correctional programs.  Meta-analytic results by Andrews & Dowden show that correctional programs with staff that possess relationship and coaching skills are considerably more effective in reducing recidivism than correctional programs with staff that do not possess these skills (Andrews & D.owden, 2004).  This training teaches the basic relationship skills that are fundamental in developing an effective supervision alliance with the clients.  Participants will learn important communication skills to decrease resistance and increase motivation to change.  This one day training sets the foundation for agencies hoping to incorporate evidence based practice into their daily interactions with offenders.

Training length: 1 day



Current research establishes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as an evidence-based form of treatment and indicates that it yields the strongest, most consistent benefit in reducing recidivism (for systematic reviews see Lipsey, Chapman, and Landenberger, 2001; Wilson, MacKenzie & Bouffard, 2005; Pearson, Lipton, Cleland, & Yee, 2002).  The Intro to CBT class introduces participants to the basic concepts of CBT as it relates to criminal behavior.  Participants learn the fundamentals of CBT and how and to recognize errors in thinking that lead to offending behavior.  Staff will learn how to incorporate simple cognitive model worksheets into their interactions with clients to reduce their risk of re-offending.  The cognitive model is an easy-to-understand, pictorial representation of how events can trigger thoughts/feelings, which cause the behavior. By introducing the cognitive model to the offender, the staff can begin the process of restructuring antisocial thoughts and help the offender learn to replace them with alternative, pro-social thoughts, which lead to changes in behavior.  Teaching this model helps the offender see and understand the connection between thinking and behavior.  

Training length: 1 day



Case planning in the corrections profession is typically a static process that involves completing a series of check boxes and stock text fields to meet audit standards. This training focuses on using the case planning process to establish rapport, identify and document offender needs, develop motivation to make changes in relevant need areas, develop a relapse prevention plan and track client progress over time. The ultimate goal is to learn to use the case planning process, and the case plan, as a blueprint for change as well as a method to measure the impact of interventions over time.

Training length: 2 days