The effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on recidivism among parolees in Central America: evidence from a Honduran experiment

Joel A. Capellan, Stephen Koppel, Hung En Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise as a tool for rehabilitating offenders in the USA and other developed nations. However, little is known about the effectiveness of CBT outside the developed world. In Central America, a region wracked by rampant violence and disorder, CBT has the potential to change the behavior of persistent offenders and improve public safety. The present study examines the results of a CBT among supervised offenders in Honduras. Methods: Randomized control trial, where one hundred parolees were randomly assigned to either a treatment (n = 50) or control conditions (n = 50) group and tracked for 14 months. Results: Subjects who participated in the CBT program were 69% less likely to reoffend at any compared with those assigned to the control group. Conclusion: Despite social, economic obstacles, CBT proved to be effective in reducing recidivism among parolees in Honduras—a testament to its robustness and wide applicability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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