Motivational Interviewing Training Case Study
The state of California is in the process of an historic effort to implement rehabilitative reforms throughout its statewide correctional system. This effort, set into motion in 2007 with the signing of Assembly Bill (AB) 900, is currently being implemented via a blueprint for correctional system reform called the California Logic Model. This model sets forth a detailed, sequential description of how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will apply the evidence-based principles and practices that are at the core of this rehabilitative reform effort. Motivational Interviewing training is a key component of the state’s rehabilitative reform effort.
What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational Interviewing (MI), a key, evidence-based component of the California Logic Model, is a counseling technique originally introduced to the field of corrections in the 1990s. MI seeks to enhance the intrinsic motivation of offenders to engage in their own rehabilitation process and to take responsibility for changing their behavior.
By design of the California Logic Model, MI is to be utilized by CDCR correctional counselors and staff during the following interactions with offenders:
- During face-to-face intake assessment interviews that help determine an offender’s rehabilitative needs
- During an offender’s annual review
- During drop-in counseling sessions
- During assessment and preparation for parole
Because MI is to be utilized by hundreds of correctional counselors and other staff at 42 California correctional facilities including seven Modified Community Correctional Facilities, CDCR required a partner to help develop a comprehensive MI curriculum plan and oversee a statewide training class rollout.
The Motivational Interviewing Training Rollout
CDCR originally approached the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to discuss how the two agencies could partner to develop the MI curriculum and implement training for correctional counselors and other staff at facilities throughout the state. CDCR management was directed by the Chancellor’s Office to the California Corporate College because of its ability to act as a single point-of-contact for training services delivered within multiple community college districts.
To begin the project, staff from the California Corporate College conducted an initial training needs assessment to understand CDCR’s goals and specific training requirements. After the assessment, Corporate College staff worked with a team composed of CDCR experts, psychologists, and experienced MI trainers to develop a curriculum for the rollout.
“The key to the success of this important MI training rollout started with making sure the Corporate College staff understood the larger strategic and organizational goals related to our rehabilitation reform efforts. This included several measurable goals such as reducing overall recidivism and increasing public safety, but also the less tangible, yet extremely important goal of instilling rehabilitation as a cultural value within CDCR. The needs assessment and training performance analysis they conducted set this long-term project on the right path. Having the California Corporate College as a strategic training partner has been crucial to the success of our rehabilitative efforts.”
—Tina Bayles, performance evaluation, data and fidelity, Office of Program Accountability & Support, Division of Rehabilitative Programs
MI Training Rollout
The first training session of Introduction to Motivational Interviewing took place on March 30, 2012 at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. Since then more than 150 motivational interviewing training sessions have taken place at 35 correctional facilities across the state involving more than 2,000 CDCR staff.
Photo credit: Jon Wollenhaupt
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