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Program Profile: Moving On (Minnesota)

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on June 27, 2016

Program Summary

This is a curriculum-based, gender-responsive intervention created to address the different cognitive–behavioral needs of incarcerated women. The program is rated Promising. The program was shown to significantly reduce recidivism as measured by rearrests and reconvictions, but did not have a significant impact on reincarcerations for a new offense and technical violation revocations.

Program Description

Program Goals
Moving On is a curriculum-based, gender-responsive intervention created to address the different cognitive–behavioral needs of incarcerated women. Specifically, the program seeks to improve communication skills, foster relationship building, and teach healthy ways to express emotion. The program emphasizes goal setting and self-reflection. Moving On targets women who have specific criminogenic needs such as antisocial thinking, unhealthy peer and family relationships, and negative emotional expressions.
Target Population/Eligibility
Participation in Moving On is voluntary. The program is offered on a quarterly basis to incarcerated women who are serving the last half of their confinement period.
Program Activities
Moving On is delivered in 26 sessions over the course of 12 weeks, with each session lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. Class sizes tend to be small, ranging from 5 to 10 participants (there is a maximum of 10 participants per facilitator). Sessions consist of both group and one-on-one discussions.
Program activities include self-assessments, writing exercises, and role-playing and modeling activities. Participants are encouraged to set goals for the future and assess their personal strengths and weaknesses. Facilitators engage in skill modeling to show participants how to respond to adverse stimuli. Participants then engage in simulations and role-playing exercises to practice the skills they learned. The program has a graduated practice model, meaning new skills are practiced progressively in more challenging situations.
Moving On uses a rewards/punishments system to encourage positive behaviors and deter negative ones. Social and tangible awards are used to positively reinforce participants’ progress and accomplishments. Sanctions are given to participants who engage in disruptive or antisocial behaviors during program sessions. 
Program Theory
Moving On integrates concepts surrounding relational theory, cognitive–behavioral intervention, and motivational interviewing to ensure women are successful upon their reentry into the community (Gehring, Van Voorhis, and Bell 2010; Van Dieten and MacKenna 2001). Moving On is strengths-based and encourages women to use personal and community resources. The Moving On environment is supportive, empathic, accepting, collaborative, and challenging. Women are treated with respect and dignity so that they may build and expand their support networks and become more competent in decision making, problem solving, assertiveness skills, and emotional regulation.
Additional Information
The Moving On program model described above was implemented from 2003 to 2011. In 2011, a decision was made to alter the programming (for a description, see the Other Information section). The modified version of Moving On was implemented from 2011 to 2013. In late 2013, the Minnesota Department of Corrections returned to implementing Moving On the way it had operated prior to 2011 (Duwe and Clark 2015, p. 323).

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Duwe and Clark (2015) found that participants in Moving On were significantly less likely to be rearrested, compared with the control group. Participating in Moving On lowered the risk of reoffending by 31 percent, for rearrests.
Participants in Moving On were also significantly less likely to be reconvicted, compared with the control group. Participating in Moving On lowered the risk of reoffending by 33 percent, for reconvictions.
New Offense Reincarceration
There were no significant differences between the Moving On group and control group regarding reincarceration for a new offense.
Technical Violation Revocation
Similarly, there were no significant differences between the Moving On group and control group regarding technical violence revocations. 
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Duwe and Clark (2015) used a retrospective, quasi-experimental design with matched comparison groups to evaluate the impact of the Moving On program on post-release recidivism outcomes. The total sample population consisted of females who were about to be released from prison in Minnesota. Due to problems with program implementation fidelity (i.e., alterations made to the program in 2011), the study design split the treatment group into two groups: “Moving On, pre-2011” (N=216) and “Moving On, 2011–2013” (N=864)—also referred to as “high-fidelity” and “low-fidelity” periods, respectively. The key difference between the two treatment groups was that participants in the high-fidelity period were volunteers, whereas low-fidelity participants were automatically placed in the program as soon as they entered the prison. Further, participants in the low-fidelity period experienced less class time, participated in much larger group sessions, and missed core components of the program (for more information, see the Other Information section). For this review, the focus was on the analysis related to the pre-2011 treatment group because the 2011–2013 version of the program is no longer implemented (Duwe and Clark 2015, p. 323).
The comparison group (n=2,972) included women who did not participate in either version of Moving On in the period from 2003–2011. Because participation was compulsory during the low-fidelity period (meaning nearly all women admitted to prison between 2011 and 2013 participated in Moving On), the same pool of non-participants was used for matching purposes for both the pre-2011 and the 2011–2013 treatment groups. Propensity score matching was used to control for selection bias. A balancing technique was used to determine differences between the groups after matching. Differences only existed when comparing the pre-2011 Moving On treatment group with the 2011–2013 Moving On treatment group for variables assessing prior sentence length and propensity score. The study did not provide detailed demographic information about the individuals who participated in Moving On.
Administrative data was used to assess the impact of the Moving On program on four different measures of recidivism: rearrest, reincarceration, new offense reincarceration, and technical violation revocation. Data on arrest and convictions was collected from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and reincarceration and revocation data was collected from the Correctional Operations Management System.
Cox survival analysis was used to measure how program fidelity affected these recidivism outcomes and controlled for a number of covariates such as age at release, length of stay, prison discipline convictions, suicidal tendencies, and prison visitation. The follow-up period ranged from 6 months to more than 11 years, depending on the total amount of time offenders were actually at risk to reoffend (i.e., “street time”).
The main methodological limitation of this study was that the program structure changed dramatically 2 years into the intervention. The modification that most affected the study was a shift from voluntary to compulsory participation. This limited the pool from which researchers could draw non-participants for the comparison group. From 2011–2013, only 49 women who entered the prison did not participate in Moving On. As a result, there were many differences in follow-up time between the comparison and treatment groups, possibly skewing recidivism rates.
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The Moving On program curriculum costs $565.95. All materials can be purchased from the Hazelden Publishing Web site:
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Implementation Information

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Program facilitators should have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in a human services discipline, have at least 2 years of experience working with offender populations, and complete a 5-day Moving On facilitator training. There is also a Moving On Facilitator Guide, a CD-ROM that includes participant handouts and facilitator supplements, and a training DVD.  For a link to program materials, see Costs.
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Other Information (Including Subgroup Findings)

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The Moving On program went through a number of changes. Before 2011, the program operated at a high degree of fidelity (see the Program Description). In 2011, a decision was made to alter the programming so that participation was mandatory and individuals enrolled as soon as they entered the prison. This change shortened the program length from 12 to 3 weeks and increased class sizes from 5–10 to 40–50 women. Furthermore, the program timeline shifted so that it was offered at the beginning of each individual’s period of incarceration instead of toward the end. The new version of the program also excluded certain core program components such as role playing, skill building, homework exercises, and the rewards/punishments system. Duwe and Clark (2015) found that the 2011–2013 version of Moving On did not have a significant impact on any of the measures of recidivism (rearrests, reconvictions, reincarcerations, or revocations). The Minnesota Correctional Facility–Shakopee (the women’s prison where the program operates) is currently implementing Moving On according to the pre-2011 format, with the addition of a risk assessment to give priority to offenders with the highest recidivism risk. For more information about the differences between Moving On when implemented with fidelity and Moving On when implemented without fidelity, see Table 1 on page 307 of the 2015 evaluation by Duwe and Clark.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Duwe, Grant, and Valerie Clark. 2015. "Importance of Program Integrity Outcome Evaluation of a Gender-Responsive, Cognitive-Behavioral Program for Female Offenders." Criminology and Public Policy 14(2):301–28.

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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Gehring, Krista, Patricia Van Voorhis, and Valerie R. Bell. 2010. “ ‘What Works For Female Probationers? An Evaluation of the Moving On Program.” Women, Girls, and Criminal Justice 11(1): 6–10.

Van Dieten, Marilyn, and P. MacKenna. 2001. Moving On Facilitator’s Guide. Toronto, Ont.: Orbis Partners, Inc.

Van Dieten, Marilyn. 2010. Moving On: A Program for At-Risk Women. Modules 1 and 6 Facilitator’s Guide. Center City, Minn.: Hazelden.
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Related Practices

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Following are practices that are related to this program:

Adult Reentry Programs
This practice involves correctional programs that focus on the transition of individuals from prison into the community. Reentry programs involve treatment or services that have been initiated while the individual is in custody and a follow-up component after the individual is released. The practice is rated Promising for reducing recidivism.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
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Program Snapshot

Age: 18+

Gender: Female

Setting (Delivery): Correctional

Program Type: Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Gender-Specific Programming, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Motivational Interviewing

Targeted Population: Females, Prisoners

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: What Works Clearinghouse

Grant Duwe
Research Director
Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive Suite 200
St. Paul MN 55108-5219