Moral Reconation Therapy—MRT® with Juveniles
MRT has been used with juvenile populations since 1989. MRT is a SAMHSA NREPP evidence-based registered program. The initial implementation with juveniles was in a multi-site job training program in Puerto Rico. It was then used in hospital treatment programs and privately operated juvenile detention center programs. Numerous juvenile probation sites, juvenile Drug Courts, at-risk student programs, and juvenile treatment programs utilize MRT as the primary treatment approach. Juvenile offenders use the MRT workbook Juvenile MRT—How To Escape Your Prison. Non-offender juvenile programs utilize the MRT workbook Discovering Life & Liberty in the Pursuit of Happiness. Both MRT workbooks use the 12 MRT steps, with a general written discussion of each step in the workbook, followed by the exercises and homework requirements. The juvenile workbook is also available on audio CDs.
Comprehensive juvenile programs also utilize three other cognitive-behavioral programs. These are Relapse Prevention, Job Readiness, and Character Development. Nearly every MRT program treating juveniles that has collected outcome data has reported significantly lower recidivism and lower disciplinary infractions. Other research has found significant beneficial changes in personality test variables as a result of treatment. There have been two juvenile studies on MRT that have shown no difference between the "treated" and "nontreated" groups. Both of these were extremely large implementations, done on entire populations in large institutions. Both of these were described as "chaotic" in that juveniles entered and left so quickly that many juveniles assigned to treatment were not entered in groups and many assigned as controls were entered into groups. The groups were large (25-35 participants), staff rotated shifts rapidly, and participants averaged 3-6 sessions. In summary, juvenile programs showing beneficial results used stable staff, had smaller groups (8-12), and had participants attend enough groups to progress to Step 7 in MRT.
All MRT groups are open-ended. This means that new clients can enter a group at any time and be incorporated into the program.
Basic MRT training is required for all MRT facilitators. Call CCI (901) 360-1564 for information.
Length of Program/Completion Rate:
In general, most juvenile offenders complete all MRT steps in 20-32 group sessions. Juvenile program completion rates have varied between 60%-100%. The mean completion rate for programs is about 75%. In juvenile educational MRT programs, the completion rate approaches 100%.
Other Program Components Typically Used:
Nearly all juvenile programs using MRT usually conduct several other cognitive-behavioral programs with their participants. Some of these components are used with all participants while others are based on individual needs. These are:
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