Mandated Treatment - Frequently Asked Questions

mandated treatment frequently asked questions

What is the Risk-Need-Responsivity model? 

Risk Need Responsivity (RNR) is a model of evidence-based criminal justice that promotes public safety by targeting interventions to the risk level, criminogenic needs, and responsivity concerns of each offender. It emphasizes the use of research-driven assessment tools to identify that person’s risk of future offending and their criminogenic needs, which are identified factors that have been linked to the incidence of recidivism. The RNR model also takes into account the individual characteristics of a person that can affect the effectiveness of these interventions.  

What are criminogenic needs? 

Criminogenic needs refer to the risk factors that may lead or contribute to criminal or antisocial behavior. According to large scale analyses of research on incidences of recidivism, there are eight (8) central factors that are identified as the primary (proximal) cause of a person’s involvement in criminal activity. These are:

  • Antisocial (or Pro-Criminal) Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs
  • Antisocial Peers/Associations
  • Antisocial Personality Pattern/Supportive of Crime
  • History of Antisocial Behavior/Continuing Involvement in Antisocial Acts
  • Substance Abuse
  • Problematic or High-Risk Family/Marital Relationships
  • Lack of Pro-Social Recreation/Leisure Activities
  • Low Levels of Educational, Vocational, or Financial Achievement
“Pursuant to classical RNR principles, most criminal-justice professional bifurcate needs into two broad categories: (1) criminogenic needs and (2) non-criminogenic needs. Criminogenic needs are essentially dynamics or alterable risk factors for criminal recidivism. Some risk factors, such as an early age of onset of delinquency, are historical in nature and cannot be modified through criminal justice interventions. Others, however, can be ameliorated through correctional programming, such as reducing participants’ interactions with delinquent peers or addressing antisocial attitudes. Other problems or disorders encountered frequently in criminal justice populations, such as low self-esteem or depression, are referred to as non-criminogenic because they are most often a result rather than the cause of crime. Treating non-criminogenic needs before treating criminogenic has been associated with negative outcomes, including higher rates of criminal recidivism, substance use, and unemployment (Andrews & Bonta, 2010; Andrews et al., 1990; Smith et al., 2009; Vieira et al., 2009).” (1)

I hear RNR had been debunked or fallen out of favor. Why is this considered the "gold standard" treatment model? 

The RNR model has not been debunked. In fact, it has consistently been demonstrated as an effective methodology for reducing recidivism in numerous studies (1,2,3,4). This model has been integrated into standards of care in multiple states, including Colorado, given its demonstrated efficacy. Our administrative team here at CPA frequently reviews research and aims to offer effective assessment and treatments for our clients. Recent analyses show that RNR remains the best model in aiding our community, which is why we continue to utilize RNR throughout a person’s course of treatment with us. 

For more information about the various treatments we offer, you can use the navigation menu at the top of this page, or click here

How long is a client in treatment? 

Someone’s length of treatment varies from person to person, and is based upon their individual progress. On average, clients may expect to be in treatment anywhere from 12 to 24 months. For Substance Abuse treatment services, there are state minimum requirements set forth by the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) (1). For Weekly Outpatient (WOP) clients, this minimum is 9-months (or 36 sessions) of weekly attendance , and for those in Enhanced Outpatient (EOP) it is twice-weekly attendance for 12 weeks (or 24 sessions) followed by weekly attendance for an additional 24 weeks (or 24 sessions). However, these are minimums only, and a client’s progress is still evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

How is a client's treatment funded? 

Clients may be funded through a multitude of ways during their course of treatment with us. Clients can receive funding through: 

  • Department of Corrections (DOC) 
  • Correctional Treatment Funds (CTF)
  • County-Funded Contracts
Some clients may also be self-pay for their treatment. It is important to note that all clients are responsible for their treatment balance in the event that the third-party payor chooses not to fund a portion or all of their recommended treatment services. All clients are entitled to information about the fee structure and what their financial obligation may or may not be at the start of their treatment.

Do you take Medicaid? 

We do not currently accept Medicaid. There are are multitude of reasons why CPA has not opted in to Colorado Health First’s Medicaid program. Most saliently, however, because our services are highly specialized and focused on criminogenic need, they do not meet criteria for Medical Necessity, as defined within 10 CCR 2505-10 8.000 – “good or service [that] will, or is reasonably expected to prevent, diagnose, cure, correct, reduce, or ameliorate the pain and suffering, or the physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental effects of an illness, condition, injury, or disability.  

While we provide holistic treatment and view each person’s individual characteristics and life experiences as meaningful information throughout their time in therapy with us, our primary focus is on addressing the criminogenic needs identified during a client’s assessment and all behavioral interventions are aimed specifically at helping clients work towards desistance – the process of abstaining from crime by those with a previous pattern of offending. Mental health is not determined in the research to be a proximal cause of someone’s involvement in the justice system (12), meaning the mental health concerns are treated within the context of how it may impact a client’s responsiveness to their primary treatment recommendations within the RNR model.

We believe deeply in treating the whole person, and on utilizing data-driven and research supported assessments and interventions that directly address criminogenic need. If you have additional questions that were not directly responded to here, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by email at or by phone at (720) 854-0262. 

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