Over the last six decades, cognitive behavioral theories and interventions have been introduced, researched, and applied in various human services fields, including corrections and juvenile justice. A clear body of evidence has emerged to show that these interventions positively impact individuals, helping to create change in both thinking and behavior. In the corrections field the targeted behavior is a reduction in reoffending, and cognitive behavioral interventions have been found to be an evidence-based practice for achieving this goal by researchers and practitioners alike.  Whether you are just embarking on implementing Thinking for A Change or if your agency has been delivering the program for some time, mounting documentation indicates that evidence-based innovations alone do not create the desired impact; rather they must be supported by evidence-based implementation.  Successful implementation and long-term sustainability of Thinking for a Change requires a continued organizational commitment to ensure program fidelity.  This is best accomplished through on-going performance monitoring, coaching, training and evaluation of outcome measurements to maintain high level program delivery.

In 1998, the National Institute of Corrections produced the first version of Thinking for a Change (T4C). This program combined cognitive restructuring theory with cognitive skills theory to create an innovative and integrated curriculum designed to help individuals in the juvenile and adult justice systems take control of their lives by taking control of their thinking. Since its inception, Thinking for a Change has gone through a number of revisions and continues to be the most requested document from the National Institute of Corrections Information Center. T4C has been the subject of many studies and has routinely proven to be effective in reducing recidivism when implemented with integrity.

T4C 4.0 not only reflects the collective wisdom and experience of facilitators, trainers, and the authors, but also the newest innovations in program delivery. NIC worked in consultation with all three original authors to complete this project. Version 4.0 incorporates developments in the field of cognitive behavioral interventions, and it improves upon the original product in both format and content.

The most significant accomplishment of this revision is T4C 4.0 is now presented as an interactive online curriculum.  It is navigational, searchable and can be used on a desktop, tablet, or even a smartphone resulting in a more user-friendly curriculum.  It allows for unprecedented two-way communication between curriculum users and NIC granting opportunity for continuous feedback and information sharing. It is an even more decisively integrated program, where each component builds upon and supports the others, thus enhancing what was arguably the greatest strength of Thinking for a Change in the first place.

We are confident this curriculum will help you and your agency create positive changes for those you serve.

Jim Cosby


National Institute of Corrections