Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

pp 1-11

Actualizing Risk-Need-Responsivity

  • Faye S. TaxmanAffiliated withCriminology, Law and Society, George Mason University Email author 
  • , Michael CaudyAffiliated withCriminology, Law and Society, George Mason University
  • , Stephanie MaassAffiliated withCriminology, Law and Society, George Mason University


Principles of effective correctional intervention; Principles of effective intervention; RNR; RNR model; Treatment matching


The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model for correctional programming has served as a framework for promoting the use of evidence-based correctional strategies. The RNR framework has three core principles: (1) identify and target the static risk level of the individual, (2) identify the dynamic risk factors (needs) that are associated with offending behavior and that affect psychosocial functioning, and (3) identify appropriate correctional interventions that are suitable to address the risk-need interaction. Adherence to all three of these principles promises a greater impact on recidivism and other individual offender outcomes. This essay provides a brief overview of (1) risk assessment, (2) dynamic offender needs, and (3) responsivity.

The Risk-Need-Responsivity Model

The core components of the RNR Mode ...

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