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Aggression Replacement Training (ART)

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Aggression Replacement Training (ART): ART was developed by Arnold P. Goldstein, Barry Glick, and John Gibbs, and is an evidence-based program. ART is a 30-hour cognitive-behavioral program administered to groups of 8 to 12 juveniles two to three times per week.

ART features three coordinated and integrated components:

  1. Social Skills Training – teaches participants what to do, helping them replace antisocial behaviors with positive alternatives;
  2. Anger Control – teaches participants what not to do, helping them respond to anger in a nonaggressive manner and rethink anger-provoking situations; and
  3. Moral Reasoning – helps raise participants’ level of fairness, justice, and concern for the needs and rights of others.

Youth are eligible for ART if a determination is made (from the results of a formal assessment tool) that the youth has a moderate to high risk for re-offense and has a problem with aggression or lacks skills in prosocial functioning. Using repetitive learning techniques, offenders develop skills to control anger and use more appropriate behaviors. Also, guided group discussion is used to correct antisocial thinking that leads to problem situations.

Rigorous evaluations have assessed the effectiveness of ART as an intervention for incarcerated youth. In these studies, ART enhanced prosocial skill competency and overt prosocial behavior, reduced the level of rated impulsiveness, decreased the frequency and intensity of acting-out behaviors, and enhanced the participants’ levels of moral reasoning.

According to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, studies found that when ART is delivered competently, the program reduced felony recidivism and was found to be cost-effective. For the 21 courts in which ART service providers were rated as either competent or highly competent, the 18-month felony recidivism rate was 19 percent. This is a 24 percent reduction in felony recidivism compared with the control group, which is statistically significant.

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