Planning to Avoid Risk or Planning for a Positive Life

The Relationship between Release Plan Valence and Reoffending



Sophie R. Dickson, Devon L. L. Polaschek

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

December 2014




Following release from prison, offenders face a variety of challenges reintegrating back into the community. As a result, many high-risk offenders fail quickly. Research has shown that good quality release plans—plans to address offenders’ basic needs in the community—are related to reduced rates of recidivism during this risky time. But what makes a good plan? The current study examines release plan valence: whether plans are approach-oriented or avoidance-oriented. Although it was hypothesized that approach plans would be related to better outcomes, the results showed no relationship between release plan valence and reoffending rates. These results indicate that planning for a positive life and plans for risk management are equally important in reducing risk in the community.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee