For decades, correction personnel’s have been using the motivational interviewing (MI) to encourage and motivate people to stick to their goals to bring change within themselves. Miller (1991) was the first person to develop this strategy, which used different techniques such as avoiding arguments, improving ambivalence to fortify commitment, expression of empathy to motivate substance abusers to change themselves. A number of research papers have indicated that the efficacy of motivational interviewing (MI) is commendable, however, the evidence related to the effectiveness with the offenders needs to be further studied and collated. The main idea of the authors of this article was to elaborately study the impacts of motivational interviewing (MI), especially on offenders.
Based on the evidence from different publications on the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) in different sectors such as safer sex practice, controlling diabetes, weight loss, adherence to medication, etc. and its popularity, the authors hypothesized that MI might have incredible potential to treat offenders as well. Therefore, the authors aimed to examine and evaluate the evidence on the effectiveness of MI and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) on treating offenders from available literature.
In order to test their hypothesis, the authors conducted a systematic review. They reviewed all the available literature on MI or MET impact on offender population from the online databases (Cochrane library, Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, Proquest, National criminal justice reference, etc.) by using keywords such as motivational interviewing, motivation, motivational enhancement, etc. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the authors identified all the empirical studies.
The findings of this study indicated that MI can effectively enhance motivation to change, retention, and reduce crime rates among offenders. However, further elaborative research is needed to understand who and to what kind of MI can lead to better changes due to motivation, improve retention and reconviction rates.
The existing data on MI were ample but there was no review that summarized the actual impact of MI or MET in motivating offenders to change. Additionally, the integrity of this therapy on offenders further needs to be validated. Therefore, the arguments presented by the authors were persuasive. The outcomes of this article suggest that MI and MET have ample of potential to treat offenders irrespective of the presence of various variations. Therefore, it could be recommended to be used as a correctional policy to treat offenders to change through motivation.
Miller, W. R. (1991). Motivational interviewing: Preparing people to change addictive behavior. New York: Guilford.