What are criminogenic needs?


Criminogenic needs are issues, risk factors, characteristics and/or problems that relate to a person’s likelihood of reoffending or recidivism. There is a number of what are called “static” factors such as age at first arrest, criminal history, etc. that programming cannot change. The criminogenic factors that programming can address are the “dynamic” factors related to an offender’s current behavior, values, and attitudes. The kinds of dynamic factors that can be changed include, for example, anti-social personality; anti-social attitudes and values; anti-social associates; family dysfunction; poor self-control; poor problem-solving skills; substance abuse; lack of employment/employment skills. These are criminogenic needs if they are related to the individual’s criminality and/or likelihood of reoffending. If, for example, an offender’s educational deficiencies impair his/her ability to retain employment and thus lead him/her to commit crimes, then education is a criminogenic need; i