Pathfinders has been delivering programs in the Oregon prison system since 1993 under a contract with the Oregon Department of Corrections. The goal of all Pathfinders programs is to prepare criminal justice-involved individuals to re-enter society and avoid recidivism. The programs are usually delivered when a client has two or fewer years remaining in his/her sentence.
Each program is evidence-based or evidence informed and targets specific criminogenic domains. Cognitive programs focus on psychological skills development that provides offenders with the tools for changing negative behaviors through restructuring thought processes. High-risk clients generally lack the cognitive-behavioral and social skills necessary to succeed as productive members of society. In order to reduce recidivism, periods of incarceration need to be augmented with programming designed to address these deficits.
- Pathfinders. Pathfinders is a 195-hour program designed to assist individuals in examining their thought processes and to help them discover how errors in their thinking may lead them to act in an asocial, antisocial, or criminal manner. Programming is governed by a simple straightforward principle – thinking (internal behavior) controls actions (external behavior). The Pathfinders program uses a combination of approaches to increase awareness of self and others. The philosophy of the program endorses that each person has the power and responsibility for changing his or her own problem behavior. See this document for detailed information about the content and skills of the Pathfinders program.
- Parenting Inside Out.Parenting Inside Out (PIO) is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral parent management skills program created for incarcerated parents through a six-year collaboration of scientists, policy makers, practitioners, and instructional designers. Both the information in the program and the way that information is presented were informed by knowledge derived from research and practice.
- Living in Freedom Today. Living in Freedom Today (LIFT) is a comprehensive six month, 14 hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, Intensive Alcohol and Drug Outpatient and Cognitive Restructuring Program for women who qualify for an Alternative Incarceration Program (AIP), or who are identified with a high need for cognitive programming. In addition to facilitating intensive programming, case managers act as transition specialists to assist participants in successfully re-entering the community after incarceration. When the women complete the program they move into an “aftercare” phase that consists of attending one LIFT support group per week and ongoing case management until they release.