Effective Practices in Community Support for Influencers was designed as an extension of the Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) Model, an approach that teaches community supervision staff how to apply the core principles of effective intervention to community supervision. EPICS for Influencers builds on this pre-existing knowledge base and incorporates the components of EPICS for use with support members (Influencers) of those involved in the criminal or juvenile justice system. The goal of EPICS-I is to identify prosocial support in an offender’s life and teach those Influencers core skills used within the EPICS model. This allows Influencers to help offenders identify risky situations and practice skills to successfully manage these challenges.
Influencers are trained in core skills including identifying risky situations, identifying and restructuring risky thinking, using structured skill building, teaching problem solving, building relationships, and using effective reinforcement and effective disapproval.
An advantage of this intervention is that it is designed to be delivered during everyday interactions between the Influencer and offender. Another important benefit of this approach is that it builds on the interventions being taught in structured treatment groups and/or during contact sessions between the offender and community supervision officers. Research shows that relapse prevention programs that trained significant others and family members in cognitive-behavioral approaches were three times as effective as programs that did not. An added benefit of this approach is the added dosage offenders receive through the interactions with a trained Influencer.
The Influencers model employs the use of coaches. EPICS-I coaches are trained to provide community assistance for Influencers and the offenders they support. This on-going coaching will ensure fidelity to the model through regular meeting between the EPICS coaches and the Influencers. Emphasis will be placed on helping the Influencer to integrate cognitive-behavioral interventions and evidence-based strategies into their regular interactions with the offender.
Influencers are found in many areas of an offender’s life. EPICS-I is designed for individuals and organizations including:
- Family Members
- Significant others
- Reentry Coalitions
- Law Enforcement
- School Officials
- Faith Based Organizations
Our goal is to provide a high fidelity program. Therefore, this project is currently in the pilot stage with an anticipated release date of Spring 2016.
For more information about EPICS for Influencers, please contact UCCI Program Manager Jennifer Scott at Jennifer.Scott@uc.edu or (513) 556-7765(513) 556-7765.