Offender supervision in Denmark: The MOSAIK-model

In August 2010, the director of the Danish Probation Service, Kriminalforsorgen, attended a presentation of a report about Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS) by Dr. James Bonta. This is where evidence based community supervision caught his interest for the first time. A report on the work of probation officers in Denmark showed that they were missing a  uniform evidence based assessment procedure or supervision method for working with the most difficult clients. It was not possible to implement the STICS method at that time, therefore the Danish Probation Service decided to develop their own tool for offender supervision, Motivational Interventions in Probation Services (MOSAIK). Together with Marianne Fuglestved, from the Directorate of Prison and Probation Service Denmark, we look back at how MOSAIK was developed and implemented.

When did you start with developing MOSAIK?

At first, the directorate wanted to implement the STICS method, but at the same time James Bonta and his colleagues were implementing it in the Swedish Probation System. They generously let us look into STICS for inspiration in our process of developing our own supervision model. This project started in 2013. The first three persons that we hired to work for our RNR-team, attended STICS training in Canada. Later on, four others joined the team and the supervision model MOSAIK and the RNR-intervention for prisons MOVE, were developed.

How was MOSAIK implemented after the development?

All the probation officers in Denmark (about 300) in twelve local community supervision units, have been trained and are certified in the use of LS/RNR. They also followed a special training to work with MOSAIK. This training consisted of five days of basic training, two days of follow-up training, a monthly training group in the units and three feedback moments on MOSAIK sessions that are recorded. MOSAIK-training is continuous, after probation officers finish their basic training, they will receive feedback on two MOSAIK sessions per year and they continue to attend a monthly training group.

In what way does MOSAIK reduce recidivism?

MOSAIK is designed to meet the criminogenic needs of clients with a medium to very high risk profile. A combined theoretical and methodological-approach (cognitive behavioral theory, social learning theory and desistance theory combined with motivational interviewing), forms the model for change in this supervision model.

MOSAIK reduces recidivism in different ways.:

  • By giving the client a clear role as an active participant in his own change process with the probation officer as his mentor;
  • By introducing stepwise learning, with setting longterm and shortterm goals;
  • By discussing the criminogenic needs of the client and train them to regulate these needs and supporting appropriate and pro-social behavior;
  • The structured agenda that is set up for every MOSAIK meeting supports the clients cognitive development

Long term effect of MOSAIK has not been tested yet, the first long term tests start this year.

How did the offenders and probation officers react on MOSAIK?

Process evaluation shows, that MOSAIK is meaningful to probation officers in their rehabilitation work with clients with medium to very high risk-need level. Probation officers also emphasize the usefulness of having a uniform method for professional development and exchange.

Overall the clients also express satisfaction with the new model. They feel MOSAIK supports them in changing their behavior in a direction they want, and that community supervision has become meaningful.

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