Criminal Justice (CRJS) 491

Offender Rehabilitation (Revision 2)

CRJS 491

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: CRJS 491 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HSRV 491

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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CRJS 491 is not available for challenge.

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CRJS 491: Offender Rehabilitation will focus on current issues in offender rehabilitation from both a Canadian and international perspective. You will have the opportunity to examine the theoretical literature about offender rehabilitation and the practical application of that literature as we explore “what works.” Rehabilitation will be considered across a variety of areas that contribute to offender recidivism, including interventions for people who have drug addictions and those who perpetrate property offences, sexual crimes, and domestic violence. This course will also consider offender rehabilitation with men and women of different ages and ethnic/cultural background and relevant professional ethics issues.

Course Learning Outcomes

After completing CRJS 491, you will have achieved several important learning outcomes. Specifically, you should understand and be able to describe:

  1. Historical trends in offender rehabilitation.
  2. The dominant treatment models in contemporary correctional services
  3. How interventions strategies for offenders are evaluated and deemed to be “empirically validated.” 
  4. The treatment needs of specific offender groups.


CRJS 491 is divided into two parts comprising twelve units in total:

PART 1 Introduction

  • Unit 1 Historical Overview
  • Unit 2 Public Perceptions
  • Unit 3 The Good Lives Model & The Risk-Need-Responsivity Model
  • Unit 4 Cultural Factors in Treatment

PART 2 Special Populations

  • Unit 5 Treatment for Psychopathic Offenders
  • Unit 6 Interventions to Stop Intimate Partner Violence
  • Unit 7 Sexual Offender Treatment
  • Unit 8 Interventions for Juvenile Offenders
  • Unit 9 Treatment for Anger-Based Offending
  • Unit 10 Treatment for Substance Abuse-Related Offending
  • Unit 11 Interventions for Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Unit 12 Interventions for Mentally Ill Offenders


To receive credit for CRJS 491, students must complete each assignment satisfactorily, pass the final exam, and achieve an overall course grade of at least “D” 50 percent. Please note that the passing grade for the final exam is 50%.

The weight of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 Compare and Contrast Review 30%
Assignment 2 Compare and Contrast Review 30%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Craig, L.A., Dixon, L., & Gannon, T.A., (2013). What Works in Offender Rehabilitation: An Evidence Based Approach to Assessment and Treatment. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Materials

All other course materials for CRJS 491 are available online through the myAU portal.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, February 8, 2018.

View previous syllabus