Does the good lives model work? A systematic review of the recidivism evidence

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the efficacy of good lives model (GLM) interventions on the recidivism outcomes of convicted offenders. Design/methodology/approach: The review adhered to preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis and Cochrane guidelines. Digital databases were searched and articles reporting outcomes of the GLM amongst convicted offenders and outcomes including recidivism data and pre-post measures of dynamic risk were included in a narrative synthesis. Findings: Of 1,791 articles screened, only six studies met the criteria for review. Key findings were: in half the reviewed studies, GLM did not increase recidivism risk; in half the reviewed studies, only when the correct treatment dosage was applied that some evidence of risk reduction was found; there was limited support for GLM increasing or sustaining motivation for resistance from reoffending. Research for the review was limited and support for the GLM in reducing recidivism rates was not established. Practical implications: In this 2021 review, the authors examined the efficacy of the GLM in reducing recidivism. This addresses a gap in the literature. The authors found that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that the GLM can reduce recidivism. This has implications for practitioners who wish to deliver evidence-based practices in prison/community settings. There is currently not enough peer-reviewed evidence to unequivocally confirm the efficacy of the GLM. The authors recommended additional quality programme outcome research be carried out. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to assess quantitative and qualitative studies on the efficacy of the GLM and provides foundations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Forensic Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


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