Program Development Unit

Program Development is a unit within the Georgia Department of Corrections mandated to reduce recidivism by providing research-based programs.


  • Provide constitutionally mandated or legally required programs
  • Implement evidence-based programs that target crime-producing behavior
  • Focus on changing criminal thinking and reducing criminal behavior
  • Standardize "best correctional practices" in Georgia

How are offenders identified and selected for interventions?

  • An assessment process identifies an offender's risks and needs.

Why is assessment important?

  • Assessment provides objective and empirically validated evaluations of an offender's risk/needs.
  • Assists in decision-making processes regarding placement, security levels, and case planning.
  • Addresses the offender’s risk/needs and matches the offender to the identified level of services.
  • To ensure high risk/need offenders are prioritized for services.
  • To ensure high and low risk/need offenders are programmed separately.

What is the current risk/needs assessment?

The Next Generation Assessment (NGA) is an automated program assessment instrument based on data currently found within SCRIBE – CHRI (GCIC) – PAROLE databases.


  • Match offender to programming based on results of assessment
  • Separate Risk/Need Scales for male and female offenders
  • Update the programming referral list
  • Generate Offender Program Plan
  • Scoring is based on Risk/Need Matrix

NGA is a reliable predictor, however each scale is a screener not a full blown assessment therefore some offenders with indicators of more serious needs will require other assessment to follow-up on identified risk factors.

What are the primary targets of effective offender interventions?

  • Criminal thinking
  • Substance use
  • Education
  • Employment

What is the fiscal benefit of implementing interventions that target crime-producing behavior?

  • Reduction in recidivism results in a savings to the taxpayers of potentially millions of dollars.

Who are our partners?

  • Federal agencies
  • State and county agencies
  • Non-profit and community-based organizations


Director, Office of Reentry Services Donna Tebought

Inmate Services Division