The Price of Mistrust: A Study into the Working Alliance as Predictor for Recidivism

Authors Annelies Sturm, Vivienne de Vogel, Anneke Menger, Marcus J.H. Huibers
Published in Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Publication date 8 April 2021
Research groups Working with Mandated Clients
Type Article


The responsivity principle is a vital element in the risk-need-responsivity model. The working alliance is a good illustration of the intention of this responsivity principle. In this study, we examine the influence of the working alliance (WAMCI) between 199 offenders and probation officers on recidivism. Data for this longitudinal study originate from adult probation services in the Netherlands. The association between the working alliance factors and recidivism was analyzed using a Cox regression. Offenders who reported more Trust in the relationship with their Probation Officer after 9 months community supervision showed less recidivism in the subsequent 4-year follow-up period. This association remained significant when controlled for criminal history, age, gender, ethnicity, family status, employment and addiction problems. Offenders who reported more reactance showed significantly more recidivism in the follow-up period, but this association was accounted for criminal history variables. These results can be regarded as an extension of the responsivity principle; a trusting relationship may be needed to create a space in which the client becomes engaged in a changing process

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Key words Probation, Working alliance, Recidivism, Prediction, Trust
Digital Object Identifier 10.1007/s11896-021-09450-1
Page range 1-11

Annelies Sturm

Annelies Sturm | Researcher | Working with Mandated Clients

Annelies Sturm

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Working with Mandated Clients