Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill, Ph.D., LISW


Social Work


Recidivism is high among individuals with co-occurring disorder of a mental illness and chemical abuse or dependency. Specifically, for those who return to the community on supervised release to the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area of Minnesota from state incarceration. Minnesota’s Department of Corrections and Community Corrections have implemented the use of Motivational Interviewing by Community Correctional Agents with all Supervisees as part of a model designed to reduce recidivism. The purpose of this study is to expand on the limited literature pertaining to the use of Motivational Interviewing by correctional agents who work with supervisees with a co-occurring disorders. A nonpositivist qualitative approach was used to address the research question: What are correctional agents’ perceptions with using Motivational Interviewing with supervisees who have a co-occurring disorder. Correctional agents were recruited through a combination of purposive and snowball strategies. The sample consisted of four participants. Face-to-face semi-standardized interviews were used to collect the data. Grounded Theory was used to analyze the data and produce the finding. The findings of this study showed that the participants were client-centered in their approach to establishing a professional alliance; participants’ perceptions of their agencies’ support for implementing MI was equally split; and participants perceived mixed successes in the use of MI with supervisees with COD. The discussion addresses these finding, relates them to the importance to the field of social work, and from them makes recommendation for future research.

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