TOPUCU CORRECTIONS REDUCING RECIDIVISM
ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
REDUCTION IN CRIMINAL THINKING
INCREASE IN SELF-CONFIDENCE
9 OUT OF 10
IN TERMS OF THEIR UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRAM, AND BEING ABLE TO APPLY THE PRINCIPLES TAUGHT
Also we have seen decreases in: performance anxiety, the desire to dominate others, belief in entitlement to break established rules, cognitive distractibility, impulsivity, tendency to avoid problems, and anti-social attitudes
SUMMARY OF THE 7 LESSONS
LESSON ONE: HABITS
You learn about habits and the three components: Trigger, Routine and Reward. We focus on the “Routine” as the one component of habit that you can actually control. Dissect the Trigger to understand the “Why” behind every habit. Develop new routines that line up with what you are trying to accomplish.
LESSON TWO: MOTIVATION
We introduce the “Scales of Motivation” as a guide to why you may or may not be doing something. Evaluate the scales to see which part of the formula needs to be adjusted in order to keep moving toward your goals. We also explore two forms of motivation: External and Internal. Enjoy External motivation, but live through Internal motivation.
LESSON THREE: PAIN
We talk about “Pain” and discomfort as a critical part of positive transformation. We teach that the pain you’ll experience during your change is nothing compared to the pain you may feel if you decide to stay in your current situation.
LESSON FOUR: THE SEVEN E'S
The Seven E’s represent the way thoughts enter and affect your mind. You’ve got to stop the negative thoughts at the first E, “Entrance” and, conversely, you need to nurture the positive thoughts all the way through the final E - “Enveloped”. Our thoughts become our words. Our words become our actions. Our actions become our habits. And our habits define who we are.
LESSON FIVE: VISUALIZATION
“Visualization” - seeing it and achieving it. Think of an image on a puzzle box to illustrate the idea of having a picture of what you’re reaching for. If you cannot visualize where you want to be at the end of your journey, then the chances of ever starting that journey are slim to none. Visualize your goal and reach for it one piece at a time.
LESSON SIX: VALUE OF TIME
We explore the “Value of Time”. Make a list of the six most important tasks to accomplish each day and work to optimize the 168 hours you have in each week. True lasting transformation takes time - using that time wisely and effectively creates change.
LESSON SEVEN: BURN THE BRIDGE
Identify and visualize challenges that are keeping you from changing or causing you to go back to your old habits, put them on top of that bridge and blow them up! Be committed to your future self.
The second part of TOPUCU is the FINISHER Program. Here, we guide you through the process of taking an inventory of your life. We’ll break it down into sections like family, education, health, work and more. This activity leads to the creation of a Personal Mission Statement for your life. We’ll get to the core of who you are and help you lay out specific, positive statements about yourself that will keep you motivated and on track to being the best person you can be each day.
Then we identify specific and attainable SMART Goals for every area of your life. We teach you about four types of time-sensitive goals. These goals become the ultimate key to seeing true positive transformation.
TOPUCU is a transformational program designed to develop FINISHERS. This program anticipates the challenges you may face in each stage of progress and provides you with profound mindsets that help you finish.
MEET THE TEAM
Corrections Division Director
Norm Hills has 45 years experience in corrections working with both adult and juvenile populations, committed to reducing recidivism. His experience and leadership in the industry has positioned him as a leading voice in corrections and inmate programs in the state of Ohio. He began his career as a social work intern at the Ohio State Reformatory where he later earned rank as the Deputy Warden. He was appointed the Chief Inspector of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. In 1986, he became the “activation” Warden for the Department, opening Pickaway Correctional Institution, Correctional Reception Center in 1987, Grafton Correctional Institution in 1988 and the Lorain Correctional Institution in 1989. In 1991 he was appointed as the North Regional Director, responsible for all aspects of operations for 16 of Ohio’s 31 prisons. Norm also served in Juvenile Corrections as Deputy Warden, Warden and Juvenile Parole Board Member. Norm is a native of Northern Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in Sociology and Psychology from Ashland University.
VP, Corrections Division
John Dowdell recently retired the Director of the Gill Center for Business and Economic Education at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. John has over 35years of experience in correctional education and has been the editor of the Journal of Correctional Education for sixteen years. A member of the Correctional Education Association, John serves on the board of the organization and chairs the education and professional development committees of the board. He has published in the fields of correctional education and economic education and served on the steering committee for the RAND Corporation Second Chance Grant to evaluate education of juvenile and adult offenders. With a deep commitment to reducing recidivism, John is now the lead partner in Heartland Curriculum Consultants, LLC, and specializes in curriculum and development in the field of correctional education.
John chaired the Ohio Council on Economic Education Teacher Academy initiative. This project developed a comprehensive curriculum for the teaching of personal finance skills for Ohio high school teachers. He has also served on the Ohio Commission on Personal Finance, in cooperation with the State of Ohio Treasurer and Attorney General Offices. As the director of Ashland University correctional programs, John led the nation’s longest operating correctional higher education program. John earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction at Ashland College. He completed doctoral coursework at the University of Akron.
The TOPUCU executive leadership team has aimed to help transform the corrections industry by providing this highly effective program to offenders across the nation. The industry is in need of a program that demonstrates real change backed by proven research – reducing recidivism. Traditional classroom approaches and current programming is not adequately preparing these individuals for their return to civilian life. This results in them returning to the same set of circumstances influencing the same behavior and the cycle continues. This is all about to change!
A significant factor that distinguishes TOPUCU from other programs is that it’s not offender centric – it ’s reintegration centric.
TOPUCU is already being taught to offenders and the initial research-based evidence shows a significant reduction in criminal thinking and increases in motivation and resiliency.
In addition, TOPUCU is written and taught in a manner that immediately connects with this population. Individuals learn the process of ‘right thinking’ and how it manifests into ‘right actions’. They are taught how to invest in themselves through a process that yields a personal mission statement and goals; moving them into the future and preparing them to successfully re-enter society as a productive citizen – breaking the cycle.
"TOPUCU really influences me in my everyday life because before TOPUCU, I didn't have my schedule straight, my grades weren't the best. But, once I got into the program - it really helped me figure things out. I can schedule my day, I prioritize and my grades started getting better. Now I'm living at a 3.6 and it's really nice."
This program is like no other offered here in Ohio’s prison system. TOPUCU has taught me, in a very short time, how to look inside of myself in order to make permanent and very positive changes. TOPUCU is a powerful and needed program for all.
When working out now I look at my wristband when I want to stop and it reminds me of the TOPUCU principles and gives me the extra drive to reach my goals ... to be able to do the things I couldn’t do before ... don’t stop. I truly believe this program will help many people change their lives.
The response was fantastic and I can say nothing but good things about the program.