Cognitive Intervention Programs

The APD offers three (3) Cognitive Intervention Programs: Thinking for a Change, Decision Points, and Courage to Change. In each of these programs, participants learn and practice the steps of Cognitive Self Change, learn social skills, and apply problem solving skills. Throughout the courses, participants look into their antisocial thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs as they lead to risky behavior. This process allows participants to take responsibility for their behaviors and to achieve and maintain long term behavior change. These programs are available throughout the county and are free to attend.

Education Centers

The Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts recognize that illiteracy impacts the court system and is one of the contributing factors to recidivism in the probation and prison populations. In 1987, the Arizona Supreme Court established education centers for the Adult Probation Department to combat illiteracy in these populations. The Probation Department became the lead agency in establishing LEARN (Literacy, Education, and Resource Network) education centers. LEARN enhances the Probation Department's education programs.

Adult Basic Education and GED preparation classes

Learn about the Maricopa County Adult Probation Frank X. Gordon Adult Education Program.

Victim Impact Panel

The Maricopa County Adult Probation Department has cooperated with the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to establish a Victim Impact Panel Program. MADD uses the panels as an educational tool for convicted alcohol offenders. There are numerous local panels every month. The cost to the offender is $45.00 and participants receive a certificate of attendance. The panels are open to the public at no charge.

Each panel includes a number of victims who are selected by MADD to speak briefly about the drunk driving crashes in which they were injured or in which a loved one was killed, and what this has meant to them. They do not blame or judge those who attend the panel. Instead, they simply tell their stories about how their lives and families have been affected by the crash. Victims never speak to groups in which their own offender is present. There is not interaction between victims and offenders during the panel presentation, but a question and answer period may follow between the group and a MADD representative.

Judges and Probation Officers may require convicted drunk driving offenders to attend a Victim Impact Panel as an element of their sentence. The panel does not replace conventional sentencing but rather adds a creative component to it.

Values for Offenders:

  • To enable offenders, perhaps for the first time, to consider the pain and suffering drunk driving can cause to others
  • To help offenders move beyond focusing on their own problems
  • To serve as a first step in breaking down the denial of alcoholism or the denial of those addicted to other drugs
  • To imprint images of real people in offenders' minds which may replay when drinking and driving is again an option
  • To change behavior and save lives

Values for Victims:

  • To provide an opportunity for victims to become more involved in the criminal justice system
  • To assure victims they can have a positive impact if an offender's lifestyle is change through their message


For further information, please visit the MADD website.

Jason Walker
Chief of Specialized Services
Contact Adult Probation

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