The Cognitive Centre of Canada


The Cognitive Centre of Canada (CCC) was established at the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1980 as a centre for research and program development on effective methods for the prevention and treatment of antisocial behavior.

The Centre's activities are directed by a group of Consultants with expertise and extensive experience in various fields including clinical psychology, forensic psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, education, criminology, criminal and juvenile justice and professional training.


 Note: As of Dec. 1.10 our email address has changed to


Prosocial Competence Training Programs


The Cognitive Centre developed the internationally accredited Reasoning and Rehabilitation program (R&R) in 1986 – an evidence-based, multifaceted, manualized cognitive behavioral program that teaches the cognitive skills, social skills and values which are antagonistic to antisocial behavior and are essential to the achievement of prosocial competence.

R&R was based on three decades of research that demonstrated that 1. many offenders evidence inadequate development in social cognitive skills; 2. training in social cognitive skills is a key ingredient in effective offender rehabilitation.

The R&R program has been delivered for over twenty years to more than eighty thousand youths and adults in twenty-two countries including Australia, Canada, Canary Islands, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Iran; Japan; Hong Kong, Ireland; Jersey, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Wales and most of the states in USA. 

R&R has been delivered in group homes for antisocial youths; juvenile institutions, prisons, half-way houses; forensic psychiatric hospitals; hospitals for mentally disordered offenders; probation and parole settings; community-based social service agencies; special schools for "at risk" children and adolescents; and in community schools. 

A description of the program and summaries of independent international evaluations of its efficacy can be viewed by clicking on the R&R title in the left-hand column.  Summaries of several recent international evaluations can be viewed by clicking on "News".   


Guided by research conducted since R&R was produced in 1986, the Centre has developed a suite of new, specialized and shorter programs that are tailored to the needs of specific groups:

R&R2 for Antisocial Adults (16 and older) also in Spanish

R&R2 for Antisocial Youths (12-16) soon available in Spanish 

R&R2 for ADHD Youths and Adults

R&R2 for Girls and Young Women

R&R2 for Youths and Adults With Mental Health Problems

R&R2 for Families and Support Persons

R&R2 for Antisocial Drivers

R&R2 for Hispanic Adult Offenders



2005 Qualitative Review

A qualitative review of many evaluations of R&R concluded that

"R&R is one of the most frequently evaluated programs. Its efficacy has been examined in a remarkable number of independent international evaluations not only in Canada where it was developed but also in California, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It is clear that the cognitive model and the R&R program that it spawned has been well received in the criminal justice community for more than eighteen years ... This review would indicate that the enthusiasm has been reinforced by evidence of its efficacy in a variety of settings, with a variety of types of offenders in a variety of countries". Antonowicz (2005).

2001 Cost-benefit analysis

The cost-effectiveness of R&R was analyzed by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. It concluded:

 "cost per participant is low, about $300… effect sizes, coupled with the low cost of the program, produce attractive… economic bottom lines of about $2,400 in net taxpayer-only benefits per participant. (Aos, Phipps, Barnoski & Lieb, 2001)

2006 Meta-analysis

A Cambridge University meta-analysis of studies on the efficacy of R&R concluded:

“Sixteen evaluations (involving 26 separate comparisons) were located in which experimental and control groups were compared. A meta-analysis showed that, overall, there was a significant 14% decrease in recidivism for programme participants compared with controls... It was effective in community and institutional settings, and for low risk and high-risk offenders. Smaller and larger evaluation studies, and older and newer studies, concluded that the programme was effective” (Tong & Farrington, 2006).

2008 Meta-analysis

A second Cambridge meta-analysis of nineteen evaluations (involving 32 separate comparisons) again found that

“overall, there was a significant 14% decrease in recidivism for program participants compared to controls... It was effective in community and institutional settings, whether given on a voluntary basis or not, and for low risk and high risk offenders” (Tong & Farrington, 2008).

2010 UK Clinical Excellence Guidelines 

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for England and Wales provides “guidelines based on the best available research evidence to inform patients, professionals and the public about appropriate treatment for specific conditions”. The NICE Guidelines for interventions to reduce offending among offenders with Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, or dangerous and severe Personality Disorder identify

"group-based cognitive and behavioral interventions such as Reasoning and Rehabilitation" as the "Key priorities for implementation"

2010 Cost-benefit analysis

An analysis of the cost-benefits of R&R by NICE concluded that the reduction in the recidivism rates by providing R&R to adult offenders results in

an overall net saving of £232 per adult offender over 1 year”.

The cost-benefit analysis also concluded that R&R can potentially lead to a reduction in other costs:

“healthcare costs and emotional distress of victims, the financial and economic burden to the families of both victims and offenders, and the feelings of fear and insecurity at anticipation of crime” (National Institute Clinical Excellence Guidelines, 2010).

2017 Review of 50 international evaluations

A report on the findings of fifty independent, international controlled evaluations of R&R and R&R2 conducted in many countries over more than twenty years since the program was first evaluated in Canada concluded that

          “Reasoning & Rehabilitation programs are among the most frequently           evaluated programs in the criminal justice field. Their efficacy in reducing           recidivism has been demonstrated in a remarkable number of evaluations.           The report documents the success of many applications of the R&R/R&R2           model. R&R/R&R2 programs can significantly and substantially reduce           recidivism when conducted with integrity by well-trained, enthusiastic staff           and implemented in a social, political and economic environment that is           supportive of their efforts...R&R2 programs were designed to provide shorter,        theoretically sound and practical ways to motivate reluctant, resistant and           ambivalent clients. The foregoing evaluations document their efficacy.

Please click Publications for references



Please click on a program title to go to its description. E-mail Cognitive Centre for information: