Overview of Motivational Interviewing for Community Corrections Professionals

Overview of Motivational Interviewing for Community Corrections Professionals 

Individuals involved in the juvenile or adult justice system are often unsure about making behavioral or life changes. Motivational Interviewing is a way of communicating that draws out people’s own thoughts and beliefs to help them resolve their ambivalence about change. Pretrial, probation, parole officers, and corrections counselors working with adults or juveniles on community supervision can use motivational interviewing skills to help the individuals they supervise internalize the change process and improve compliance with supervision conditions. This course will provide community supervision professionals working with adults and juveniles on community supervision with a brief overview of motivational interviewing, the stages of the change process, and strategies that can be used to enhance an individual’s motivation to change.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Probation and Parole Association


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.00 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-CORRMI
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 11/1/2024
Learning Objectives:
Define motivational interviewing.
Identify the 6 stages of change.
Explain 4 basic principles of motivational interviewing.
Describe at least 4 motivational interviewing techniques you can use to enhance an individual’s motivation to change.
Discuss 5 techniques for eliciting change talk.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

Meet Jonathan

Ambivalence: A Normal Part of Change

What is MI?

How Change Happens

Stages of Change

When Would You Use MI?



Section 3: Principles of Motivational Interviewing

Spirit of Motivational Interviewing

Principles of Motivational Interviewing

Express Empathy

Develop Discrepancy

Roll with Resistance

Support Self-Efficacy



Section 4: Motivational Interviewing Techniques

OARS Techniques

Open-Ended Questions


Sources for Affirmations

Reflective Listening

Thinking Reflectively

Types of Reflective Listening Statements


Types of Summaries

Information Exchange



Section 5: Eliciting Change Talk

Sustain Talk

Change Talk


Techniques to Elicit Change Talk

The Importance/Confidence Ruler

Looking Back

Query Extremes

Explore Goals and Values

Looking Forward

Establish a Language of Commitment: Elaboration



Section 6: Conclusion


Course Contributors




Instructor: Truls Neal
Truls Neal has served as the Director and the Deputy Director of Multnomah County Department of Community Justice (DCJ) for the past two years. Truls has worked as a Corrections Professional for more than 30 years. He has worked in various capacities in the criminal justice field including as a corrections counselor, juvenile counselor, parole and probation officer including fourteen years in community corrections management. 

He began his career in 1983 with Orange County Juvenile Probation in California. In 1992, Truls moved to Oregon and worked for 16 years for Clackamas County Community Corrections, serving as a Corrections Counselor, Community Service Coordinator, Parole and Probation Officer, Supervisor and finally as the Manager of the Parole and Probation Field Services. 

Ten years ago, Truls was hired by Multnomah County. As a Senior Manager, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the Reentry Enhancement Coordination Program (REC), a successful prison reentry program currently still in existence today. Prior to being assigned Deputy Director Truls served as the Adult Division Director for DCJ.  Additionally, he currently serves on the board for the American Probation and Parole Association. Locally, Truls has served as an executive member of the Multnomah County Managers of Color.  

Truls holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino. In addition to his professional career, he is active in NE Portland and is involved with his community in his local neighborhood association and other community-based organizations. Truls life mission is to build community at work, home, and in his neighborhood. Disclosure: Truls Neal has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.